Meghan Markle Staged Paparazzi Shots Before Meeting Prince Harry, New Book Claims

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a roundtable discussion
Jeremy Selwyn / Getty Images

Meghan Markle had a falling out with her father, Thomas Markle, after he staged photos with the paparazzi to make some quick cash. But a new book claims that the former Suits actress once did the same thing in order to help bolster her fame.

As OK! Magazine reports, the new biography, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, claims that Meghan’s public relations team worked with her in 2015 to make sure that she became better known in the U.K.

Reportedly, her agent helped her stage shots walking into restaurants or otherwise moving about town.

“Meghan knew the photographer was going to be at the Kensington restaurant to take her photos of her arrival. It was all pre-arranged,” a source said.

But after meeting her now-husband and the father of her son through a setup from a mutual friend, she made an effort to keep their burgeoning romance between just the two of them.

“While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince,” a source said in the book.

Apparently, she wanted to keep things private so that the budding romance could develop without the pressure that comes from fame.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a Creative Industries and Business Reception on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  Chris Jackson / Getty Images

“She knew keeping things quiet meant they could get to know each other without pressure or further worries that came from reporters covering their romance.”

Meghan’s former PR rep, Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, denied that they ever set up staged shots, and the biography’s authors confirm that they did not interview the Duke and Duchess of Sussex themselves, but instead focused on conversations with friends and insiders.

The news comes two years after Meghan’s father was spotted collaborating with British paparazzi to take some images after Kensington Palace warned photographers to respect the then-73-year-old’s privacy.

As the Daily Mail reported at the time, the former lighting director was caught on CCTV at an internet cafe with a well-known photographer who took images that were eventually sold to newspapers around the globe.

The images show Thomas being measured for his suit that he intended to wear for the wedding and reading a book while in Starbucks. He was also photographed exercising, presumably to get in shape for the wedding.

The biography also claims that Harry and Meghan were warned to chat with him prior to their wedding to help him navigate the intense public scrutiny, but they refused to do so.

Ultimately, Thomas didn’t attend the big event after having a heart attack. He and his daughter have had an icy and distant relationship ever since.