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Jeff Rayner from Canterbury staged photos of Thomas Markle before royal wedding

By Joe Wright

The infamous photos of Meghan Markle's father preparing for Saturday's royal wedding were staged by a snapper from Canterbury, it has been revealed.

Jeff Rayner, who grew up in the city before jetting off to Los Angeles to pursue a career in paparazzi photography, reportedly sold the pictures of Thomas Markle for about £100,000.

After appearing on front pages across the globe, it was discovered that the 44-year-old's photos - which show Mr Markle being measured for a suit and browsing a book of famous British landmarks - were set up.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married on Saturday. Picture: PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married on Saturday. Picture: PA Wire

A former pupil at the Frank Montgomery School, which is now the Spires Academy, Mr Rayner set up a photography agency in America with a fellow British journalist in 2009.

Titled the Coleman-Rayner group, the firm's website details the business as "the agency people trust". It also states that "staff pride themselves on their professionalism".

Following an investigation by the Mail on Sunday, the pictures were branded fake after Mr Markle, 73, and Mr Rayner were spied on CCTV collaborating together.

Other photos show the former TV lighting director exercising with weights outside and scrolling through online stories of Ms Markle and Prince Harry while sitting in an internet cafe.

The couple will tie the knot at Windsor Castle. Picture: John Freeman
The couple will tie the knot at Windsor Castle. Picture: John Freeman

It has since been announced that Mr Markle will not be taking part in the wedding ceremony on Saturday despite previously being due to walk his daughter down the aisle.

The royal wedding at Windsor castle will be conducted by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who last week admitted he is feeling the nerves before the big day.

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