Meghan Markle's father is alert and out of heart surgery

  • Thomas Markle underwent surgery on Wednesday morning after heart attack 
  • It means he will not be able to fly to England for daughter Meghan's wedding 
  • Said he pulled out of wedding on Monday to save Meghan from embarrassment  
  • It comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed Mr Markle colluded with paparazzi
  • Meghan's half-sister said she was also hospitalized Wednesday for broken ankle
  • Her boyfriend claims they were in a car accident after  'paparazzi confrontation' 

By Anneta Konstantinides For Dailymail.com and Mark Duell and Martin Robinson and Cheyenne Roundtree For Mailonline and Rebecca English for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:38 EDT, 16 May 2018 | Updated: 19:19 EDT, 16 May 2018

Meghan Markle's father (pictured on Thursday last week) is alert and out of heart surgery, it has been revealed
Meghan Markle's father (pictured on Thursday last week) is alert and out of heart surgery, it has been revealed

Meghan Markle's father (pictured on Thursday last week) is alert and out of heart surgery, it has been revealed

Meghan Markle's father is alert and out of heart surgery, it has been revealed. 

Thomas Markle, 73, said he underwent surgery on Wednesday morning following a heart attack last week. 

Mr Markle told TMZ that doctors implanted three stents in his blood vessels. 

'I'm okay. It will take a long time to heal,' he said. 

'Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited.'   

Meghan's father had previously revealed on Tuesday that he wouldn't be able to attend the royal wedding because of the surgery.

He said doctors planned to  'go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed' during the operation. 

Meghan's half-sister Samantha was also in the hospital on Wednesday after suffering a broken ankle and fractured knee. 

Samantha's boyfriend Mark told TMZ that they were driving in Florida when they had a 'paparazzi confrontation'. 

He claims a photographer veered in front of their car to get a clear shot. Mark said he then tried to avoid him by swerving to the left, and crashed into a concrete barrier.

Mark said Samantha, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is in a wheelchair, hit the windshield and fell to the floor. He said her foot was twisted backwards.  

The accident comes just hours after Samantha said Mr Markle is 'upset and alone' in the hospital following his surgery.

She has also slammed claims that Kensington Palace has come to the aid of Mr Markle.

'That is not true or he would not have been living in his place,' she told The Sun. 

'He'd have had a reliable vehicle. He'd have been with security. I have receipts showing I've sent my father money twice by MoneyGram because he needed it.' 

'He is badly in need of help. I'm dreadfully worried about him. He's completely on his own.' 

Samantha, who is currently in Florida, said Mr Markle was also devastated that he could not walk his daughter down the aisle. 

'He was upset. He wanted to go,' she said. 'But his doctor had the overruling opinion that he needed surgery. So he's smart enough to know, this is life-threatening.' 

Samantha also claims Kensington Palace did not offer to fly Mr Markle to London early or provide any information on how and when he should get there. 

She alleges that Harry, who has never met Meghan's father, has made no contact with Mr Markle and that Meghan hasn't contacted him since the heart attack.

This goes directly against Mr Markle's own claims that Meghan called and texted him after he decided to pull out of the wedding. 

Mr Markle told TMZ that Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health.  

Mr Markle's son Thomas, who is being blamed by his father for the heart attack, agreed with Samantha that Kensington Palace didn't do enough for Meghan's father. 

The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding
The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding

The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding

Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan
Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan

Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan

'It would have been better for the palace to have guided him, as well as us for the matter, to ensure the focus is on Harry and Meg and not her family back in the States,' Thomas told Mirror Online. 

'They should have intervened and guided us when Meg and Harry’s relationship was first made public.' 

Mr Markle is thought to have previously stayed at General Hospital in Rosarito, the town where he lives, but it is unclear where Wednesday's operation took place.

Samantha claims her father checked in 'anonymously' at a hospital to avoid photographers.    

The surgery has been the latest twist on a rollercoaster of speculation surrounding whether Mr Markle would attend Saturday's royal wedding at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

It came just hours after Meghan seemed to have convinced her father to change his mind and walk her down the aisle.

