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Meghan Markle was left ’embarrassed and in tears’ over father’s staged paparazzi photos ‘but texted him to say she forgives him’ – as he reveals he is ‘ok’ after undergoing heart surgery

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Meghan Markle is still ‘tearful and embarrassed’ on the eve of her royal wedding over her father’s paparazzi deal and the heart surgery that means he won’t walk her down the aisle.

Prince Harry’s bride-to-be, 36, has still only shared texts with Thomas Markle but has told him she loves him and forgives him for the series of photo stunts for cash, it emerged today.  

Her father is ‘alone and upset’ in hospital after undergoing heart surgery and his children claim he is ‘heartbroken’ about missing her big day.

The 73-year-old has spoken to TMZ journalist Sean Mandell from his bed overnight and he said: ‘Meghan was embarrassed and tearful in private. She is holding up, from what I’ve been told. It has been a tearful and a trying time for her’. 

When asked if their relationship can recover he said: ‘I do get the sense he [Thomas] does want to be reunited with Meghan. She’s no stranger to having to deal with hard moments in her life’. 

Mr Markle may not be discharged before his daughter’s wedding after he had three stents implanted in arteries following a heart attack at home in Mexico eight days ago.

He said: ‘It will take a long time to heal. I’m okay. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited’.

Mr Markle is highly unlikely to travel to the UK so his ex-wife Doria is set to give away their daughter at St George’s Chapel on Saturday. 

Today a wedding rehearsal is planned in Windsor but Kensington Palace is yet to comment on the extraordinary turmoil in Meghan’s family.  

Thomas Markle (pictured at a shop last week) is recovering after he had three stents implanted in arteries after suffering a heart attack at home in Mexico eight days ago and is extremely unlikely to attend the wedding

Thomas Markle (pictured at a shop last week) is recovering after he had three stents implanted in arteries after suffering a heart attack at home in Mexico eight days ago and is extremely unlikely to attend the wedding

Harry and Meghan are said to be heartbroken that Thomas cannot come because of health problems and the scandal of his paparazzi deal

Harry and Meghan are said to be heartbroken that Thomas cannot come because of health problems and the scandal of his paparazzi deal

On the go: The 61-year-old yoga instructor and social worker got picked up at her California home as she made her way to LAX
On the go: The 61-year-old yoga instructor and social worker got picked up at her California home as she made her way to LAX

On the go: Meghan’s mother Doria was picked up at her California home as she made her way to LAX on Tuesday and has since landed in the UK where she is expected to give her daughter away

Meghan Markle (pictured left) pleaded with her father Thomas Markle (pictured right) to walk her down the aisle after he apparently pulled out of Saturday's wedding

Meghan Markle (pictured left) pleaded with her father Thomas Markle (pictured right) to walk her down the aisle after he apparently pulled out of Saturday’s wedding

Mr Mandell told Good Morning Britain: ‘She [Meghan] called him Monday when the story first broke. But he did not have his phone on him and then she text him saying she loved him, that she was concerned over his health and bore him no ill will over the controversy of the fake photos.

‘He [Thomas] told us we wanted to be there and had a change of heart on Tuesday after speaking with Meghan over text and he felt he had pulled out prematurely.   

‘He had originally felt it would be better for him not to be at the wedding because it would cause further embarrassment, he thought, for the royal family, and for Meghan, which is the last thing he wanted.

‘He realised, I’m a father, and I want to be there for my daughter, and I want to be part of history.Ultimately his health prevented him from being able to do that.

‘But ultimately his health prevented him from doing that’.

He added: ‘Meghan is by all accounts is a very strong women. From what Thomas has told me there’s just love being conveyed there and a gentle approach between them when they speak.’ 

Meghan’s mother Doria was given VIP treatment when she landed at Heathrow yesterday and is expected to give her daughter away in her father’s absence.  

Mr Markle said his doctors needed to ‘go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed’ during the operation. 

His daughter Samantha, who has a poor relationship with Meghan, claims her father is ‘upset and alone’ following his surgery. 

