Meghan Markle’s Dad Won’t Go To Wedding & Walk Her Down The Aisle After Heart Attack
Meghan Markle's Dad Won't Walk Her Down the Aisle at the Royal Wedding
There’s been a lot of back and forth regarding whether Meghan Markle’s dad will be at May 19 royal wedding—so will he be there or not? The answer, as of right now, is no.
In his latest update to TMZ, Thomas Markle said he won’t be able to attend the wedding this weekend because he has heart surgery scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, May 16. After suffering a heart attack last week, he was left with serious heart damage. After experiencing severe chest pains yesterday, he checked himself into the hospital today for tests that determined he needs surgery.
The doctors “will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed,” the father of the bride told TMZ. He believes that the letter his son, Thomas Markle Jr., sent to Prince Harry, asking him to cancel the wedding, is what triggered the heart attack.
News of Thomas Sr.’s surgery follows his flip-flopping announcements about whether he’d attend the royal wedding. On Monday, days after it was revealed that he was paid for staged paparazzi photos, Markle declared that he wouldn’t go to Meghan’s wedding “because he doesn't want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.”
However, today, after hearing from this his daughter, he changed his mind and said he did want to attend the wedding and walk Meghan down the aisle. "This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history,” he told TMZ. He added that the bride-to-be texted him that she loves him and is concerned for his health, which is what convinced him to change his mind and decide to go to the wedding.
At the time, Markle mentioned that his attendance to the wedding would be contingent on his health, since he was unsure if he’d be able to leave the hospital with enough time for him to travel to the UK. He initially told TMZ he hoped to get released by Wednesday, but we now know that’s not true since his heart surgery will reportedly take place at 7:30 a.m. that day.
The news comes less than two weeks after Kensington Palace confirmed Meghan Markle's parents' roles for the ceremony. Thomas Markle was set to walk his daughter down the aisle while Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was expected to accompany her in the car ride from her overnight location to the wedding venue at Windsor Castle.
Markle and Ragland (who divorced when Meghan was six years old) were slated to arrive in the UK the week of the wedding, Prince Harry's press secretary Jason Knauf announced. That would've given them enough time before the ceremony to spend time with Prince Harry's family, including: the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla Bowles Parker, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Ragland is already reportedly in London.
"Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion," Knauf said on May 4. Kensington Palace has yet to address or confirm whether Thomas Markle will be absent from the ceremony.
The initial announcement of Markle and Ragland's roles came after months of mixed reports on what Meghan's parents would do during the ceremony, especially her father. There was confusion earlier this month after a letter surfaced from Meghan Markle's half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., asking Prince Harry to cancel the royal wedding. In the scathing note, he blamed Meghan for abandoning their father and claimed she didn't invite him to the wedding. Given Kensington Palace's latest announcement, we now know that's not true.
Just last month, Thomas Sr. was seen in his current hometown of Rosarito, Mexico, reading a book titled,Images of Britain: A Pictorial Journey Through Historyin a local coffee shop. It was just another hint that he's prepping to be at Windsor Castle on May 19. However, we now know this was one of the staged photos he was paid to pose for.
After announcing their engagement in November, Meghan mentioned that Prince Harry still hadn't met her father in person. "He's talked to my dad a few times. He hasn't been able to meet him just yet," she said in her first interview with her fiancé. At the time of the engagement news, they had already been dating for over a year. However, Harry had met her mother, whom Meghan lived with after she and Thomas Markle divorced, a couple times.
Thomas Markle may receive a special gift from the royal family ahead of the nuptials—a coat of arms, which is traditionally given to the father of the bride before a royal wedding,Peoplereports. Kensington Palace and the College of Arms haven't commented, but considering tradition, it’s fair to assume it will happen.
Video: Meghan Markle Confirms Father Will Not Walk Her Down The Aisle
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