Mr Markle pulled out on Monday, saying he didn't want to further embarrass his daughter after The Mail On Sunday revealed he had staged paparazzi photos for money.

But on Tuesday it seemed he had backtracked on his decision after the bride-to-be pleaded with him to come to England for the big day. 

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle
Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father to walk her down the aisle

Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria  with Meghan in March 2015
Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria  with Meghan in March 2015

Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria with Meghan in March 2015

'I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle,' Mr Markle said. 'Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history.'

While Meghan may have forgiven him, it appears the paparazzi photos have further strained Mr Markle's relationship with her mother Doria Ragland.  

A source told The Sun Online: 'Thomas and Doria are currently barely speaking to one another.' 

'He is trying to make peace after everything that has happened. Their relationship had been hanging by a thread for months before the staged photo scandals.'

'He had told friends that he wanted to come with the peace gesture for an appeasement before the wedding and his daughter's big day, but his recent actions have crushed that.'

Mr Markle has blamed his recent health troubles on his son Thomas, who told Harry that marrying Meghan would be the 'biggest mistake in royal wedding history'.

'It's not too late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you,' Thomas's letter, shared with InTouch, reads. 'I'm confused why you don't see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees.' 

Thomas went on to call his half-sister a 'jaded, shallow, conceited woman, that will make a fool of you and the royal family heritage'. 

Just a week later, in another open letter, Thomas apologised for his words and begged Meghan to invite him to her wedding. 

Thomas has since flown into London to support his half-sister, despite the fact that he is not invited to the wedding.

He said that his father's recent health troubles have 'put everything into perspective about what's important in life'. 

'My sister's going to be one of the best things ever to have happened to the royal family,' Thomas told Mirror Online on Wednesday. 

'She will be the perfect modern princess. I wish Meg and Harry nothing but a happy and healthy future together.'  

Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter  (pictured together, circa 2000)
Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter  (pictured together, circa 2000)

Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter (pictured together, circa 2000)

Mr Markle was spotted grabbing two Happy Meals from McDonald's and a chocolate milkshake to wash it all down last Thursday - two days after he said he suffered a heart
Mr Markle was spotted grabbing two Happy Meals from McDonald's and a chocolate milkshake to wash it all down last Thursday - two days after he said he suffered a heart
Mr Markle claims that just two days prior he had suffered a heart attack and had to seek medical attention
Mr Markle claims that just two days prior he had suffered a heart attack and had to seek medical attention

Mr Markle was spotted grabbing two Happy Meals from McDonald's and a chocolate milkshake to wash it all down last Thursday - two days after he said he suffered a heart attack 

He was also seen getting a chocolate milkshake topped with whipped cream. DailyMail.com revealed that Meghan’s father did not seek medical attention on the day of his 'heart attack'
He was also seen getting a chocolate milkshake topped with whipped cream. DailyMail.com revealed that Meghan’s father did not seek medical attention on the day of his 'heart attack'

He was also seen getting a chocolate milkshake topped with whipped cream. DailyMail.com revealed that Meghan’s father did not seek medical attention on the day of his 'heart attack'

A few hours later, Mr Markle was spotted at a local KFC where he picked up a bucket of fried chicken for his dinner (above)
A few hours later, Mr Markle was spotted at a local KFC where he picked up a bucket of fried chicken for his dinner (above)

A few hours later, Mr Markle was spotted at a local KFC where he picked up a bucket of fried chicken for his dinner (above)

Thomas also said he was 'mortified' to hear that his father blamed his heart attack on the open letter to Prince Harry. 

'My letter wasn't intended to cause hurt or upset,' Thomas said. 'My earlier pleas fell on deaf ears, and after exhausting everything I could think of, I'd hoped my letter might shame the palace, I guess, into getting in touch.' 

'I was wrong. It wasn't designed to humiliate Meg into inviting me, but more hoping we could get the help we needed. Ever since her relationship with Harry emerged two years ago, our lives have been changed forever.'     

'We needed guidance from the royals but didn't get it.' 

Earlier this week, Mr Markle revealed that Meghan held no hard feelings against him for setting up paparazzi photos for money.

