MEGHAN’S OUTSPOKEN AMERICAN FAMILY
The Duchess’s family has been a constant thorn in her side since she and Prince Harry announced their engagement in 2017. Whether it’s her outspoken half-sister Samantha or the legal battle over letters to her dad Thomas, the former actress has continued to be embarrassed by her American family.
Thomas Markle famously didn’t walk his daughter down the aisle at her 2018 royal wedding after the pair’s fall-out. At the time, the decision was put down to ill health, although days later it was revealed that Meghan had been upset to learn her dad had been selling stage paparazzi photos days before the nuptials.
Things further soured after Thomas released a letter Meghan wrote to him after the wedding, with the Duchess now taking legal action against Association Newspapers (ANL) publisher of the Mail On Sunday for breaching her privacy by publishing the letter.
In a witness statement, Thomas Markle told the court that he felt he had no choice but to release parts of the letter after People magazine published an article in which several of Meghan’s friends anonymously talked about the father-daughter relationship.
“[It] vilified me by making out that I was dishonest, exploitative, publicity-seeking, uncaring and cold-hearted, leaving a loyal and dutiful daughter devastated,” he said of the story.
The state of the couple’s relationship became abundantly clear when Thomas said, “I love my daughter but I don’t appreciated what she’s becoming,” after the release of biography Finding Freedom, in which Meghan and Harry are widely believed to have collaborated personally with the book’s authors Omid Scobie and Carolyne Durand.
Last year Meghan admitted that she agreed to allow and unnamed individual to talk to the royal authors.
Meanwhile in January, it was revealed that Thomas intends to make a documentary on Meghan’s childhood, no doubt further incensing his daughter.
“We had a good life together, up through her first marriage and her move to Canada. Then a new story begins. It’s kind of like, “What happened to my baby girl?” he told The Sun.
“My documentary will have some new videos and my favourite photo of my baby girl and we will try and figure out what went wrong. I think we will do a good job.”
Meanwhile, Meghan’s estranged half-sister has also been an ongoing source of embarrassment for Meghan.
The 56-year-old mother of two has issued countless public and hurtful jabs at Meghan, and recently released her long-awaited book The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister Part 1, in which she paints Meghan as trying to find rich and famous men.
Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie told the Evening Standard that the book was just another attempt from Samantha to piggyback of her half-sister’s fame.
"I find it quite hard to believe that Samantha will have anything interesting to say about her relationship with Meghan as there simply wasn’t one.
"What we have seen her do over the years is simply jump on to conversations to give her opinion, but she has never been able to give any insight into the duchess herself because she just didn’t know her beyond the time they spent together as children,” he says.
“Samantha represents a period in the past, she has already attempted to cause trouble with the few stories that she has had to share, and I think this book will be nothing more than a rehash of those and it is just an attempt [by her] to be a part of the Sussex conversation again.”
Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Jr has also publicly criticised his sister. Before the couple’s wedding, Thomas Jr revealed he wrote to Prince Harry in which he urged him not to marry.
“As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history,” he wrote.
“Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you. I’m confused why you don’t see the real Meghan that the whole world sees. Meghan’s attempt to act the part of a princess like a below C-average Hollywood actress is getting old.”
More recently he accused Meghan of not helping him when he became homeless, and also said that Meghan’s fame had gone to her head and that Harry would struggle under the strain of her desire to be “in the limelight,” and that Harry has “ changed quite a bit” as they change their lives “to suit her”.
“She walks in front of Harry. God forbid this ever happened, we really don’t want to see Harry wallowing in the corner of a room with a bottle of gin,” he said.
And then there’s the wayward nephew
In 2019 Meghan’s nephew Thomas Dooley was arrested after being found in Hollywood wearing nothing but a towel while high on drugs. The embarrassing arrest was captured on film and posted on celebrity site TMZ.
Dooley, was photographed on his famous aunts knee, was placed in a $25,000 bail. His lawyers agreed that instead of jail, he should be placed on a mental health program.
