Meghan Markle ‘pleads with father to walk her down the aisle’ after he ‘pulls out of royal wedding’
Meghan Markle has reportedly pleaded with her father Thomas to walk her down the aisle after his apparent shock decision to not attend the royal wedding this week.
The 73-year-old was set to fly from his home in Mexico to give his daughter away during Saturday’s ceremony.
But, according to US news site TMZ, he has decided not to come because he “does not want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter”.
A friend of Ms Markle and her fiancé Prince Harry told the Mail the former US actress “this is not what she wants”, adding that she is pleading with her father to attend.
The friend added: “She obviously wants her dad there. And the idea of contemplating him not being there now is not something that she wants to have to do.”
It comes after Harry and Meghan, in a statement issued from Kensington Palace, appealed for “understanding and respect” to be given to her father amid the speculation.
Thomas Markle has been caught up in controversy after he allegedly staged paparazzi photographs of himself in the run-up to the ceremony being held at Windsor Castle this Saturday.
Speculation that Mr Markle will not walk his daughter down the aisle began after a celebrity website claimed he would not attend, following the fallout from the pictures.
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.”
Kensington Palace would not comment further.
Ms Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle attempted to shoulder some of the blame when she earlier tweeted it was her idea for Mr Markle to pose for what she described as “positive photos” in a bid to combat his “bad” portrayal in the press, but stated it was not done for money.
The Mail On Sunday newspaper reported the story at the weekend, claiming the images were staged and published CCTV footage stills of the US actress’ father in the internet cafe with a photographer.
The pictures were published earlier this month in a number of newspapers and news websites showing Mr Markle in a series of royal wedding related activities, apparently unaware he was being snapped.
Mr Markle was pictured being measured for what was thought to be his wedding suit, looking at screen pictures of Ms Markle and Harry while in an internet cafe, and reading a picture book about Britain while having a coffee.
The celebrity website TMZ first reported that Meghan’s father had pulled out of the wedding.
The site stated that it had spoken to the US actress’ father, saying: “He’s now decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.”
The statement issued by Kensington Palace indicates the concern Harry and Meghan feel for Mr Markle who is likely to be at the centre of intense media scrutiny in the coming days.
Although she lived with her mother in Los Angeles, Ms Markle also spent a great deal of time with her father and is said to be close to him.
There had been much speculation about whether Mr Markle would be involved in the wedding ceremony and his role was only announced by Kensington Palace during a press conference at the start of the month.