By Jack Hawke
Kensington Palace has asked for Meghan Markle’s father to be given “respect and understanding” amid reports he has pulled out of attending his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry.
What time does the Royal wedding start?
- The wedding service for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will start at 9:00pm AEST on Saturday, May 19
Thomas Markle told entertainment website TMZ he made the choice to not attend the Royal wedding after he staged a series of photos of himself for the event with a well-known paparazzo.
Mr Markle reportedly said he had a reason to make the deal with the photo agency and that it was not primarily about money, but he now deeply regrets the decision and did not want to embarrass his daughter or the Royal family further.
He also told TMZ he had suffered a heart attack last week but checked himself out of hospital to make it to Windsor in time for the wedding.
In a statement, Kensington Palace did not confirm Mr Markle would not be in attendance at the wedding, but asked for “understanding and respect” to be given to him.
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding,” the statement read.
“She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation.”
The news comes just over a week after the palace confirmed Mr Markle would walk his actress daughter down the aisle on Saturday inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Mr Markle was due to meet Prince Harry for the first time this week, as well as other members of the Royal family including the Queen and Prince Philip.
Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is also due to meet members of the Royal family and will spend the night with her daughter on the eve of her wedding.
They will be staying at the Cliveden House Hotel near Taplow, about 15 kilometres outside of Windsor, while the prince will stay with his best man — brother William — at the Coworth Park Hotel, a five-star country house-style resort that sits on the edge of Windsor Great Park near Ascot.
A May 4 statement from Kensington Palace said Prince Harry and Ms Markle were “very much looking forward to welcoming Ms Markle’s parents to Windsor for the wedding”.
“Both of the bride’s parents will have important roles in the wedding,” the statement read.
“Ms Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion.”