In Depth

Plummy TV royals expert is Italian-American from New York

Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, born Tommy Muscatello, says he identifies as a Brit

A “British” royal family expert who appeared on TV sharing tips to help Meghan Markle blend into her life as a royal has been “outed” as an Italian-American from New York.

With his tweed suit, treble-barrelled name and cut-glass vowels, Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills’s appeal to foreign news networks covering the royal wedding was understandable.

Although unfamiliar to most UK viewers, overseas the 38-year-old “has built a media persona over recent years as one of Britain’s authorities on the royalty”, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In the run-up to the royal wedding, the seemingly stereotypical aristocrat appeared on TV channels across Europe and the US, sharing his insights into what Meghan Markle could expect from her new life as the Duchess of Sussex.

In one interview on Norwegian TV, he sternly advised the former Suits star to focus on  “making sure that the traditions and heritage that we have as British people remain at the forefront”, The Guardian reports.

In reality, however, the plummy-voiced pundit was Italian-American Thomas “Tommy” Muscatello, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obsessed with Britain from a young age, Muscatello said he first adopted an English accent while living in his hometown of Bolton Landing, New York state.

After moving permanently to the UK in 2012, the Anglophile threw himself into developing his desired identity as Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, a name he says he created using the surnames of extended family members.

To further bolster his British credentials, Muscatello “has an agreement with two unrelated elderly British people who let him call them his grandparents”, says The Daily Telegraph.

The founder of the British Monarchist Society and Foundation and publisher of royal-watcher magazine Crown and Country, Muscatello appears at monarchist conferences and even helped organise a Serbian royal wedding in 2017.

Despite his origins, Muscatello says he “identifies” as British rather than American - a comment which drew mocking comparisons on social media to Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who claimed to be African-American on the grounds that she identified as black.

Being exposed as a “phony” Brit did not appear to disturb Muscatello, who told the WSJ that “Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills” was more than a persona.

“I found where I’m supposed to be and who I am supposed to be,” he said.

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