But there is some confusion over his care as sources close to the Markle family told the Mail yesterday that Mr Markle had already been diagnosed with a heart condition and was due to undergo planned surgery to fit a stent, the same operation Prince Philip underwent in 2011, early next week – on his return from London.    

Miss Markle’s nephew, Tyler Dooley, has said he hopes his grandfather will travel but said: ‘We’ll just have to wait and see.’ 

Armed officer on the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle during a dress rehearsal ahead of Saturday’s main event

Royal fans are gathering in Windsor today with just 48 hours to go until the wedding of the year

Police were also out in huge numbers ahead of a rehearsal in the Berkshire town today

Military personnel walk the processional route around Windsor Castle before the upcoming wedding

Military personnel walk the processional route around Windsor Castle before the upcoming wedding

Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland flew into Heathrow on an overnight flight from Los Angeles and she is expected to give her daughter away.

Dressed casually in a T-shirt, linen trousers and canvas pumps, and carrying a suit bag containing what is believed to be her Burberry wedding outfit, she was picked up from the steps of the aircraft by a royal fleet Jaguar.

She was driven to Heathrow’s VIP Windsor suite, where Harry’s assistant private secretary Amy Pickerill was waiting with an immigration officer. 

A member of staff from the private office carried her bags.

Miss Ragland, described as a ‘free spirit’ by her daughter and ‘amazing’ by Harry, was taken to Kensington Palace where she will stay until Friday.

She will not have long to shake off any effects of jet lag. It is thought she will meet the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in the next 24 hours.

On the night before the wedding she and her daughter will move with the bridal party to historic Cliveden, a 25-minute drive from Windsor Castle.

It is widely thought that should her former husband, with whom she is said to be ‘barely on speaking terms’, fail to show, it will be Miss Ragland who has the task of walking her daughter down the aisle. Some royal insiders have also questioned whether Prince Charles might step in to do the honours.

Senior royal sources dismissed reports that the ongoing family ‘soap opera’ had caused opprobrium in the Royal Family.

‘Let’s just say that this is a family well used to personal dramas and everyone feels desperately sorry for Meghan, particularly as it has all happened just days before her wedding day,’ said one.

‘At the end of the day, her father is his own man and she cannot control him.

‘Everyone could not be more supportive of her. Everything is going ahead as planned.’   

Samantha Markle gave a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had 'freedom of speech' and the right to criticise her half-sister Meghan

Samantha Markle gave a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had ‘freedom of speech’ and the right to criticise her half-sister Meghan

Samantha Markle, pictured with her famous half-sister in 2008, has said it's her fault their father agreed to appear in staged photos on the eve of the royal wedding

Samantha Markle, pictured with her famous half-sister in 2008, has said it’s her fault their father agreed to appear in staged photos on the eve of the royal wedding

Meghan Markle’s estranged half-sister, Samantha – who has made no secret of her bitterness at not being invited to the wedding – launched another attack on the bride-to-be last night.

‘She’s not going to tell me that I can’t speak about my life,’ she said. ‘I’m not going to take it. She’s way out of her league to tell me that I can’t speak.’

Samantha, 53, one of two children born to Miss Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, from his first marriage, has given a series of stinging interviews about her sibling.

Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), who flew into the UK last night

Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), who flew into the UK last night

She has accused Miss Markle of abandoning her family, particularly their father, during her quest for fame, and said Prince Harry would be ‘appalled by what she’s done’.

Samantha, who has not seen Miss Markle in a decade, has also dismissed the actress as ‘narcissistic and selfish’ and has even penned an as-yet-unpublished memoir entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

Her frequent and increasingly wild interventions have been met with a cold silence by Kensington Palace, although one friend of the couple said they were an example of ‘how complicated family relationships could be’. 

Last night it was reported Samantha Markle was taken to hospital with a possible broken ankle after a ‘confrontation’ with a photographer in Florida.

She was reportedly being driven by her boyfriend, Mark, when she hurt her leg and knee in a car crash.