When asked what the Queen thought about his money grab, Mr Markle laughed and said: 'I don't think the Queen is thinking about what I'm doing.'

Mr Markle said although he doesn't believe faking the 'hammy' photos was that serious, he admitted it was a 'stupid' decision. 

He also blasted eldest daughter Samantha, who revealed she convinced Mr Markle to set up the photos.

Mr Markle said Samantha has no real relationship with Meghan, and knows nothing of her relationship with Harry.

Before changing his mind, Mr Markle said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel.

Miss Ragland has touched down in the UK from Los Angeles to support her daughter and is the clear favourite to walk her down the aisle.

Prince Charles is 2/1 with the bookies to step in, while Prince William is 5/1 to take Meghan into St George's Chapel before starting his duties as Harry's best man.

There have also been a flurry of bets on Meghan walking down the aisle alone. On Monday night, Mr Markle told TMZ that Miss Ragland should be the person to do it.

Mr Markle's ex-wife Doria Ragland is expected to meet  Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Society yesterday)
Mr Markle's ex-wife Doria Ragland is expected to meet  Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Society yesterday)

Mr Markle's ex-wife Doria Ragland is expected to meet Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Society yesterday)

Doria with her daughter Meghan at the Invictus Games closing ceremony
Doria with her daughter Meghan at the Invictus Games closing ceremony
Prince Harry and Meghan
Prince Harry and Meghan

Doria Ragland (left, with her daughter in Toronto in September 2017) has been keeping a low profile ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding (the couple, pictured right on April 23) 

The yoga instructor and social worker has been described by Meghan as a 'free spirited clinical therapist' and she has been seen alongside Meghan at a number of public events.

Harry, who has described her as 'amazing', flew Miss Ragland out to Toronto to join Meghan and himself at the Invictus Games last year.

Royal experts said at the time that Harry's decision to invite Meghan's mother to join them at the closing ceremony of the tournament was 'hugely significant'.

Miss Ragland was already expected to have an 'important role' during the ceremony. It is thought she will ride with Meghan in the car to the chapel to Windsor Castle.

She is also expected to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and his wife, Kate, before the big day.   

The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years 
The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years 

The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years 

Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos
Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos

Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos

A friend of Meghan and Harry's told the Mail that she was standing by her father and pleaded for understanding, saying he was 'not in a good place'. 

Meghan wouldn't be the first to be given away by a woman at a royal wedding 

If Meghan Markle's mother does walk her down the aisle it won't be the first time it has happened.   

Queen Victoria gave away her youngest child Princess Beatrice at St Mildred's Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight in 1885.

She wore black to remember her husband Prince Albert who had died 24 years earlier, although her outfit is believed to have been encrusted with diamonds.  

Royal historian Victoria Howard told the BBC: 'I think it would be a lovely touch for Meghan's mother Doria to walk her down the aisle.

'It would be unusual but it wouldn't be an unprecedented move. Queen Victoria walked two of her daughters down the aisle'.  

The friend said: 'This is not what she wants. She obviously wants her dad there. And the idea of contemplating him not being there now is not something that she wants to have to do.

'She and Prince Harry are begging for people to give him some space. They have been saying this for weeks, while trying to offer him support and help. 

'He is clearly feeling under immense pressure. The concern for him is real and genuine. He is a proud man who wants to be a father and not be taken care of, but it's quite difficult. 

'Everyone needs to pause and think what this is doing to them and, more importantly, to him. It is a really worrying, scary situation. The couple have been doing everything they can to help him.' 

Harry, 33, is said to be distraught and could try to get Mr Markle to change his mind.

The friend said: 'Harry feels guilty that this has happened to someone he loves because they are in a relationship with him.

'He is devastated. He feels like this is another thing in the wake of him... the problems he causes. He feels that anyone who gets associated with his life – this is the price they have to pay.

'He wants to protect her and this is really difficult for him to swallow.'

Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)
Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)

Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)

WHAT IS A STENT PLACEMENT - AND WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET THREE STENTS AT ONCE?

by Mia de Graaf, US Health Editor

Stents hold arteries open to help improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain.