KATE’S UNCLE ARRESTED
The Duchess of Cambridge was mortified when her uncle Gary Goldsmith – her mother Carole’s younger brother – was arrested for domestic violence in 2017.
The shocking incident took place when Gary and his wife Julie-Ann were arguing in a cab following a boozy night out, with the taxi driver witnessing the traumatic event.
Cabbie Daniel Shepherd told The Times: “The wanted to go to their house. They were arguing, saying quite rude stuff. We got to the house, he paid the fare. She was trying to open the door [of the house] so he went over.
“She started crying and said ‘Call the police, call the police!’ I did. He got arrested.”
Another witness claimed that Julie Anne appeared to have “a black eye coming on”.
Insiders say Kate was beside herself over the shocking incident.
“She couldn’t believe it when she found out… she was so worried about Julie-Ann and so angry at Gary for apparently hurting her and dragging their family name through the mud,” the source said.
“When Wills and Kate found out that Julie-Ann has been taken away in an ambulance, they were sick with worry.”
It wasn’t the first time that Gary had caused major embarrassment for Kate. While she and William were still dating, he was caught by undercover journalists with what appeared to be cocaine, and reportedly offered up other drugs, including heroin.
More recently, he took to social media in October last year to blast the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, calling his niece’s brother and sister-in-law “muppets” and imploring them to “shut the f up!”
PIPPA’S IN-LAW RAPE PROBE
In a shocking case of the in-laws, in 2018 Pippa Middleton’s father-in-law – millionaire hotel boss David Matthews – faced allegations he sexually assaulted a 16 year old girl in the 1990s.
The 74-year-old was seized at Charles de Gualle airport in March 2018, and after 48 hours in custody, was charged the rape of a minor.
“The investigation alleges that the crimes were committed in 1998 and 1999. The investigations will now continue as a judicial investigation and will be lead by an investigating judge,” an official said at the time.
Matthews strongly denied the allegations. “David categorically denies the allegation and unequivocally contents the untrue and scandalous accusation,” a spokesperson said.
THE QUEEN’S COUSIN SEX ATTACK
In January, the Queen's cousin Simon Bowes-Lyon pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a female guest at Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the Queen Mother and where Princess Margaret was born.
The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, a title he inherited from his father who died in 2016, admitted to carrying out the attack on a 26-year-old woman in February 2019.
He is currently awaiting sentencing, but faces five years in prison and has been put on the sex offenders register.
“I am greatly ashamed of my actions, which have caused such distress to a guest in my home,” he told reporters outside the courthouse, adding that “clearly I had drunk to excess on the night of the incident.
“As someone who is only too well aware of the damage that alcohol can cause, I should have known better. I recognise, in any event, that alcohol is no excuse for my behaviour. I did not think I was capable of behaving the way I did but I have to face up to it and take responsibility.”
Known to his pals as Sam Glamis, the 36-year-old was on Tatler magazine 50 Most Eligible Bachelor list in 2019.
In 2010 he was banned for driving for nine months after speeding on his motorbike in Scotland, while in June last here he was contacted by police after breaking COVID-19 travel restrictions.
FERGIE'S DAD AND THE MASSAGE PARLOUR
In a case of the sins of the father, Sarah Ferguson’s dad Ronald Ferguson was caught leaving a dubious London massage parlour in 1998, with the visit splashed all over the papers the next day.
Tabloids at the time alleged that Ferguson had visited the massage parlour several times and had paid for sexual services. They also claimed that he would gift the women with perfumes and bath oil said to be used to the royal family.
He later appeared to confirm the claims, when he told a friend, “I’ve been a fool”.
The News of the World interviewed staff at the Wigmore Club, who told the paper: “He’s not exactly cautious, In fact, I think he is rather stupid. He has talked to me about his problems. He often pops in for a chat, and I usually finish the session off a sexual act.”
Following the scandal, Ferguson lost his post as deputy chairman of the Guards Polo Club.
He went on to land a position at the Berkshire Polo Club but parted ways with the club after allegations of an affair with businesswoman Lesley Player surfaced.