He is  claimed to have crashed into a concrete barrier after he swerved to avoid a photographer, who had moved in front of their car to take a picture, TMZ reported. 

The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding. He was pictured on May at Doria's house a day after reportedly having a heart attack

The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle’s attendance at Meghan’s wedding. He was pictured on May at Doria’s house a day after reportedly having a heart attack

Two days after his heart attack, Thomas was seen at a McDonald's drive-thru were he purchased a Happy Meal and a cold drink

Two days after his heart attack, Thomas was seen at a McDonald’s drive-thru were he purchased a Happy Meal and a cold drink

Meghan Markle‘s estranged half-brother is the latest relative to turn up in the UK uninvited and called her a ‘perfect princess’ weeks after advising Prince Harry to dump her.

Thomas Markle Jr, 51, also said his father will be heartbroken to miss Saturday’s wedding as he posed outside Windsor Castle last night. 

He recent penned an ‘open letter’ and told Harry: ‘As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.’

He also described Meghan elsewhere as ‘acting phoney’ and claimed she was ‘trying to reinvent herself as the new Princess Diana‘.

But as he arrived in the UK despite not getting a wedding invite he appears to have changed his tune about his half-sister.

He told the Daily Mirror: ‘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.’  

He added: ‘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’.

He also blamed the royal family for failing to give him ‘guidance’ as he embarrassed his sister.

He said: ‘My letter wasn’t intended to cause hurt or upset. 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.

Megan Markle's estranged family members Tracey Dooley and her son Tyler are shown leaving their Waterloo hotel after coming to London without an invite

Megan Markle’s estranged family members Tracey Dooley and her son Tyler are shown leaving their Waterloo hotel after coming to London without an invite

Tyler Dooley's girlfriend, Sandra Bazan, is also in London for the wedding. It is unlikely she has ever met Meghan

Tyler Dooley’s girlfriend, Sandra Bazan, is also in London for the wedding. It is unlikely she has ever met Meghan

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

Meanwhile, with no members of either side of Miss Markle’s family – apart from her mother – apparently attending Saturday’s ceremony, the bride-to-be’s more distant relatives were popping up to cash in on their 15 minutes of fame. 

Miss Markle’s half-brother’s ex-wife, Tracey Dooley, who has not spoken to the actress for 20 years, was enjoying a sightseeing tour of London with her two sons yesterday. 

They were due to appear as wedding ‘pundits’ on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, but last night a GMB spokesman said they had been pulled. 

One of Miss Markle’s nephews, Tyler, 25, who lives in Oregon, runs a legal cannabis farm and has created a royal wedding strain called Markle’s Sparkle. The family are staying in a £70-a-night hotel in Waterloo, central London.

Meghan's friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney was spotted in Kensington ahead of the wedding, along with four-year-old daughter Ivy, who was named today as a bridesmaid

Meghan’s friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney was spotted in Kensington ahead of the wedding, along with four-year-old daughter Ivy, who was named today as a bridesmaid

Meghan and Harry's suspected matchmaker, fashion designer Misha Nonoo (pictured together in 2015)
Misha Nonoo in London yesterday

Meghan and Harry’s suspected matchmaker, fashion designer Misha Nonoo (together left) has also arrived in London (right)

Out and about: Meghan Markle's former Suits co-star Gabriel Macht and his wife Jacinda Barrett have been sharing snaps of themselves in London, ahead of the actress's wedding to Prince Harry

Out and about: Meghan Markle’s former Suits co-star Gabriel Macht and his wife Jacinda Barrett have been sharing snaps of themselves in London, ahead of the actress’s wedding to Prince Harry

Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney has arrived with her three children – Ivy, Brian and John – who were yesterday announced as being among the couple’s ten bridesmaids and pageboys.   

Meghan’s Suits co-stars have started arriving in London, ahead of her wedding, set to take place at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Gabriel Macht and Rick Hoffman, who shoot their series in Toronto, each took to their Instagram accounts this week to share images of themselves both enjoying the English capital and hinting of travel to the UK ahead of the big Berkshire bash.

