Meghan Markle's Sister 'Nearly Choked' Over Exposé of Father Thomas Markle

Meghan Markle's sister has described setting up the staged paparazzi shots at the center of the rift between the duchess and her father in a new memoir.

Thomas Markle was caught faking images of him getting ready for the royal wedding just days before his daughter tied the knot with Prince Harry at Windsor Castle.

In the aftermath, the father of the bride announced he would pull out of the ceremony to spare his daughter's blushes and days later he suffered a heart attack.

Samantha Markle gives a behind the scenes account of the episode in the first installment of her two part memoir The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister, published by Central Park South Publishing.

She writes: "I got a call from someone offering to connect me with a photographer friend by the name of Jeff [Rayner], who promised to discreetly take photographs of my father, putting him in an honest light, because other photographers had been so disparaging, intentionally.

"I received no money for the deal per my request, and the goal for my father was not money, because he had been turning down $50,000 interviews. It was just allowing the Royals and the world to see him in his proper light, because he was so horribly labeled and photographed.

"It was like watching vultures feast. The photographer said, 'Don't worry, I will take good care of your dad, and nobody will even see.'"

Meghan Markle on Her Wedding Day
Meghan Markle leaves Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau carriage during a procession after getting married at St Georges Chapel on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Just days earlier, her father Thomas Markle was outed for staging paparazzi pictures. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty

Samantha Markle, who previously used the surname Grant, said she asked the photographer to stay 100 yards away and be "discreet" but her warning fell on deaf ears.

Photographer Jeff Rayner, of agency Coleman-Rayner, and Thomas Markle were filmed on CCTV as they set up a photo shoot at the Omega internet cafe near his home in Rosarito, Mexico.

The story broke in U.K. tabloid the Mail on Sunday shortly after Kensington Palace had issued a warning to journalists to respect his privacy.

Samantha Markle wrote: "When I saw some of the photographs, I was delighted, until I saw an article that said he 'staged photographs.'

"I nearly choked, when I saw photographs of the photographer walking 3 feet behind my father, as seen on an Internet Cafe surveillance camera. I was guaranteed that he would not be visible, and I'm sure he knew that the camera was there on the ceiling, so I felt as though I had been baited, and so had my father.

"I was guaranteed it would be discreet, and then he publicly allowed himself to be seen walking 3 feet behind my father with the long lens camera, and furthermore, bragged about it on his Facebook page the following day.

"I sent an email to the photographer, letting him know that I was horribly upset by what had occurred, and he said that he would arrange 'something' with my father that would make him happy, and that he would 'fix the situation.' The damage was done, and the thought of 'fixing it' was tragicomedy at best."

Samantha Markle gave multiple interviews to the media in the run up to the May 2018 wedding, including for money.

She has been a controversial figure in the story of Meghan's entrance into the royal family, with critics claiming she overstated her connection to the duchess.

And she was mentioned in a letter Meghan sent her father about the breakdown of their relationship in the August after the marriage, which is at the heart of a lawsuit Meghan brought against the Mail on Sunday.

A recent court filing quotes one extract: "I pleaded you to stop reading the tabloids. On daily basis you fixated and clicked on the lies they were writing about me, especially those manufactured by your other daughter, who I barely know."

It adds: "You watched me silently suffer at the hand of her vicious lies, I crumbled inside."

Meghan Markle, Doria Ragland at Royal Wedding
Meghan Markle with her mother Doria Ragland arrives at Windsor Castle ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty

Samantha Markle, who is 17 years older than Meghan, addressed her decision to sell her story in the memoir, saying Queen Elizabeth II's famous "never explain, never complain" approach was easier to adopt for those with privilege.

She wrote: "It was a 'Catch 22' situation, and as we all had bills to pay, and I am living with disability, I decided that when it was appropriate, and what I had to say seemed to have social utility, why should I not be compensated?

"The world was wanting to know about so many things, and I refused to lie helpless tied to train tracks bound and gagged. It was appalling to me, to think that anyone would assume that it was OK for media to make millions of dollars on us, while we struggled, and yet the interviewers took our time, and made exponentially more money than we ever could by using us as subjects.

"I believe in win-win situations, and I was adamant about the fact that, if they were going to make money, then so were we. I did not feel I had to apologize for that, because money allows us to survive. I knew that I could put some of that money towards adaptive equipment I needed in my home, so that I would be safer and be able to navigate my home."