Past president of the American Heart Association, Dr Sidney Smith, MD, told Daily Mail Online how stents work, when they are placed, and why a patient might need three stents at once. 

HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED? 

A stent is a wire mesh tube that props open arteries.

To open the narrowed artery, the surgeon may perform what's known as an angioplasty.

It involves making a small incision in a patient's arm or leg, through which a wire with an attached deflated balloon is thread through up to the coronary arteries. 

In some cases, this is all that's needed, to go in and break up the blockage, without putting any permanent artery-openers in place. 

However, in some cases surgeons will put in a stent to keep the arteries held open.  

The stent surrounds the deflated balloon and expands with it when the balloon is inflated.

After the balloon has been deflated and removed, the stent stays in the artery permanently.

A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open
A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open

A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open

HOW COMMON IS IT?

Angioplasties are increasingly common in the United States and Mexico due to rising rates of heart issues. 

And stents are becoming increasingly common in angioplasty patients, since it is very common for the arteries to narrow again if nothing is put in place (this is known as restenosis, and happens in about a third of cases).  

CAN IT BE PERFORMED DAYS OR WEEKS AFTER A HEART ATTACK?

Yes - depending on what kind of heart attack was suffered. 

There are two kinds of blockages - a STEMI (which is a complete blockage) or an NSTEMI (a partial blockage).   

STEMI stands for 'ST-elevation myocardial infarction', which means the patient has suffered cardiac enzyme changes, and changes to their electrical heart activity, as seen on an EKG scan. 

A non-STEMI heart attack, or NSTEMI heart attack, is less urgent. It means they suffered enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG.

'A STEMI is a very big, severe heart attack where a patient comes into the emergency room and the artery is totally blocked, and needs to be opened up straight away and the stent is placed,' Dr Smith, Professor of Medicine, Cardiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, explained. 

'That's the patient that goes direct into surgery.'

'In other cases, the patient may have a non-STEMI. They may have chest pain, and they come into the hospital with enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG [electrical activity of the heart]. The need is not urgent. Stents are placed but it can be days later.'

WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET THREE STENTS AT ONCE?

It depends how many blockages they had, or how many vessels were affected.

'The decision to place stents in the coronary arteries is based on the number of significant blockages that's there,' Dr Smith explained. 

'Three is not out of the ordinary. Sometimes you place just one, sometimes two or three - it completely depends.

'You places stents where there is a significant blockage. It could be that there were two or three vessels involved, or three blockages in one vessel. That would warrant three stents.'

He adds that the amount of blockages has nothing to do with the severity of the heart attack, or whether it would be a STEMI or NSTEMI.  

HOW IS THE RECOVERY?  

For patients being treated for chest pain, most are usually able to go home the same day of the operation. Patients are often advised to avoid strenuous activities and driving for at least a week.

But Dr Smith said it depends on each patient, and particularly on whether they have other underlying health issues. 

'It depends on how well their heart is pumping,' Dr Smith said. 

'Patients are often able to go home within 24 hours, usually into cardiac rehabilitation.'

As for the patient taking a trans-Atlantic flight, Dr Smith said that would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. 

'It depends on how they're doing, and how long the flight is,' he said.   

  • Any reader who thinks they may be suffering a heart attack, or may have suffered one, should never diagnose themselves. Always call an ambulance if you think you might be having a heart attack. The EMS crew in your ambulance will route you to the right hospital based on your location

The couple issued an unprecedented official statement through Kensington Palace in the wake of the crisis.

A spokesman said: 'This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding. She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation.'  

TMZ claimed to have spoken 'on the record' to Miss Markle's father, who confirmed he had worked with the freelance photographer to set up images of him being measured for his wedding suit and searching online for articles about his daughter.

He said he did it to 'rehabilitate' his image but had been left looking 'stupid and hammy' – and would not be travelling to the UK to give her away in order to spare her further embarrassment. 

Kensington Palace was clearly broadsided by the claims as aides had insisted on Sunday that Mr Markle would be by his daughter's side at Windsor Castle this weekend.  

Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was 'struggling' ahead of the wedding
Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was 'struggling' ahead of the wedding

Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was 'struggling' ahead of the wedding

Thomas Markle admitted to staging  paparazzi photos (pictured) with an agency for money
Thomas Markle admitted to staging  paparazzi photos (pictured) with an agency for money

Thomas Markle admitted to staging paparazzi photos (pictured) with an agency for money

TMZ further claimed that Mr Markle – a former award-winning Hollywood lighting director who lives a reclusive life in Mexico and has yet to meet his future son-in-law – confirmed he had been offered money by US-based freelance photographer Jeff Rayner. 

HOW MEGHAN'S BIG DAY WAS UPENDED: TIMELINE TO THOMAS MARKLE'S DECISION TO STAY AWAY

TUESDAY MAY 8: On Monday May 14, Thomas Markle Sr claims he suffered a heart attack six days ago - making it either Tuesday or Wednesday May 8 or 9. He claims he checked himself out of hospital in order to attend the royal wedding. Markle Sr was at his home from Sunday 7 onwards and was not seen leaving it at any time 

WEDNESDAY MAY 9: Markle leaves his Mexican home at 8.30pm. He checks into the Rodeway Inn in San Ysidro, just across the U.S. border, and shops at a nearby 7-11. He is seen purchasing Gas X medication, a milkshake and a bottle of Heineken

THURSDAY MAY 10: At 4.10am Markle drives 135 miles to his property in Los Feliz. He picks up mail at UPS before stopping in to CVS to buy his former wife Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, a card and returning home. He is later photographed purchasing two Happy Meals and a creamy drink at a McDonalds drive-thru. He also bought a large pot of flowers for his estranged wife from a Home Depot 

Later that afternoon, he is pictured dropping off the flowers and card at Doria Ragland's home. He is then pictured picking up KFC close to the Mexico border as he returns to his Mexico home

FRIDAY MAY 11: Markle remains in his Mexico home

SATURDAY MAY 12: Markle remains in his Mexico home

SUNDAY MAY 13: The Mail on Sunday reveals that Markle has been staging paparazzi photos of himself in the run up to the royal wedding - the photos have raised north of $110,000. Markle remains in his Mexico home 

MONDAY May 14: Markle announces he will not attend his daughter's wedding or walk her down the aisle. According to TMZ, he admitted to staging paparazzi photos in the run up to the wedding. Sources say Kensington Palace was blindsided by the decision. In a statement they say is is a deeply personal matter for Ms Markle

But he insisted the 'deal' was not 'principally' about money. Instead, he wanted to 'rehabilitate' his image after pictures had been published of him looking overweight and dishevelled.

The website wrote: 'He says since his daughter started dating Prince Harry he's been offered anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 for interviews and he's turned all of them down. 

'Thomas says the paparazzi agency approached him, offered him money – though nowhere near the reported $100,000 – and he figured there was no harm in it and it would help recast his image. 

'He admits the pics look 'stupid and hammy'. He says he was just going along with the paparazzi agency, which he now deeply regrets.' 

The website continued: 'Meghan's father will not be walking her down the aisle on Saturday... he isn't going to the wedding at all because of the fallout over selling photos of himself.'

Mr Markle also told the website that he had suffered a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of the hospital so he could attend the wedding.

There was no independent confirmation that Mr Markle had been ill, however.

Indeed, last week he was seen leaving his home in the beachside community of Rosarito, Mexico, and driving to San Diego, just over the US border. 

According to reports, he stopped for a few hours' sleep and then carried onto LA where he was photographed putting a pot of flowers on the doorstep of his ex-wife, Miss Ragland.

To add to the confusion, Mr Markle's daughter - Meghan's estranged half-sister Samantha - claimed that she was 'the culprit' behind the humiliating photograph debacle.

In a bizarre intervention, Samantha said she had advised her father to co-operate with the photographer to show himself – and, strangely, the Royal Family – in a 'positive' light.  She also insisted his motive hadn't been money.

One source told the Mail that Mr Markle was 'very unwell', adding: 'He is under significant stress.

'There is genuine concern about his safety. His health and safety are paramount [to Meghan]. He is under a huge amount of pressure.' 

