Bust-up over a fruit ma­chine led to ar­rest & fam­ily shame..

Meg move is cre­at­ing a se­cu­rity headache Markle blames pain pills for ‘drink-drive’

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY RUS­SELL MY­ERS Royal Editor BY CHRISTO­PHER BUCKTIN U.S Editor

HARRY and Meghan’s re­lo­ca­tion to a cot­tage at Wind­sor could leave them with­out a per­ma­nent pro­tec­tion team.

Scot­land Yard is un­der­stood to be hav­ing trou­ble re­cruit­ing the highly trained of­fi­cers needed to as­sem­ble a full-time unit for the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex in time for their move.

The cou­ple, ex­pect­ing their first child in the spring, are mov­ing from Kens­ing­ton Palace to the grounds of Wind­sor Cas­tle. They have de­cided to keep their of­fices in Lon­don but live at Frog­more Cot­tage.

A tem­po­rary se­cu­rity team could be as­sem­bled from Scot­land Yard’s Roy­alty and Spe­cial­ist Pro­tec­tion branch.

CHAL­LENGE

A senior se­cu­rity source said: “It’s a huge task as­sem­bling a team ca­pa­ble of work­ing closely with mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily, and it’s fair to say this is prov­ing a chal­lenge.

“Not only be­cause of is­sues sur­round­ing the move to Wind­sor and still work­ing in Lon­don but the dy­namic of their fam­ily will be chang­ing soon.

“Then there is the added struc­ture of the team trav­el­ling be­tween Berk­shire and Lon­don.”

Meghan’s fe­male pri­vate pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer quit af­ter less than six months, it emerged yes­ter­day. The po­lice in­spec­tor was on the roy­als’ tour Down Un­der and led the call to rush Meghan, 37, out of a mar­ket in Fiji amid se­cu­rity con­cerns.

A source said: “Sev­eral suitable of­fi­cers, male and fe­male, haven’t ex­actly been rush­ing for­ward for the role. The is­sues stem around com­pli­cated shift work and the amount of travel.”

The Met said: “We do not com­ment on the se­cu­rity ar­range­ments of mem­bers of the

Royal Fam­ily.”

ON RE­CRUIT­MENT PROB­LEM

THE Duchess of Sus­sex’s half-brother has said his ar­rest on sus­pi­cion of drink-driv­ing was sparked by a blaz­ing row with his fi­ancee over a pub fruit ma­chine.

Thomas Markle Jnr, who was stopped in his Chevy Sil­ver­ado truck at 1.33am last Fri­day, has apol­o­gised to Meghan and the rest of his fam­ily for bring­ing “shame” on them.

Po­lice in Ore­gon said the 52-year-old’s blood­al­co­hol level was 0.11% against a limit of 0.8%.

But he in­sists he failed a road­side test be­cause of medicines he is tak­ing for pain in his leg.

Thomas said he was us­ing over-the-counter painkillers and flu reme­dies as he can­not af­ford health in­sur­ance to use a doc­tor.

And he added that the row with fi­ancee Dar­lene Blount, 38, blew up when she re­fused to leave a bar they were in and go home.

Thomas said: “We were in a bar and Dar­lene re­fused to stop play­ing the slots. I wanted to go home as it was late but she didn’t.

“When we fi­nally got in the car, she was fu­ri­ous and the row just con­tin­ued from there.

“When we got home all hell broke loose. I didn’t want things to es­ca­late so I packed up my things, put them in my truck and left. It was why I was on the road so late. When the po­lice pulled me over I said I was in ag­o­nis­ing pain with my leg. The of­fi­cer demon­strated how he wanted me to walk in a straight line.

“I told them there was no way I could. He then ar­rested me.”

The ar­rest is the lat­est fam­ily em­bar­rass­ment for Meghan, 37, who fell out with their father Thomas Markle Snr, 74, af­ter he col­luded with pa­parazzi in the run-up to her wed­ding. He has since given a string of in­ter­views that have ir­ri­tated the palace. The ar­rest also comes two months af­ter Thomas and Dar­lene vowed to give up drink­ing af­ter a string of bus­tups in­volv­ing po­lice.

Thomas Jnr said: “We want to be to­gether but we need to quit drink­ing. I am gen­uinely sorry for the shame this has brought on my fam­ily and I hope they, as well as Meghan, can for­give me.”

Just days be­fore his ar­rest, Thomas said he would wed Dar­lene in March, and that Meghan and Harry were in­vited. He pro­posed in a park near their home in Grants Pass, Ore­gon.

In Novem­ber, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence charges against Dar­lene for al­legedly giv­ing Thomas a black eye were dropped af­ter he de­clined to tes­tify in court.

And two years ago, Thomas was held af­ter

Dar­lene & Thomas Jnr

SCARE The alert at Fiji mar­ket in Oc­to­ber SAFETY FEARS Meghan will give birth in the spring

MUGSHOT Our story on his ar­rest STORMY

RIFT Their dad Thomas Snr

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