Sisters are in it for themselves
Game, set and match to the Ugly Sister. Her dad won’t walk Meghan Markle down the aisle tomorrow thanks to heart trouble, but there was more than that in play. Samantha Grant, the half-sister 17 years older than Meghan, hasn’t stopped slagging her since her engagement to Prince Harry, and ensured a lastminute drama to mar the celebrations. To give her credit, she has admitted it.
How lucky I am to have no sister, and what an Ugly Sister this is. She may be stuck in a wheelchair, which is a shame, but she struck with all the charm of an assassin. This wedding is the Brothers Grimm for the 21st century.
Picture the innocence of her approach to their father this past week; his image in the media is unflattering, a sure sore point for a fat man, and with paparazzi chasing him night and day he was understandably rattled.
Picture the Ugly Sister – not bad-looking actually – persuading him to yield, a mooted $180,000 fee would be incidental, to a series of obviously set-up pictures to get the mob off his back.
Whose idea was it for him to be pictured gazing at a photograph of Meghan and Harry?
Whose idea to have him pictured with a tailor measuring his commodious tum? Not his. I think not. Not when he had an agreement with the palace to steer clear of such tacky invasions of privacy, and not when Samantha admits she told him to do it. She only wanted to help.
‘‘He had no idea he’d be taken advantage of,’’ she says. Least of all by his daughter, I should imagine.
Samantha, 53, is currently a brunette. In blonder times she bears a passing resemblance to Courtney Love, a fellow rebel against good taste and conformity, though Samantha witters on about good manners and family loyalty in an amusing way.
You’d think she was Emily Post, whose manual of modern manners could have proved helpful, but this is the sister who offers ‘‘The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister’’ for publication instead. As you do to close family, as you claim to be.
Meghan’s charitable works annoy the Ugly Sister. She refers to ‘‘situations where celebrities visit a place that is poverty-stricken and they’re wearing impeccable clothing’’.
She herself would wear rags to be in keeping, is my guess. You begin to understand why her husband is said to keep a loaded gun in every room of their Miami home.
What really rattles her – she tells us – is that Meghan doesn’t send her father money. This is contradicted by an unnamed ‘‘friend’’ who says she has done, lots, but Thomas Markle senior ‘‘has always been a slob, selfish with no emotional intelligence’’. He won two Emmy awards as a lighting director, however, and $500,000 in a lottery when Meghan was little. He is now bankrupt and living in Mexico.
Life can be hard, I get that, and families can be as dysfunctional as yours or mine.
Thomas’ grandson wrote an open letter to Harry, telling him to call the wedding off, then wrote again asking to be invited. He’s had a spot of bother over allegedly holding a loaded pistol to his girlfriend’s head. His son has a weed farm in Oregon, where he hopes to breed a new strain called ‘‘Markle’s Sparkle’’.
His brother, a pizza chain manager, supposedly gives cannabis to his three-legged dog. Medicinal, of course. Some reports have suggested the brothers might feature in wedding coverage for Good Morning Britain, with their mother. But not the dog. A shame.
Watching on the telly will be Samantha. You can bet the taste of victory will be delicious.