Piers Morgan brands Meghan Markle's half-sister a 'little vulture' after she took the blame for her father's staged paparazzi photos - as she says she hopes he will still go to royal wedding

Piers Morgan has called Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister a 'little vulture' and accused her grabbing money by 'trashing' the Suits star for years.

Samantha Markle appeared on Good Morning Britain and was accused of 'trading off her very tenuous connection' with Meghan, who she hasn't seen for ten years.

In an explosive exchange Mr Morgan asked her: 'How much money have you made from trashing Meghan Markle? to which Samantha replied: 'Not very much'.

Ms Markle said she had encouraged her father to do a deal with paparazzi claiming he had been treated 'shabbily' by the media.

But Piers went on the offensive and said: 'There's no bigger media vulture in this wedding than you. You are doing a book called the 'Diary of princess pushy's sister'. 

Samantha replied that a 'book cannot be judged by its cover or by its title'.  

Piers Morgan today called Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister Samantha (right) a 'little vulture' and accused her grabbing money by trashing the Suits star for years
Piers Morgan today called Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister Samantha (right) a 'little vulture' and accused her grabbing money by trashing the Suits star for years
Piers Morgan today called Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister Samantha (right) a 'little vulture' and accused her grabbing money by trashing the Suits star for years
Piers Morgan today called Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister Samantha (right) a 'little vulture' and accused her grabbing money by trashing the Suits star for years

Piers Morgan called Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister Samantha (right) a 'little vulture' and accused her grabbing money by trashing the Suits star for years

Samantha Markle, pictured with her famous half-sister in 2008, has said it's her fault their father agreed to appear in staged photos on the eve of the royal wedding
Samantha Markle, pictured with her famous half-sister in 2008, has said it's her fault their father agreed to appear in staged photos on the eve of the royal wedding

Samantha Markle, pictured with her famous half-sister in 2008, has said it's her fault their father agreed to appear in staged photos on the eve of the royal wedding

She also confirmed that her father has pulled out of Saturday's wedding but she hopes he will change his mind.

She said: 'I spoke to him early in the morning and he was quite depressed'.

When asked if he might change his mind she said: 'I hope so. I wanted to see him go [to the wedding]. 

'I don't know as of today what his plans are but I want him to go. Clearly the priority is whether it's safe for him to do that.' 

Yesterday the sister claimed she was 'the culprit' behind the embarrassing 'faked' photographs of their father taken in the run-up to this week's royal wedding.

Samantha, Thomas Markle's daughter by his first marriage, said she advised him to co-operate with a US-based paparazzo photographer in order to show himself - and, strangely, the royal family - in a 'positive' light and insisted his motive had not been money.

But she could not confirm whether Mr Markle had actually accepted any payment for his collusion for the stunt. Mr Markle later told TMZ he had.

Ms Markle told GMB: 'He was unfairly present in the media as shabby, I think photographer looked for the most unflattering photographs. 

'My father has really suffered at the hands of the media. I think a person has a right to say 'enough is enough, I want to be shown how I really am'.'

But Piers hit back and said he was a 'grown man who knew what he was doing'.

He said: 'You say this is all the media's fault, because the media has been treating him in shabby way, viewers will look at the way you've treated you sister Meghan and think that you treated her in a shabby way.

'You've spent the last two years criticising her, you called her narcissistic, selfish, that Hollywood has changed her and that Prince Harry shouldn't marry her, yet you have the gall to blame media vultures.

'You've made loads of money off the back of a tenuous link to Meghan Markle, who you've spoken to once in 10 years. You've been trashing her for two years you vulture'.

Samantha said she had not used those words to describe Meghan and Piers said 'we have all the transcripts'.  

Harry and Meghan are said to be heartbroken by his decision and will try to change his mind with just four days until their wedding
Harry and Meghan are said to be heartbroken by his decision and will try to change his mind with just four days until their wedding

Harry and Meghan are said to be heartbroken by his decision and will try to change his mind with just four days until their wedding

Yesterday she confirmed photographs taken of an apparently unwitting Mr Markle getting fitted up for his wedding suit and browsing pictures of his daughter on the internet had actually been taken in collaboration with a professional photographer, despite Kensington Palace issuing strongly worded requests for the media to protect his privacy.

