Daily Mail claimed sister-in-law Tracy Dooley and sons were to appear on Good Morning Britain, which ITV denies
When Meghan Markle’s sister-in-law Tracy Dooley touched down at Heathrow airport on Monday night, accompanied by her adult sons Tyler and Thomas Dooley, rumours began to fly about the reasons for the family’s visit.
With no invitations to the ceremony, their presence was attributed to media opportunities offered by organisations on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Dooleys were understood to have been lined up as contributors for Good Morning Britain, with the Daily Mail reporting that they had been recruited as special correspondents for the programme – to which they have already contributed.
Tracy – who by her own admission has not seen the future royal in two decades after divorcing Meghan’s half-brother – was expected to report for Good Morning Britain live from Windsor.
But if that offer was ever in place, it isn’t now. When the Guardian contacted ITV’s early morning programme to ask whether it would be using the Dooleys as contributors, despite trenchant criticism from its host Piers Morgan of the wider Markle family’s relationship with the media industry, a spokesperson said: “The Dooleys will not be contributing to Good Morning Britain’s coverage of the Royal wedding.”
The spokesperson did not respond to further requests asking whether the relatives had been due to appear on the programme at any point.
The incident is another example of the uneasy relationship between Kensington Palace, Meghan Markle’s wider family, and a media industry desperate for stories relating to this weekend’s royal wedding.
The issue came to a head after the Mail on Sunday’s expose of Meghan’s father for apparently staging photographs, despite pleas from the royal family’s press office for the media to leave the family alone.
The family has already proved to be regulars in the media, with Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Jr writing an open letter in a US celebrity magazineurging Prince Harry to call off the wedding, while his brother Tyler promised to launch a strain of cannabis named “Markle Sparkle” to celebrate the nuptials.
But despite the blanket news coverage, there is no sign as yet of any of the extended Markle family being signed up for lucrative punditry slots on US TV networks, who have built enormous temporary studios in Windsor for the wedding.
Instead they have largely resorted to talking with TMZ, the Los Angeles-based gossip website which has outfoxed the Kensington Palace press office with its stream of stories about the Markle family, including regular updates from Meghan’s father about whether he intends to attend the wedding.
This has taken its toll on some of the future royal’s relatives.
“Meghan and I do not have a relationship now,” said Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle in a video defending her right to continue doing media appearances regarding her family and is writing a book entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. “The last year has been strained because of what tabloids have said.”