Meghan Markle's father was supposed to wear this suit at the royal wedding, sports PR guru buys it at half price
When sports PR guru Johnno Spence decided to get himself a tailored new outfit for Royal Ascot his Savile Row tailor said he had just the thing in mind - Mr Markle’s suit.
A modish three-piece suit tailored by some of Chelsea's finest craftsmen for Meghan Markle's father for the royal wedding was never worn by the intended person.
Unfortunately, the royal bride could not have her father walk her down the aisle of St George’s Chapel as he never made the trip to Windsor castle for the event.
However, in a strange coincidence, a man who just sat a few seats away from Markle at the wedding wore the suit meant for her father, and the world witnessed it for the first time.
When PR pundit Johnno Spence visited Chelsea outfitters Oliver Brown, he picked up the "semi-bespoke" morning suit that was languishing in the tailor’s wardrobe for a nice bargain.
That being said, Prince Harry's new wife had instructed Kristian Robson, the company's owner, to stitch a number of men's summer clothes for her father as his visit to the UK was planned to last at least a month.
Markle's shopping list for her father included a navy blue weekend suit; a single-breasted waistcoat; and a set of tails – all in size XL. It also mentioned three shirts with size 18 collars and double cuffs.
However, after media reports of him having staged pictures of being "measured" for a suit in Rosarito, his hometown in Mexico, by a dummy tailor, Thomas Markle decided not to attend the wedding.
In the end, the bride's father did not make the trip to the much-anticipated ceremony, citing health reasons.
A source said: "When Johnno walked in, the tailor said: 'We’ve got the perfect morning suit for you as well as a summer suit and three shirts for you if you want them.'
"He said they were made for Markle for the Royal Wedding but obviously he never came over to pick them up.
"He said that with a few adjustments, they’d fit Johnno like a glove – and they did."
Spence has a body structure similar to that of Thomas Markle, and thus the suit required only minor alterations to fit the PR heavyweight.
“It was a shame Mr. Markle couldn’t attend his daughter's wedding,” Spence told The Sunday Telegraph. “But you could say his misfortune was my good luck.”
He also bought the summer suits and three of the shirts that the Duchess of Sussex had specially ordered for her father's visit.
“I went into my tailors because I needed a new morning suit,” said Spence, whose clients have included the Jockey Club and the Epsom Derby. “His face lit up and he said ‘Well, actually I’ve got the perfect thing for you, a tail suit, a summer suit and three shirts we made for Markle, but unfortunately he couldn’t take them’.
“I couldn’t believe my luck, and they only needed a few tiny alterations.”
Spence reportedly paid $2,700, at a fifty-percent discount, for the said apparel and proudly wore it to Ascot.
Last Tuesday, on her way into the Royal Enclosure on the first day of Ascot, the Duchess of Sussex is sure to have spotted the suit on the horseracing guru as she walked past him.
The source added: "It is common practice for the Royals to wave at Enclosure guests as they arrive in the carriage procession and Johnno will have caught Meghan’s eye, perhaps.
"He has met the Queen a few times and had dinner with her once."
The 73-year-old lists clients such as Derby sponsors Investec, Chelsea Thoroughbreds and jockey Ryan Moore for his PR firm JSC Communications.
Oliver Brown is the official tailor of Royal Ascot, where it is mandatory for guests to wear a top hat and tails.
The company, established 35 years ago, declined a request for comment by the Daily Mail.
Last week, Meghan's father told the media he had cried as he watched his daughter's televised wedding from a small hide-out that he rented in California.
The 73-year-old said he was "very proud", but that "the unfortunate thing for me now is I'm a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history rather than the dad walking her down the aisle".
"It was a very emotional moment for me, like I said, I cried about it," Thomas admitted on U.K.'s "Good Morning Britain". "But I'm thankful for everything the way it went. I was very proud."
While Thomas acknowledged that marrying a prince is the stuff of dreams, he remarked that his daughter is the best the duke could have had.
"Of course it's 'Wow', it comes out as a 'Wow', but this is my daughter and she's certainly a prize for [Harry] as well," said Thomas. "He's great, an interesting guy, a prince, but my daughter's been a princess since the day she was born."
According to Thomas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have children soon.
He says, "She's wanted children for a long time."
"When she met Harry, she spoke about how much she loved him, and so there has to be a child ... somewhere soon," Thomas added. "I don't think there is a stork in the air yet, but I think it will happen sooner or later."