On Wednesday afternoon, 46-year-old Gabriel, who plays formidable star Harvey Specter on the show, uploaded a romantic snapshot of himself nuzzling his wife smiling Jacinda Barrett as they relaxed by the water in Hyde Park.

‘Yesterday #london #hydepark Today #guess,’ he captioned the picture, which garnered more than 100,000 likes in three hours and attracted a stream of comments from fans, who all but guessed that he was in town for the wedding.

The actor’s wife of 14 years also shared some images of her own from their leisurely excursion at the central London park – which is just a stone’s throw away from Meghan and Harry’s residence at Kensington Palace.  

Harry and Meghan’s rumoured matchmaker Misha Nonoo has also touched down in London ahead of the royal wedding on Saturday.

The designer, 31, shared a black-and-white snap of herself in the capital, along with the caption ‘#womanonthego’, in reference to her fashion label.

Wearing a double-breasted blazer and pleated midi skirt, Misha looked typically chic as she posed for the Instagram picture.

 

Meghan Markle’s brother says she will be the ‘PERFECT modern princess’ – days after he wrote astonishing open letter telling Harry ‘this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history’

Thomas Markle Jr, 51, has arrived in the UK and has changed his tune about his sister calling her the perfect modern princess

Thomas Markle Jr, 51, has arrived in the UK and has changed his tune about his sister calling her the perfect modern princess

Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother has become the latest relative to turn up in the UK uninvited and called her a ‘perfect princess’ weeks after advising Prince Harry to dump her.

Thomas Markle Jr, 51, posed outside Windsor Castle last night and praised his sister despite spending much of his time calling their wedding a ‘fake fairy tale’.

He also said his father Thomas will be heartbroken to miss Saturday’s wedding because of heart surgery and the scandal of his paparazzi deal.

Mr Markle Jr had recently penned an ‘open letter’ and told Harry: ‘As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.’

He also described Meghan elsewhere as ‘acting phoney’ and claimed she was ‘trying to reinvent herself as the new Princess Diana’.

But as he arrived in the UK yesterday – despite not getting a wedding invite – he appears to have changed his tune about his half-sister.

He told the Daily Mirror: ‘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.’

He added: ‘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’.

He also blamed the royal family for failing to give him ‘guidance’ as he embarrassed his sister.

In a letter sent to In Touch, Mr Markle slammed the American star, insisting that 36-year-old Meghan is a 'jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage'

In a letter sent to In Touch, Mr Markle slammed the American star, insisting that 36-year-old Meghan is a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage’

The 51-year-old, who is from Oregon in the US, then went on to claim that their father went into debt in order to support Markle's acting dream and is still struggling financially in a letter he sent to In Touch

The 51-year-old, who is from Oregon in the US, then went on to claim that their father went into debt in order to support Markle’s acting dream and is still struggling financially in a letter he sent to In Touch

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, reportedly pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, reportedly pleaded with her father to walk her down the aisle

He said: ‘My letter wasn’t intended to cause hurt or upset. 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.

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

Their father Thomas has heart problems and yesterday had surgery, so looks unlikely to be well enough to fly to the UK from his home in Mexico.

US website TMZ, which claims to have been in contact with Mr Markle all week, reported that he ‘seemed alert and coherent’ and said doctors had implanted up to three stents in his blood vessels.

He said: ‘I’m okay. It will take a long time to heal. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited.’

Miss Markle’s nephew, Tyler Dooley, has said he hopes his grandfather will travel but said: ‘We’ll just have to wait and see.’

 

Meghan’s mother spends the night at Kensington Palace after being reunited with her daughter as she prepares to meet the Queen, Charles and Camilla 

Meghan Markle’s mother has spent the night at Kensington Palace after being reunited with her daughter yesterday.

Doria Ragland was whisked off to the royal residence after touching down at Heathrow following a ten hour flight from Los Angeles.

The yoga teacher and social worker will now stay at the palace in west London until the day before the wedding on Saturday.

