Meghan Markle’s father won’t be attending the royal wedding this Saturday, following reports he suffered a heart attack days ago, and therefore won’t be walking his daughter down the aisle.
A spokesman from Kensington Palace said in a statement: “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding”.
“She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation.”
The comments arrive hours after Thomas Markle told TMZ that he will not attend the wedding after stirring controversy with staged paparazzi photos, which first made headlines over the weekend.
He also revealed that he suffered a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of the hospital in time to attend the ceremony.
However, after the fallout with his planned photographs “he’s now decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter”.
The father of the bride admitted that he made a deal allowing paparazzi to photograph him getting ready for Meghan’s upcoming wedding to Prince Harry but “meant no harm to Meghan or the Royal Family” with the arrangement.
Some of the staged snaps included pictures of him reading an Images of Britain in a coffee shop, perusing photos of Harry and Meghan online at an internet cafe, and getting measured for a suit.
Markle told TMZ a paparazzi agency approached him with the opportunity and offered him money, but it was “nowhere near” the $100,000 sum reported by some media.
Markle “figured there was no harm in it and it would help recast his image,” he told TMZ.
Now looking back, he said his paparazzi pictures looked “stupid and hammy,” and he now regrets making the agreement with the photo agency.
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It is now unknown who will give Meghan away at St. George’s Chapel on May 19, but it is believed it may be her mother Doria Ragland.
Meghan’s half-sister Samantha, who previously questioned her sibling’s motives for charity and humanitarian work, took the blame for the pictures, telling ITV’s Loose Women she wanted to present a “positive” image of her father.
“The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family,” she said.