Meghan Markle’s family (excluding her mother, Doria Ragland) continues to embarrass her almost daily. In fact, as E! Online reports, it’s literally how the family makes money.
Before Meghan and Harry made it official, Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle Sr., was just a regular guy, living pension check to pension check in a Mexican retirement village. Her half-sister, Samantha (who went by her last name Grant until Meghan got big and then changed it to Markle), her half-brother, Thomas Jr., and even her nephew, Tyler Dooley, all got by doing whatever it is they did before their relative became a big name.
Now that Meghan has married into European royalty, is unimaginably rich, and is the apple of the British public’s eye, her family isn’t going to fade back into obscurity. Nor are they going to pass up on opportunities to monetize the situation, it seems.
Samantha said as much to Good Morning Britain in July.
“Let’s face it—we all have to survive. Money makes the world go round, so if you want to call that cashing in, that’s fine, but I think no one in media would refuse a paycheck for talking about the royals and, as a family, we’re not subject to royal protocol.”
For a while, it looked like Meghan’s dad would be taking the lead. But, due to his failing health, Samantha has now taken up that mantle.
And take it up she has.
She’s given interview after interview after interview. She showed up unannounced at Kensington Palace — in her wheelchair — and promptly got turned away. She’s hired a publicist. She’s angled for a spot on Celebrity Big Brother. She’s supposedly writing a tell-all book.
And she makes no apologies.
“For someone to say, ‘Oh you shouldn’t take any money. You should turn down a paycheck,’ well, go tell your boss you don’t want a paycheck for interviewing me because that’s cashing in.”
Even Meghan’s nephew, Tyler Dooley, is getting in on the action. As USA Today reports, Tyler, 25, is now a cast member on the MTV reality show The Royal World. The show follows the exploits of “a triple baroness and the son of a Nigerian chief” as they share a room together in the English countryside and get into various shenanigans.
So how much money is Samantha (and to a lesser extent, the Thomases and even Tyler) making from all of this? That’s hard to say. Thomas Sr. supposedly got paid £1,500 (a hair under $2,000) for those famed, staged paparazzi photos from the weekend of the royal wedding. He got paid $10,000 for a sit-down with Piers Morgan. And as for the rest of them, it’s anyone’s guess.