With days to go until the most talked-about wedding of the year, the family of princess-to-be Meghan Markle have dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Yesterday, it emerged that photographs of her father Thomas, which were seemingly taken by the paparazzi, were staged and taken for his own financial gain – netting the 73-year-old, who will walk her down the aisle, a reported $135,932 (£100,000).

Now, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha has spoken out in his defense, claiming that it was entirely her idea to have the pictures taken. But, despite reports that they sold for such an eye-watering amount of money, she said it was done for Harry and Meghan’s benefit.

To discover why she believed the pictures would help the Royal couple, check out the video below:

“I’m entirely the culprit. I said to him to show the world ‘I’m getting in shape and getting healthy’ so I suggested it to benefit him and the Royal Family,” Samantha confessed.

Tomas is pictured below in an internet café reading a story about his daughter and Prince Harry.

While Samatha could not confirm or deny whether her father had been paid for the pictures, which also featured him being measured up for a suit, she said that if he had, he would have received a “pittance” and not the tens of thousands of dollars reported in the media.

Meghan’s half-sister also revealed that she had not spoken to the former actress since 2015.

Samantha said that she was miffed as to why she and other members of Meghan’s family had not been invited to the wedding. She added that she was unable to attend the Suits actress’ first wedding in Jamacia because it was on a beach and her wheelchair “would have been in the way”.

The palace has yet to comment on the allegations made against Thomas Markle. However, there appears to be no change in the plan to have him walk his daughter down the aisle of St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Saturday.