Prince William replaced Thomas Markle in royal wedding photos

Revealed: How the royal wedding photographer balanced the official portraits to make up for Meghan’s lack of family – and Prince William stood in for Thomas Markle

  • Doria Ragland, 61, was Meghan’s only relative at the royal wedding
  • For royal portraits, bride’s family stand to one side and groom’s on the other
  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were placed on Meghan’s side for balance
  • William stood in place that would have been occupied by Thomas Markle  

Her father Thomas Markle pulled out of the royal wedding with just days to go, while other relatives ruined all chances of an invite by criticising Meghan in the media. 

But royal wedding photographer Alexi Lubomirski was careful to arrange the group photos so as not to draw attention to Meghan’s lack of relatives, royal biographer Duncan Larcombe has told Harper’s Bazaar. 

Usually their family members will line up on either side of the bride and groom for royal portraits, but Meghan only had her mother Doria Ragland in attendance. 

‘Meghan’s mum is seen standing next to her daughter and beaming with pride after a wedding that ripped up the rule book,’ he explained. 

While Doria stood in the spot usually occupied by the bride’s father, William stepped in on Meghan’s side so that it didn’t look empty in the absence of her father Thomas Markle. 

The Duchess of Cambridge also sat on Meghan’s ‘side’ to provide balance. 

By contrast in Kate and William’s wedding photos, the royals lined up to one side of William and the Middletons alongside Kate.  

In the official royal wedding photos, Alexi Lubomirski placed Kate and William to Meghan’s right so her lack of family would not be obvious 

Thomas Markle withdrew from the royal wedding amid reports he needed heart surgery 

The formal family wedding shot featuring the Queen has an informal feel and the bride’s mother Doria Ragland, 62, stands proudly next to her daughter looking firmly part of the royal family ‘firm’.

Describing how he did it Mr Lubomirski told the BBC: ‘I didn’t want it to feel like a sports team photo or an army photo, regimented and linear.

‘So he talked about how we could break it and get some rhythm and asymmetry into it and it all came down to very little tiny things – nothing crazy.

‘In terms of how were were placing people – we wanted some people sitting, some people standing, kids on parents laps and that was a huge thing to get that realness out of it’.

Photograher Alexi Lubomirski attended the royal wedding with his wife Giada on Saturday before stepping behind the scenes to shoot the official portraits 

Meghan’s father Thomas became embroiled in drama in the week leading up to the wedding when it emerged that he had secretly collaborated with Los Angeles-based photographer, Jeff Rayner, 44, to stage ‘candid’ pictures of him looking at Meghan’s photo on the internet.

Markle Sr had initially hoped to make the royal wedding, which took place on Saturday morning, but made the decision to stay home shortly after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago.

The 73-year-old said at that time that he did not want to cause his daughter any further embarrassment.

Last week, he was admitted to the hospital for an operation to insert three stents – and as a result, he’s likely to have to take blood-thinning medication for the rest of his life.

Meghan walked part way down the aisle on her own at St George’s Chapel on Saturday, before being met by Prince Charles who walked her the rest of the way to Harry.  

Meghan and Harry also posed for an official shot with their bridesmaids and pageboys, including a cheerful Prince George 



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