Meghan Markle Confirms Her Father Won't Be Attending Royal Wedding After His Heart Surgery

Meghan Markle
Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle visits Catalyst Inc. on March 23, 2018 in Belfast, Nothern Ireland.

Meghan Markle will not be walked down the aisle by her father after all. The American actress and soon-to-be British royal confirmed in a statement on Thursday morning (May 17) that her father, Thomas Markle, will not be on hand on Saturday (May 19) when she weds Britain's Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," read the tweeted statement from Kensington Palace. "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

The confirmation comes after days of back-and-forth speculation about whether 73-year-old Thomas Markle would be by his daughter's side at the highly anticipated nuptials following controversy over his reported staging of paparazzi-style photos in which he appeared to be prepping for the ceremony. Meanwhile, CNN reported that Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, arrived in London on Wednesday and will likely play a part on the procession.

Following the revelation over the photos, Thomas Markle first said he'd skip the wedding to save his daughter potential embarrassment, then appeared to change his mind and finally was scratched following chest pains and subsequent heart surgery. Markle's half-sister, Samantha, 53, later said she was the one who urged her dad to take the photos and will also likely not be in attendance amid reports that she broke her ankle and knee in a car crash during a paparazzi incident near her home in Florida on Wednesday.

But you know who will be there for sure? More than 250 members of the Armed Forces, including regiments and units with a special relationship to Prince Harry.

As will the St. George's Chapel Choir.

And pollinator-friendly plants.

And Elton John, who is reportedly slated to serenade the couple.

And a gang of bridesmaids and page boys, including Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cmabridge (age 3), Miss Florence van Cutsem (3, Prince Harry's goddaughter), Miss Remi Litt (6, Markle's goddaughter), Miss Rylan Litt (7, Markle's goddaughter), Miss Ivy Mulroney (4), Miss Zalie Warren (2, Harry's goddaughter), His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge (4), Master Jasper Dyer (6, Harry's godson), Master Brian Mulroney (7) and Master John Mulroney (7).



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