Prince Charles terminated his position as his polo manager soon afterwards, although the official reason was Charles’ need to cut down on his sporting pursuits.
QUEEN MAXIMA'S DAD'S HORRIFIC PAST
When Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti met Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in 1999, neither of them realised what controversy their relationship would stir up, thanks to the link between her father and Argentina’s dirty war.
Upon the couple’s engagement, it was revealed that her father Jorge Zorreguite had served as Argentina’s Minister of Agriculture in the early stages of the National Reorganization Process, and Argentinian dictatorship that took place between 1976 and 1983. During the junta, between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed or went missing.
While Zorreguieta argued that he was a civilian for most of the regime’s regime, outside expert Professor Michiel Baud – who was asked to investigate by the Dutch parliament – concluded that it was unlikely he had no knowledge of the atrocities that had taken place.
“What happened during that period was terrible… the disappearances, the tortures, the murders and all of the other terrible event of the that time. I regret that while doing his best for agriculture, he did so during a bad regime,” Maxima said in a statement defending her father.
Zorreguieta became persona non grata, banned from attending the couple’s wedding in 2002 and from his son-in-law’s investiture in 2013.
He was however allowed to attend the christening of his grandchildren Princesses Catherina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane, with the palace allowing that the baptisms were private affairs. He also quietly attended Willem’s 50th birthday in 2017.
Queen Maxima’s father passed away in 2017
LADY AMELIA'S MACCAS ASSAULT
One wonders what Diana would have thought, after her niece Lady Amelia Windsor was charged for assaulting a man at a McDonalds in 2011.
According to the police report, Amelia, who was 18 at the time, was waiting for burgers at a Cape Town outlet with one of her sisters and two men when taxi-driver Ricci Cinti cut in front of them in the drive thru. He then claims that Amelia got out and flicked a cigarette into his taxi before “swearing at. smacking and kicking” him.
The charges were eventually dropped after the prosecution revealed there was not enough evidence to proceed with the case. Her lawyers arguing Amelia had “suffered enough” from the worldwide publicity that case received.
“She has been traumatised by this case… If she were an ordinary person, she would not have received this level of coverage,” her lawyers also claimed.
After the charges were dropped, her father Earl Spencer said: “Amelia has found it very tough knowing she is not guilty but having the charges against her trumpeted around the world as if she were. Now she has been totally vindicated and I am thrilled for her.”
PRINCESS CHRISTINA'S JAILBIRD HUBBY
Spain’s royal family is used to scandal (after all, King Carl is currently living in exile), but in 2018 the monarchy was rocked when Princess Christina’s husband was sentenced to prison for tax fraud, with the Infanta facing prison herself!
Christina’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to five years, 10 months jail after being found guilty of defrauding taxpayers after embezzling more than £4.5million through their non-profit organisation the Noos Institute in 2014.
Having met at the 1996 Olympics when he was part of the Spanish handball team and she was an Olympic ambassador, the couple married in 1997. For a time, they were Spain’s golden couple, until the scandal saw them stripped of one of their royal titles, the Duke and Duchess and Palma de Mallorca.
The scandal is also rumoured to have caused a rift in the royal household, with Christina reportedly frozen out by her father King Carl and brother King Felipe, with whom she’d once been close. Tellingly, Christina was not invited to Felipe’s investiture in 2014 – the year the couple were charged.
The scandal had the potential to destroy the monarchy, with the public outraged by the couple’s actions, which included charging dance classes and Harry Potter books to the charity.
Christina was eventually acquitted of the charges in 2017, however she was fined $424,000 for “civil responsibility”. Inaki however was found guilty and incarcerated.
Since the scandal, Christina, who was overheard after she was acquitted saying, “What I want is that I finish this, so I do not step back in this country,” has remained out of the limelight, rarely attending public events.
Inaki was recently given permission to work outside his prison in Avila, however he needs to return each evening. He is also allowed to leave prison on weekends and will be eligible for parole in 2022.
For more, pick up a copy of New Idea Royals Monthly. On sale now!