By Lucy Caulkett-
Meghan Markle’s father will not attend her wedding, it has been sensationally revealed at the last moment.
The news comes just five days before 73 year old Thomas Markle was due to walk her down the aisle with her daughter, and give her away to the Royal family. The sudden withdrawal came following claims by U.S celebrity website, that he was pulling out due to allegations he cooperated with a Los Angeles based photo agency to stage pictures of himself preparing for the highly anticipated wedding . TMZ also revealed Markle’s claim to have suffered a heart attack six days ago.
Whilst the official tone is that he wants to save his daughter any further embarrassment, there is the additional concern his health may be a risk factor that must be avoided to prevent a disaster at one of the most high profile weddings in the land. The controversy that has accompanied the revelations could also trigger a further heart attack if he had the extra burden of worrying how the news might be portrayed in the build up to the wedding and even on the wedding day, and thereafter.
Meghan’s half sister Samantha has attempted to take responsibility for the recent controversial photographs of her father, with a view of presenting him in positive light. The move appears to have backfired.
“I have to say, I am entirely the culprit, as we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion,” she told today’s Loose Women.
“I said the world has no idea that you’re getting in shape and doing healthy things. They photograph in the most unflattering ways you can. You need to show the world that you’re getting in shape and doing good and healthy things.”
She continued: “There’s a lot of scrutiny that it was money motivated – it was not. It was my suggestion to benefit him and to benefit the royal family that everyone look good.”
Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry this Saturday, May 19 at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Responding to the report, 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.”
Kensington Palace had announced earlier this month that Markle Sr, a retired television lighting engineer who lives in Mexico, would walk his daughter to the altar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where she will marry Prince Harry on Saturday in front of 600 guests and an international television audience of millions.
Her 61 year old mother, Doria Ragland- a social worker and yoga teacher who lives in Los Angeles, is expected to accompany her daughter in the bridal car. where Markle was then meant to take her father’s arm on the steps of the
The development followS a report in the Mail on Sunday alleging that Markle Sr assisted in the staging of pictures showing him being measured for his wedding suit, working out with weights in a park, reading a book on British history and looking up reports in an internet cafe about the forthcoming wedding . The newspaper printed photographs which it claimed showed Markle and the photographer entering the cafe together.
TMZ reports that Thomas suffered a heart attack six days ago, but had checked himself out of the hospital in order to attend the royal wedding. Kensington Palace announced that he was set to walk Meghan down the aisle earlier this month.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “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.”
He tells TMZ that he had been photographed by the paparazzi frequently after his daughter’s relationship with Harry was revealed, and even more since their engagement was announced in November. He says he did not like the way the photographs portrayed him — he says he was pictured buying beer (which he says was for the guards at the place where he lives.) Orchestrated by his other daughter, Samantha Markle, he posed for photos that he hoped would show him in a more flattering light.