The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘British’ commentator who dominated royal wedding coverage exposed as Tommy from New York

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ride in an Ascot Landau carriage at Windsor Castle after their wedding in Windsor, Britain, on May 19. (Steve Parsons/Pool/Reuters)

Thomas J. Mace-Archer-Mills, ne Thomas Muscatello, grew up an hour north of Albany, N.Y. The Italian American then moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for college, where he studied politics and history. Soon, he started to work in real estate and gave himself a hyphenated last name, adding DeLaCroix to the end to give himself a boost in business with French Canadian clients.

And somehow, in 2018, he and his latest, triple-barreled last name appeared in a number of media reports, on TV and radio, offering commentary on the royal wedding. The self-described expert on the British monarchy spoke in a posh British accent and all.

The best part: It seems that until this week, no one quite realized that the 38-year-old is not actually a Brit.

The Wall Street Journal revealed Thursday that Mace-Archer-Mills, who spoke about British people in the first person, is from Upstate New York.

The royal family commentator and staunch defender of the British monarchy has appeared in some of Britain's most reputable outlets, including the BBC and the Economist. He also serves as chairman of the British Monarchist Society and Foundation, which he founded in 2012.

But it seems most British viewers and producers didn't pick up on his fake, posh accent, which he allegedly honed during a high school production of “Oliver!” and through visits to Britain.

“I found where I'm supposed to be and who I am supposed to be,” Mace-Archer-Mills told the newspaper, explaining that he feels more connected to Britain than the United States. He even found an elderly British man who agreed that Mace-Archer-Mills could call him his grandfather. He met him outside Buckingham Palace as a teenager.

He often appeared in a bow tie, tweed jacket and cap. Speaking to a Norwegian TV channel just ahead of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding in May, the American emphasized “keeping integrity, keeping formality and making sure that the traditions and heritage that we have as British people remain at the forefront.”

Mace-Archer-Mills, whose latest last name is a concoction of relatives' and friends' surnames, is also the author of two books of cocktail recipes. The first is called “To The Queen … A Royal Drinkology” and the second “Their Majesties’ Mixers — When They Reign, They Pour.” He also launched a new cryptocurrency called the Royal Coin.

One of his high school teachers, Jim Miller, told the Wall Street Journal that during his production of “Oliver!,” Mace-Archer-Mills was “able to learn and duplicate a British accent and the appropriate mannerisms for his character, again all from his own research.”

On the British Monarchist Society and Foundation's website, his biography says that he “has worked hard to incorporate like-minded people to be a part of this much-revered society within the United Kingdom, in which cumulatively, under Thomas’ direction, brings British traditions to the next level.”

His father told the Wall Street Journal that as a child, “he told me, ‘Dad, someday I want to move over there and be part of what’s going on.' "

Well, that he certainly did.