Royal Wedding: will raucous US in-laws out-sparkle Markle?
As Meghan Markle’s gown undergoes final adjustments for her wedding to Prince Harry, her gaffe-prone American family has been sending royal courtiers into a spin by airing its dirty laundry in public.
The bride-to-be remains close with divorced parents Tom Markle and Doria Ragland but other relatives have been barred from the May 19 nuptials amid unwelcome stories of bust-ups, heavy drinking — and even an arrest.
Markle, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, will be walked up the aisle by Tom, 73, an Emmy-winning Hollywood lighting director of Dutch-Irish descent who is enjoying retired life in Mexico.
Around the turn of the century, the future Duchess of Sussex was filmed as an aspiring teen actress by childhood friend Ninaki Priddy discussing her relationship with her father as they drove across LA.
“We aren’t going to go there,” she says on the video — posted to YouTube last year — as they near Tom’s Los Angeles home, before adding: “We aren’t on the best of terms.”
There has been a detente in the intervening years, however, with Markle publicly expressing her love for her father in an Instagram message in 2016 and declaring, “Your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.”
Markle’s introduction to Hollywood came thanks to her father, who would bring her daily to the set of ABC’s “General Hospital” and Fox sit-com “Married… with Children.”
“There I was, behind the scenes of a glossy soap opera and a TV sitcom, surrounded by famous actors and their glam teams, multi-million dollar budgets, and crew lunches that always included filet mignon,” Meghan wrote on her now-defunct blog, The Tig.
Tom reportedly put Markle through Hollywood’s most exclusive schools and the private Northwestern University in Illinois after winning $750,000 in the state lottery in 1990.