Meghan Markle's father 'not attending wedding' because he doesn't want to 'embarrass' daughter
Meghan Markle's father will "not be attending" the royal wedding after reportedly admitting that he doesn't want to embarrass his daughter.
Thomas Markle allegedly told celebrity news website TMZ on Monday that he would not be flying to London to walk his daughter down the aisle, as planned, at the ceremony due to take place at St George's Chapel in Windsor this Saturday.
His decision comes after it was revealed that he had been paid to pose for paparazzi photos that were then sold to news outlets all over the world. The widely circulated pictures showed him being measured for a wedding suit, as well as' looking at newspaper stories about his daughter.
In a statement issued on her behalf by Kensington Palace on Thursday, Markle herself confirmed the rumours that her father would not be coming to the wedding, claiming that he wouldn't make it due to bad health: "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday." Her father has claimed that stress about his daughter's pending nuptials had brought on his heart attack.
Markle- who revealed to TMZ that he had suffered from a heart attack this week - apparently told TMZ that since Meghan started dating Prince Harry back in 2016 he had been offered numerous photo and interview deals, worth anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000. He went on to say that he had rejected all of them.
However, when the paparazzi agency who later took the pictures of him in his suit approached him, he apparently thought there would be "no harm" in taking part, thinking that it would help him revamp his image.
This did not go to plan, with it soon being disclosed to the press that he had been paid for the images. Other reports alleged that the Queen was "angry" about the situation and planning to talk to him about "royal protocol".
On Monday, Kensington Palace spokesman responded to his decision not to attend, appealing for privacy for Meghan at this difficult time. They stated: "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."
Samantha Markle, Ms Markle's half-sister from her father's first marriage, had said earlier in the week that she hoped her father would still attend the wedding. She told Good Morning Britain that the paparazzi photographs had been taken with "good intention" and that Mr Markle had suffered a heart attack due to stress.
She also added the media had "raked him over the coals" and "distorted his image", stating that "he had a moral right to set the record straight and defend himself."
Meghan's father's absence had broached the question: who will walk Meghan down the aisle? After much speculation, it was confirmed on Friday that Harry's father, Prince Charles, would be the one to escort her down the aisle at St George's Chapel in Windsor on Saturday.