Doria Ragland, pictured with Meghan, was whisked off to the royal residence after arriving in the UK yesterday

Doria Ragland, pictured with Meghan, was whisked off to the royal residence after arriving in the UK yesterday

Miss Ragland is staying with her daughter at Kensington Palace, west London until the day before the wedding

Miss Ragland is staying with her daughter at Kensington Palace, west London until the day before the wedding

Ms Ragland, 61, is now preparing to meet the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the next 24 hours.

On Friday evening she will move with the bridal party to the historic Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire, a 25 minute drive from Windsor Castle.

She is now supporting her daughter through the continuing drama over whether her father will attend the royal wedding.

After being rushed through a private VIP terminal in the US, Miss Ragland flew into Heathrow where she was met by some of Prince Harry’s most trusted aides and taken to Kensington Palace by royal Jaguar.

The presence of Miss Ragland who is extremely close to her daughter and still calls her ‘flower’, will undoubtedly calm Miss Markle’s nerves in what has been an unexpectedly fraught and hugely emotional week. 

Miss Ragland is now supporting her daughter through the continuing drama over whether her father will attend the wedding

Miss Ragland is now supporting her daughter through the continuing drama over whether her father will attend the wedding

Miss Ragland is set to meet the Queen (pictured yesterday) and the rest of the royal family

Miss Ragland is set to meet the Queen (pictured yesterday) and the rest of the royal family

 

The bishop uncle, an outspoken half-sister and a cannabis farmer nephew: How Meghan Markle’s estranged family have turned the royal wedding into a VERY colourful affair

By Ed Riley

Meghan Markle’s family have done their best to steal the spotlight off the royal bride-to-be ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry this weekend.

Never far from controversy, the extended Markle clan have hit the headlines over the past few months, using their newfound fame to exploit the family name.

The future princess’ family are a mix of colourful characters that include a reformed alcoholic, a bishop, and even a cannabis farmer.

Some have even started arriving in the UK ahead of the nuptials this Saturday, as they prepare to give a round of media interviews about the marriage.

Here we look at some of Prince Harry’s future in laws that will soon be forever linked with the royal family:

The future princess' family are a mix of colourful characters that include a reformed alcoholic, a bishop, and even a cannabis farmer

The future princess’ family are a mix of colourful characters that include a reformed alcoholic, a bishop, and even a cannabis farmer

Thomas Markle, 73

Meghan and her father Thomas

Meghan is pictured with her retired father Thomas Markle, 73, in her younger years

Meghan’s father was a workaholic who already had two children from his first marriage to Rosyln Loveless when he met Doria, Meghan’s mother.

He worked in showbusiness, winning awards for lighting direction, and won £560,000 on the lottery which allowed Meghan to be privately educated.

But he split with his wife and left Los Angeles for Mexico after declaring himself bankrupt with credit card debts of £24,180.

He now lives as a recluse in Rosarito in Mexico.

Samantha Markle, 53

Samantha, a writer and counsellor who is based in Florida, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008

Samantha, a writer and counsellor who is based in Florida, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008

Meghan’s half sister admits she hasn’t spoken to Meghan in almost a decade, but plans to release a book called The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

She has launched a number of verbal attacks at Meghan, and hit out when she wasn’t invited to the wedding. She hasn’t seen her half-sister for ten years.

Samantha, a writer and counsellor who is based in Florida and sometimes uses the surname Grant, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008.

Tracey Dooley, 52

Meghan Markle's nephew Tyler with Tracy

The recovering alcoholic (left, and right, with her son Tyler) sells advertising and was once married to Meghan’s half brother, Thomas Markle Jr

The recovering alcoholic, who sells advertising, was once married to Meghan’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr.

She was pictured arriving at Heathrow with her sons Tyler and Thomas. They are in the UK to conduct a round of interviews – even though she hasn’t seen Meghan for around 20 years.

Dooley is documenting her stay in London on a Facebook page ‘Royal Wedding with the Dooley Markles’ where she has uploaded a selection of pictures of famous landmarks.

