How Meghan Markle's Uninvited Family Crashed The Royal Wedding

Meghan Markle lived out a fantasy most women could only dream of on May 19, 2018. The American actress married Prince Harry in a public ceremony in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in front of 600 guests, as well as thousands of onlookers gathered outside to catch a glimpse of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Though the wedding was well-attended both in person and by tens of millions watching live at home, there were some glaring absences— namely, much of Markle's family. In fact, the only Markles to score invites to the royal wedding were Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, and her father, Thomas Markle. Her mom made it, but her dad was unable to attend following a series of embarrassing tabloid debacles and emergency heart surgery.

After watching the nuptials from the hospital, Thomas expressed joy for his daughter, and also nicely summed up the drama caused by his extended family.' "Now I pray that Harry and Meghan can go on a nice honeymoon and rest and relax, and all of my relatives will just shut up about everything," he told TMZ. Wow! Let's jump right into that and take a closer look at how Meghan Markle's uninvited family members crashed the royal wedding.

Maybe sit the next few plays out, Thomas Jr.

Thomas Markle Jr. is Meghan Markle's half-brother. He's the son of Thomas Markle and his first wife, Robyn Loveless, and to say that he has been a handful during the lead up to the royal wedding is putting it mildly. On top of his arrest making the news, Tom Jr. also took it upon himself to write letters to both Prince Harry and Meghan, first begging for the wedding to be called off, then apologizing and begging for an invite.

"We should all be there to show our love and support on your wedding day, because that's what families do," Thomas Jr. wrote in his letter to Meghan (via InTouch). Perhaps unsurprisingly, that save-the-date never arrived. So what did Thomas Jr. do? 

He flew to London to sit down for an exclusive tabloid interview, of course! Speaking with The Mirror, Thomas Jr. referred to himself as "an a**" and again expressed regret over his first letter to Prince Harry — the one in which he referred to Meghan as "a jaded, shallow, conceited woman." He then speculated on Meghan and Harry's relationship, Meghan's wedding dress, and how "children is definitely on the agenda" for them. The only thing Thomas Jr. refused to divulge was how exactly he planned to spend the day while Meghan and Harry tied the knot. Here's a hint: Not doing the electric slide with Prince Charles.  

No invite? No problem!

Thomas Jr. wasn't the only Markle family member to become especially media friendly for the royal wedding. Junior's ex-wife, Tracy Dooley (above right), and their two sons, Tyler (left) and TJ (middle) have also given their fair share of interviews. Most notably, Tyler spoke with the Daily Mail about his Oregon cannabis farm, where he developed a special strain called — wait for it — Markle's Sparkle.

Unlike Thomas Jr., this trio has been outwardly supportive of Meghan and Prince Harry, telling Good Morning Britain that they would have loved to have been invited but understood the "exclusive" nature of the event. There was a rumor floating around that the three of them would serve as "special correspondents" for "Good Morning Britain's wedding coverage. However that either turned out to be untrue or was unceremoniously cancelled.

Regardless, the Dooleys ended up in London for the merry affair. Tracy shared much of the trip on Facebook, posting several tourist pics on the day of the wedding:  "Blessings and love to the Royal Couple! Thank you London for such a welcoming stay, love it here!" 

But it wouldn't be a Markle family road trip without some sort of drama, right? Which brings us to...

Bringing a knife to a wedding you weren't invited to

Just hours after his aunt married the man who is sixth in line to the British throne, Tyler Dooley made headlines of his own by bringing a knife to a London nightclub. According to The Sun, Dooley informed the bouncers at Bacchus that he had a four-inch "lock-knife" on him while they were searching him before letting him in the club. Sources told The Sun that the bouncers "acted very calmly and dialed 999 (the British version of 911)," at which point, Dooley "ran off." 

Police confiscated the knife, and, as of this writing, have not arrested anyone in connection with the incident. Tyler allegedly told another clubgoer that he was packing the blade in response to President Trump's commentary on the apparent rise in violent crime in London. Hoo boy, that is a whole lot of crazy packed into one royal wedding anecdote.

When reporters later caught up with the Dooleys at their hotel to question them about the incident, they reportedly "hid inside a bin cupboard at the Hilton DoubleTree hotel." Ah finally, a rational decision from this crew. 

