Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, is no longer attending the royal wedding between his daughter Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Saturday, and royal expert and E! News correspondent Melanie Bromley tells Access this entire situation could have been avoided if Prince Harry had stepped in and gone to meet with Thomas.
During his engagement interview, Prince Harry admitted that he had never met Meghan's dad, who resides in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Melanie tells Access that his comment alone should have raised a red flag for royal-watchers.
"During the engagement interview, when Harry said that he hadn't met him. I had a red flag up in my head… That was kind of strange. Meghan and Harry were together a year before they got engaged," Melanie told Access Live's Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover in London on Wednesday. "That was enough time to prepare Thomas Markle for what was about to happen to him."
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Melanie says the royals left Thomas open to the possibility of outside persuasion because they didn't engage him early enough when Meghan and Harry first got engaged.
"I think that this is a man who felt that he had nobody else to turn to. Paparazzi was able to swoop him, give him a solution to his problems and he accepted that," Melanie explained. "I think if the royal family had been more involved and actually gone out there and really properly briefed him -- and not over the phone, which is what I expect would have happened — but flown to Mexico said to him, 'We are your support network. If anyone approaches you from the outside, call us, come to us, we'll fly you to England, whatever it takes.'"
Thomas was outed earlier this week for staging paparazzi photos that painted him in a better light. He reportedly didn't want to portrayed as a recluse living in Mexico and thought that accepting payment for more flattering photos would help him. The backlash toward the situation was swift. He also reportedly suffered a heart attack following the media attention since his daughter's engagement.
Thomas told Access on Tuesday that he was in the hospital. He told TMZ that he was going into surgery on Wednesday and would not be attending the royal wedding.
"It is kind of like 'Keeping Up With the Markles.' And I'm calling it the Markle debacle," Melanie added. "I do think that there are things that could have been done."