Tyler Dooley, 25

Tracey's son Tyler is developing a strain of cannabis called 'Markle's Sparkle' in the US state of Oregon, known for its relaxed drug laws

Tracey’s son Tyler is developing a strain of cannabis called ‘Markle’s Sparkle’ in the US state of Oregon, known for its relaxed drug laws

Tyler with his girlfriend Sandra Bazan
Tyler with his mother Tracy

Tyler with his girlfriend Sandra (left) and with his mother Tracy, right

Tracey’s son Tyler – Meghan’s nephew – is developing a strain of cannabis called ‘Markle’s Sparkle’ in the US state of Oregon, known for its relaxed drug laws.

He considers himself a ‘pioneer’ in the legal production of the drug in California.

He claims to have last spoken to Meghan three years ago – and remembers her babysitting them when they were younger.

Thomas Markle Jr, 50

Thomas Markle Jr (pictured) works as a jobbing glass fitter in Grants Pass, Oregon

Thomas Markle Jr (pictured) works as a jobbing glass fitter in Grants Pass, Oregon

Thomas Markle Jr

Mr Markle Jr (after he was arrested in January, left) wrote a letter to Prince Harry describing Meghan as a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage’

Mr Markle Jr – Meghan’s estranged half brother – works as a jobbing glass fitter in Grants Pass, Oregon. His girlfriend Darlene Blount, 37, spent two nights in jail recently.

She allegedly assaulted her boyfriend on New Year’s Day, and a year earlier he allegedly held a gun to her head. Both charges were dropped.

He wrote a letter to Prince Harry describing Meghan as a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage.’

A week later, Thomas apologized profusely for the letter and begged to be invited to the royal wedding.

Roslyn Markle, 72

Meghan's stepmother, Roslyn (above), was once married to Meghan's father. She is the mother of Meghan's two half siblings, Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Grant

Meghan’s stepmother, Roslyn (above), was once married to Meghan’s father. She is the mother of Meghan’s two half siblings, Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Grant

Meghan’s step-mother was once married to Meghan’s father. She is the mother of Meghan’s two half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Grant.

Roslyn (nee Loveless) and Thomas Sr were both living in Chicago, Illinois, when they met and married – but split when their son was 10 in 1976.

After the divorce, Roslyn moved with her two children to Albuquerque, New Mexico, while Thomas Sr relocated to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in TV and film.

Roslyn – who does not speak to Samantha – also had another child named Bobby Lucero, who is now 35.

Meghan's teenage niece Noel Rasmussen, 19, is estranged from her mother Samantha

Meghan’s teenage niece Noel Rasmussen, 19, is estranged from her mother Samantha

Noel Rasmussen, 19

Meghan’s teenage niece is estranged from her mother Samantha.

She lives with her grandmother Roslyn Markle, Thomas’s first wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She has defended Meghan from attacks by her own mother, saying she has spent ‘years’ telling her how much she hates the future princess.

‘She wanted to be nice, to say how much she loves her sister – but after years of telling me and the rest of the family how much she hates Meghan and what a horrible woman Meghan is, which isn’t true.’

Michael Markle, 78

Meghan's uncle, retired diplomat Michael Markle (above), worked for the US Air Force and lives in Palm Bay, Florida. He is Thomas Markle's brother

Meghan’s uncle, retired diplomat Michael Markle (above), worked for the US Air Force and lives in Palm Bay, Florida. He is Thomas Markle’s brother

Meghan’s uncle, retired diplomat Michael Markle, worked for the US Air Force and lives in Palm Bay, Florida.

He is Thomas Markle’s brother.

During his distinguished 19-year career, he worked in Ottawa, Bucharest, Berlin and Guam, and used his connections to help Meghan get a job at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2001.

He told The Mail on Sunday how he helped her get the position when she was just 20.

Frederick Markle, 75

 He is said to be a recluse and is rarely seen outside of the church, which used to have a congregation of around 40, but is now only attended by the Bishop himself

 He is said to be a recluse and is rarely seen outside of the church, which used to have a congregation of around 40, but is now only attended by the Bishop himself

Thomas Markle’s other brother Fred, is a bishop.

