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'She's the best thing to happen to the royals': Meghan Markle's brother says sister will make the 'perfect princess'

Mirror logo Mirror 17/05/2018 Christopher Bucktin

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Meghan Markle’s dad will be devastated not to walk his daughter down the aisle as he recovers from a heart scare, her brother said.

Thomas Markle Jnr, 51, flew to London ahead of the royal wedding to offer his support to his half-sister after their dad Thomas Snr said he could not attend for health reasons.

The 73-year-old had surgery today after revealing medics will “go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed”.

a man standing in front of a building: Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror The retired lighting engineer is reported to be 'awake and alert' but will remain in hospital while he recovers.

Thomas Jnr today visited Windsor Castle to see where Meghan will marry Prince Harry in St George’s Chapel on Saturday.

He said: “My dad will be heartbroken that he cannot be with Meg in Windsor to walk her down the aisle. He would have moved heaven and earth to be there.

a person standing in front of a building: Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror

“It’s the most beautiful, stunning wedding venue and it’s going to be an amazing day.”

His father’s operation came days after he was accused of staging pictures of himself with a British paparazzi photographer close to his home in Rosarito, Mexico.

Speaking exclusively to the Mirror ahead of the ceremony, Tom said Kensington Palace should have offered more guidance to the American family as they were thrust into the spotlight after Suits actress Meghan, 36, started dating Harry.

Meghan Markle smiling for the camera: Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: AFP The glazier said of his dad: “He’ll be hugely embarrassed that he was found to have faked pictures, but what’s clear is that he’s not benefited from the best advice.

“It would have been better for the palace to have guided him, as well as us for that matter, to ensure the focus is on Harry and Meg and not her family back in the States. They should have intervened and guided us when Meg and Harry’s relationship was first made public.”

He said his dad’s heart problems were a wake-up call, adding: “All the drama of my dad’s health scare 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.

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

Prince Harry et al. standing in front of a building: Credits: Getty Images Europe © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty Images Europe

Tom’s support for Meghan comes after months of family infighting left a dark cloud over the ceremony.

Two weeks ago, while at “breaking point”, exasperated Tom wrote an open letter calling the wedding a “fake fairy tale”. In it he said: “As more time passes to your Royal Wedding, it becomes very clear that this is the biggest mistake in Royal Wedding history.”

But now Tom bitterly regrets his “moment of madness”.

He said: “I didn’t mean to upset anyone. I had hoped it might jolt someone into giving us help.

a person standing in front of Meghan Markle et al. posing for the camera: Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror

“I wrote to Kensington Palace months ago asking for their aid. We’ve all been so overwhelmed by the attention and have found it difficult living under such scrutiny.

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

“Our family was thrown into the limelight and there’s been enormous pressure on us all. It’s taken its toll on all of us. Much has been said, a lot of which I regret, but now after arriving in the UK and seeing Windsor Castle, I understand much more what this wedding means to people.

“The fact Dad’s not well enough to travel makes me want more than ever to be as supportive as I can to Meg.”

a man standing in front of a building: Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror

Credits: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Tom is “mortified” at reports that his father blamed his letter for his heart scare last week.

Tom insisted: “My letter wasn’t intended to cause hurt or upset. 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.

“There hasn’t been a day gone by when the phone hasn’t rung or we’ve not been followed. It’s placed a massive strain on us all. Given our time again I’m sure we’d all handle it differently. I know I would.”

Tonight the dad-of-two was prepared to cut short his trip the UK to be by his dad’s bedside if needed.

He said: “I’ve tried calling Dad but his phone is off. Of course we’re all worried. What people must understand about my dad is that he’s an intensively private man. He doesn’t want to cause a fuss for anyone.”

For now Tom is just pleased to be able to see his sister’s new world.

As well as visiting the castle where she will marry, he posed alongside a cardboard cut-out of his sister with her husband-to-be.

He said: “All I want is to see Meg happy and I hope she has found that with Harry.

“It’s a historic event that I’m extremely proud my family is part of. Before I arrived in the UK I was hesitant, in fact quite nervous, about what reaction I would receive but everybody has been so lovely.

“Leaving the country you were raised in to move to another is a major step for anyone.

“But after meeting so many wonderful folks, I know Meg will be in great hands in Britain.”

Now that Meghan’s dad is unable to attend the wedding, Tom from Grant Pass, Oregon, and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, are the only two members of the bride’s immediate family in the UK for the ceremony.The actress’s half-sister, Samantha Grant, who has been highly critical of the royal couple, is staying in the US.

Shockingly the 53-year-old from Florida this week claimed she was not invited to Meghan’s first wedding to Trevor Engelson in 2011 because she is in a wheelchair as she suffers from multiple sclerosis.

Although not invited to the wedding, Tom today toured Windsor Castle saying he wanted to see for himself the altar where his half-sister was to tie the knot.

After entering St George’s Chapel where the ceremony is due to take place, he said he could not imagine a more fitting setting for the wedding.

He said: “As soon as I stepped into the grounds, the history just bowled me over. When you consider the kings and queens who have walked Windsor’s paths and lived in its quarters, to think that Meg is now a part of it is mind-blowing.

“Knowing her as well as I do, and despite her job, there will be no acting by her on Saturday for sure. She’ll be unable to hide her happiness.

“She’ll be beaming from ear to ear. It’ll be a great day, and if Dad is OK and doesn’t need me, I’ll be able to say I was there the day she got married.”

Pictures: Preparations for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in full swing

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