Speaking from her home in Florida to ITV's Loose Women programme in London, his eldest daughter, Samantha, said: 'I have to say I am entirely the culprit. 

'As we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion.

'I said, you know, [to him] the world has no idea you're getting in shape, doing healthy things.

'They don't photograph you buying vegetables and PH water. They photograph you as unflattering ways as they can.

'So I said, really you need to show the world that you're getting in shape and doing great healthy things. So I suggested it.

'There's a lot of scrutiny that it was money motivated, it was not. It was my suggestion that to benefit him and to benefit the royal family that everyone looked good and they depict you as you are - in shape and doing healthy things.'

Asked if she could categorically say he did not receive money for the photographs, Samantha floundered slightly, saying: 'I don't believe so and that was not the motive. I have no idea but if he did I'm going to assume it was a pittance. They don't pay that much. It was really so that the world could see him doing the healthy things he enjoys doing.'

Asked whether she could understand how embarrassing the revelations were for Kensington Palace and her sister, particularly given their stance on protecting his privacy, she conceded that it would be 'awkward' but felt that his treatment by the media had been 'unjust' and 'somehow we could spin it...'

She also tweeted: 'The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault. The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family. We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money'

Despite posting a string of vitriolic tweets attacking her younger sister, Samantha also insisted that she was not bitter about Meghan's decision not to invite her to Saturday's wedding. The pair haven't actually seen each other for around a decade.

Here come the in-laws! Meghan's nephews and their mother touch down in London with 13 SUITCASES ahead of royal wedding TV special - despite 'NOT being invited' to the event itself

There has been much speculation as to which members of Meghan's family will be attending her nuptials to Prince Harry in Windsor ion Saturday.

And while her father has confirmed he will not attend it looks as though her nephews Tyler and Thomas Dooley along with their mother, Meghan's sister-in-law, Tracy Dooley seem determined to take part in the big day.

Despite previously revealing they hadn't received an invite to the royal wedding the trio were seen making their way to the arrivals gate at the London airport on Monday.

The family have been enlisted as 'special correspondents' for Good Morning Britain and are expected to report from Windsor, though are thought not to be attending the ceremony.

Meghan's sister-in-law Tracy Dooley was pictured arriving at Heathrow airport on Monday
Meghan's sister-in-law Tracy Dooley was pictured arriving at Heathrow airport on Monday

Meghan's sister-in-law Tracy Dooley was pictured arriving at Heathrow airport on Monday

She was joined by her sons and Meghan's nephews Tyler (pictured) and Thomas Dooley
She was joined by her sons and Meghan's nephews Tyler (pictured) and Thomas Dooley

She was joined by her sons and Meghan's nephews Tyler (pictured) and Thomas Dooley

Armed with no less than 13 suitcases the family, including Tyler's girlfriend Sandra Bazan (left)  made their way out of the international airport having flown in from their home in Oregon
Armed with no less than 13 suitcases the family, including Tyler's girlfriend Sandra Bazan (left)  made their way out of the international airport having flown in from their home in Oregon

Armed with no less than 13 suitcases the family, including Tyler's girlfriend Sandra Bazan (left)  made their way out of the international airport having flown in from their home in Oregon

Armed with no less than 13 suitcases the family cut a casual figure as they made their way out of the international airport having flown in from their home in Oregon.

A cheerful Tracy could even be seen flashing a peace sign to photographers as she made her way from security.

And it's clear that the family couldn't be happier about making the trip across the pond; shortly after arriving in London, Tyler began posting image from London on his Facebook page, sharing snaps of a few landmarks, as well as an image showing the interior of his hotel room.

The family is thought to be staying at the H10 hotel in Waterloo, where rooms are available for as little as £70, or $93, per night. The hotel is located just a short distance from Waterloo station, and is an hour's driving distance from St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Meghan and Harry are due to tie the knot.

Along with the images - which also showed the outside of another nearby landmark, the Imperial War Museum, seemingly captured from the back of a car - Tyler also shared an update about his travels with his Facebook friends, writing: 'Just touched down in London!!! Man what a journey so far. We're safe and sound!'