Even the 'good ones' couldn't help themselves

Even the family members who haven't outright embarrassed Meghan Markle in the press couldn't resist a little media exposure. Enter Noel Rasmussen, daughter of Samantha Markle (Thomas Markle Jr.'s sister), which also makes her Meghan's niece.

Rasmussen also made the trek to London without a royal invite in hand. Once there, she sat down with The Mirror to say just how proud she was of her aunt and how equally sad she was about how the rest of the family members handled themselves. "We're just regular people — then all of a sudden Meghan began dating Prince Harry and it has been crazy ever since," Rasmussen said. "They're just really feeling hurt and they don't know how to deal with it."

Rasmussen wouldn't share how she spent the day of her aunt's wedding. "Meghan looked so beautiful," she said. "I'm thrilled by how popular she is here."

The half-sister who is a full-on royal pain

Meghan Markle's half-sister, Samantha — where do we even begin? For starters, we can say that Samantha, who only just recently changed her last name from Grant to Markle, has been promoting a memoir originally titled The Diary of Princess Pushy. Yeah. On top of that, she's seemingly been in constant contact with the tabloids for months leading up to the wedding. In those interviews, she has accused Meghan of abandoning her father, insulted Prince Harry's masculinity, and insinuated that she's under attack from the media.

There's much more to Samantha's antics, which you can read about here, so long as watching slow motion trainwrecks is kind of your thing. Anyway, this story is about how she crashed the royal wedding, so we have to say right up front: she didn't. But don't worry, because she found a way to make a spectacle of herself without paying for an international flight.

Samantha announced to TMZ that she was throwing a "viewing party" to watch the wedding broadcast at her home in Ocala, Fla., complete with "off-duty police officers" as hired security to keep prying eyes away. Of course, that likely could have been achieved by not announcing the party to the press in the first place. Her boyfriend, Mark Phillips, told the Daily Mail that Samantha lined up "an exclusive TV interview" during the party that netted her "a five-figure sum." So, in case you've ever pondered the exact dollar amount of a human being's dignity, we think we found your answer.

Did Ashleigh Hale get a secret invite?

There have been a few of Meghan Markle's family members who, like her mother, managed to comply with her request for complete media silence. One of them is Ashleigh Hale, another daughter of Samantha Markle, and half-sister to the aforementioned Noel Rasmussen.

Though she has stayed mum throughout Meghan's whirlwind romance, it has been reported that she and Meghan are so close that Hale was the "inspiration" for Meghan's star-making role as a "trainee lawyer" on Suits. As of October 2017, Hale worked as an associate attorney at BWW Law Group in Richmond, Va., according to the Sunday Express. She also featured prominently on Meghan's since-deleted Instagram account.

Thanks to her closeness with Meghan and her ability to do something as simple as utter the words "no comment," Hale may have scored a secret invitation to the wedding. That's according to Rasmussen, who told The Mirror, "I know that Ashleigh and Meghan have been close so it would not surprise me at all." 

Have the royal wedding your way

In perhaps the most innocuous possible attempt at "crashing" the royal wedding, Meghan's aunt and cousin, who also live in Florida, were snapped sporting paper crowns from Burger King after hitting up the fast food joint on the day of the nuptials. 

Speaking with the Daily Mail, Nick Markle, Meghan's cousin (not pictured above), took his mom, Theresa Markle (also not pictured above), out for a quick bite after they watched the wedding live on TV in the early morning. (The Florida Markles would have viewed the ceremony at 7 a.m. due to the time difference.) Nick gave no other details about the meal or his feelings about the wedding snub.

When it comes to royal family shenanigans, trust no one

We know we just spent a good amount of time highlighting all the ways Meghan Markle's uninvited family members seemed to intrude upon her special day, but there is one small anecdote from this fairy tale wedding that actually fits perfectly with that narrative, except we had to fudge slightly on the family connection.

Thanks to weatherman and 15-minute Twitter celebrity Alex Beresford's quick camera work, Meghan was captured during her carriage ride seemingly recognizing her former drama teacher, Gigi Perreau, who along with thousands of onlookers outside Windsor Castle, also technically crashed the wedding. "She saw you!" someone in the crowd shouted to Perreau as Meghan and Harry passed by. "I know!" Perreau excitedly replied.

What a lovely moment, right? Except we also found out that Perreau, who is a former actress herself, was hired by ITV as an "exclusive contributor" for its royal wedding coverage. So, was this a nice bit of serendipity or a manufactured viral moment? Just how deep do these royal wedding family scandals go?