The 75-year-old is the leader at the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church in the US, in Florida, where he goes under the name Bishop Dismas.

He is said to be a recluse and is rarely seen outside of the church, which used to have a congregation of around 40, but is now only attended by the Bishop himself.

 

 

WHAT IS A STENT PLACEMENT – AND WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET THREE STENTS AT ONCE?

by Mia de Graaf, US Health Editor

Stents hold arteries open to help improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain.

Past president of the American Heart Association, Dr Sidney Smith, MD, told Daily Mail Online how stents work, when they are placed, and why a patient might need three stents at once. 

HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED? 

A stent is a wire mesh tube that props open arteries.

To open the narrowed artery, the surgeon may perform what’s known as an angioplasty.

It involves making a small incision in a patient’s arm or leg, through which a wire with an attached deflated balloon is thread through up to the coronary arteries. 

In some cases, this is all that’s needed, to go in and break up the blockage, without putting any permanent artery-openers in place. 

However, in some cases surgeons will put in a stent to keep the arteries held open.  

The stent surrounds the deflated balloon and expands with it when the balloon is inflated.

After the balloon has been deflated and removed, the stent stays in the artery permanently.

A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open

A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open

HOW COMMON IS IT?

Angioplasties are increasingly common in the United States and Mexico due to rising rates of heart issues. 

And stents are becoming increasingly common in angioplasty patients, since it is very common for the arteries to narrow again if nothing is put in place (this is known as restenosis, and happens in about a third of cases).  

CAN IT BE PERFORMED DAYS OR WEEKS AFTER A HEART ATTACK?

Yes – depending on what kind of heart attack was suffered. 

There are two kinds of blockages – a STEMI (which is a complete blockage) or an NSTEMI (a partial blockage).   

STEMI stands for ‘ST-elevation myocardial infarction’, which means the patient has suffered cardiac enzyme changes, and changes to their electrical heart activity, as seen on an EKG scan. 

A non-STEMI heart attack, or NSTEMI heart attack, is less urgent. It means they suffered enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG.

‘A STEMI is a very big, severe heart attack where a patient comes into the emergency room and the artery is totally blocked, and needs to be opened up straight away and the stent is placed,’ Dr Smith, Professor of Medicine, Cardiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, explained. 

‘That’s the patient that goes direct into surgery.’

‘In other cases, the patient may have a non-STEMI. They may have chest pain, and they come into the hospital with enzyme changes but no changes on their EKG [electrical activity of the heart]. The need is not urgent. Stents are placed but it can be days later.’

WHY WOULD A PATIENT GET THREE STENTS AT ONCE?

It depends how many blockages they had, or how many vessels were affected.

‘The decision to place stents in the coronary arteries is based on the number of significant blockages that’s there,’ Dr Smith explained. 

‘Three is not out of the ordinary. Sometimes you place just one, sometimes two or three – it completely depends.

‘You places stents where there is a significant blockage. It could be that there were two or three vessels involved, or three blockages in one vessel. That would warrant three stents.’

He adds that the amount of blockages has nothing to do with the severity of the heart attack, or whether it would be a STEMI or NSTEMI.  

HOW IS THE RECOVERY?  

For patients being treated for chest pain, most are usually able to go home the same day of the operation. Patients are often advised to avoid strenuous activities and driving for at least a week.

But Dr Smith said it depends on each patient, and particularly on whether they have other underlying health issues. 

‘It depends on how well their heart is pumping,’ Dr Smith said. 

‘Patients are often able to go home within 24 hours, usually into cardiac rehabilitation.’

As for the patient taking a trans-Atlantic flight, Dr Smith said that would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. 

‘It depends on how they’re doing, and how long the flight is,’ he said.   

  • Any reader who thinks they may be suffering a heart attack, or may have suffered one, should never diagnose themselves. Always call an ambulance if you think you might be having a heart attack. The EMS crew in your ambulance will route you to the right hospital based on your location

 

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