The images were met with a warm response from Tyler's Facebook friends, with many urging him to 'have a blast', while others reminded Meghan's nephew to 'take pics'.

Others, however, weren't quite so clued into the reason for the family's journey to London, with one person questioning, 'There for the wedding or other biz [sic]?'

They have of course previously appeared on the ITV show, when they claimed to have been snubbed from the wedding list.

A cheerful Tracy could even be seen flashing a peace sign to photographers as she made her way from security
A cheerful Tracy could even be seen flashing a peace sign to photographers as she made her way from security
She cut a casual figure in black leggings, and a cowboy boots
She cut a casual figure in black leggings, and a cowboy boots

A cheerful Tracy could even be seen flashing a peace sign to photographers as she made her way from security

The family  are expected to make an appearance on Good Morning Britain this week
The family  are expected to make an appearance on Good Morning Britain this week

The family are expected to make an appearance on Good Morning Britain this week

In March Tracy and Tyler appeared via live video link from Oregon, and admitted that while they were still hopeful that invitations might be en route, it was looking extremely unlikely.

Tyler said on the show: 'We've not got anything yet. At this point, who knows? This all goes back to Meghan, it's her day and her happiness.'

Tracy - who was married to Meghan's half brother Thomas Markle Jr, is mother to Tyler and his brother Thomas, who Meghan used to babysit for as a child - added: 'I don't think we are getting invitations, but that is fine, we are so proud of her.'

She said that while she herself hadn't seen the royal bride-to-be in some 20 years, the family still has a close relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, who she said was 'sure' to give Meghan away when she marries Prince Harry at Windsor Castle on May 19.

'What a journey so far!' Shortly after arriving in London, Tyler began sharing images of the trip on his Facebook page
'What a journey so far!' Shortly after arriving in London, Tyler began sharing images of the trip on his Facebook page

'What a journey so far!' Shortly after arriving in London, Tyler began sharing images of the trip on his Facebook page

Making memories: Tyler's mother Tracy also posted a few images to her Facebook page, including a snap of the London Eye (left) and Victoria Tower at the Houses of Parliament (right) 
Making memories: Tyler's mother Tracy also posted a few images to her Facebook page, including a snap of the London Eye (left) and Victoria Tower at the Houses of Parliament (right) 

Making memories: Tyler's mother Tracy also posted a few images to her Facebook page, including a snap of the London Eye (left) and Victoria Tower at the Houses of Parliament (right) 

Sightseeing: He posted two pictures of local landmarks, including the Imperial War Museum (pictured), and some red brick houses
Sightseeing: He posted two pictures of local landmarks, including the Imperial War Museum (pictured), and some red brick houses
Sightseeing: He posted two pictures of local landmarks, including the Imperial War Museum, and some red brick houses (pictured)
Sightseeing: He posted two pictures of local landmarks, including the Imperial War Museum, and some red brick houses (pictured)

Sightseeing: He posted two pictures of local landmarks, including the Imperial War Museum (left), and some red brick houses

It was announced that Tracey and Tyler will be flying over to the UK to be a part of Good Morning Britain's coverage of the Royal wedding.

The family's arrival in London comes just as Meghan's father, Thomas Markle Snr., confirmed that he would not be attending his daughter's wedding in the wake of the scandal surrounding his staged paparazzi photos.

The 73-year-old had been set to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday, but told TMZ on Monday that he will no longer be travelling to London, after The Mail on Sunday revealed that he had worked with photographers to stage images for money.

Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass the royal family or his daughter on her big day.

Meghan Markle's Suits co-star Jacinda Barrett has been spotted in London just five days before the royal wedding. Pictured: Jacinda and her son Luca outside Buckingham Palace yesterday
Meghan Markle's Suits co-star Jacinda Barrett has been spotted in London just five days before the royal wedding. Pictured: Jacinda and her son Luca outside Buckingham Palace yesterday

Meghan Markle's Suits co-star Jacinda Barrett has been spotted in London just five days before the royal wedding. Pictured: Jacinda and her son Luca outside Buckingham Palace yesterday

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