Meghan Markle Prince Harry Invictus Games Aritzia coat

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the U.K. team trials for the Invictus Games on April 6, 2018 in Bath, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert)

If there was any doubt that Meghan Markle would excise members of her own family from her May 19 wedding to Prince Harry, it was erased when her half-sister Samantha Grant (who also goes by Samantha Markle) tweeted, in part, “The Markle family is looking forward to our wedding invites. No one has one yet. Still waiting.” The reason may not be hard to discern. Virtually every member of Meghan’s extended family—a tangled web of half siblings, estranged children and loquacious ex-spouses—is  marketing their tales, complete with family snaps, in the media. And for the royal family, gossiping is the ultimate faux pas. Notably, the only two who haven’t said a word are the two expected to appear at St. George’s Chapel: Meghan’s long-divorced parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle Sr.

Samantha Meghan Markle royal wedding Prince Harry family

Meghan Markle’s half-sister, Samantha

If a gilt-edged invitation doesn’t drop in Samantha Grant’s mailbox, the reason can be traced back to her very public snipping comments towards her younger half-sister, including calling Meghan “narcissistic and selfish” and a “shallow social climber.” Samantha, born Yvonne in 1965, also said in 2016 that Prince Harry “would be appalled by what she’s done to her own family and that “the truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry, he wouldn’t want to date her anymore because it puts her in a bad public light.” Then she claimed to be taken out of context.

Since then she’s alternated between praising and criticizing Meghan, whom she hasn’t seen since 2008. If that wasn’t enough, she’s writing a “warm, witty” book titled, wait for it, The Diary of a Pushy Princess’s Sister. Her three children (from two marriages) appear to have cut off relations with their mother. Her youngest, Noel (or Noelle, depending on the report), claimed her mother was abusive;  handwritten diaries were later published that allegedly showed Noelle claiming to be “leader of the Third Nazi Organization,” calling herself “Noel Hitler.”

Meghan Markle’s half-brother, Thomas Jr.

Samantha isn’t the only Markle to make headlines. At first, her younger brother, Thomas Jr., 52, said some nice things about Meghan. They were really close as children, as Meghan moved back and forth between her parent’s homes. “I do have a sense of pride in Meghan being successful. It was obvious from day one that she was destined to be somewhere really big,” he told the Daily Mail. She’d “always been a princess. She’s carried herself on that level from day one.”

Soon, however, criticism creeped in. It started after he sent his half-sister a congratulatory letter on her engagement but claims to have never heard back. Then, he told the media that he’d asked her for help in dealing with with press intrusions, Meghan apparently said, via a lawyer, “That’s distant family and I don’t know those people.” “That’s pretty harsh,” Thomas Jr. said. If that wasn’t enough to strike him off the wedding invite list, then his brushes with the law would. In January 2017, he was arrested for allegedly putting a gun to the head of his girlfriend, Darlene Blount. (Charges were dropped.) Nearly a year later, it was Blount who was arrested for allegedly assaulting him.

Thomas Jr.’s sons, Thomas and Tyler

Meghan Markle’s half-nephews, who both use the last name of their mother, Dooley, remember Meghan babysitting them when they were children, before their parents divorced. According to Thomas, they lost contact because of feuds between their father and grandfather. “My dad and aunt are crazy,” Thomas told the Daily Mail. I feel terrible for Meghan.” While Thomas is a Domino’s Pizza store manager in California, his younger brother, Tyler, helps run a legal marijuana farm in Oregon, and has created a royal wedding strain called Markle’s Sparkle.

For more details on Meghan’s mess of a family, check out my Maclean’s article, “Why most of Meghan Markle’s family won’t make it to the royal wedding.”