World News

Markle Confirms Her Father Won’t Walk Her Down the Aisle

Posted May 17, 2018 9:32 a.m. EDT

LONDON — After weeks of media speculation, Meghan Markle confirmed Thursday that her father would not be walking her down the aisle Saturday at her wedding to Prince Harry.

Markle, an American actress, released a statement that suggested her father, Thomas Markle, was having health issues.

“I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,” said Markle, who was reportedly estranged from her father after her parents’ divorce. The two had since reconciled, and Thomas Markle was planning to attend his daughter’s wedding.

But he was quickly ensnared in a paparazzi scandal when the Mail on Sunday reported that he had collaborated with a photographer on pictures showing him preparing for the big day, including some of him browsing through a book of photographs of British landmarks.

The celebrity website TMZ reported Monday that Markle decided not to attend the wedding because he did not want to embarrass the royal family or his daughter.

According to the report, Thomas Markle, a 73-year-old former Hollywood lighting director, had planned until the scandal to travel from his home in Mexico to Britain for the ceremony at Windsor Castle despite his heart troubles.

Harry’s first meeting with Thomas Markle was to have taken place this week.

Kensington Palace issued a statement at the time asking for “understanding and respect.” It has not referred to any specific health condition.

Meghan Markle’s statement Thursday immediately spurred public discussion about who would walk her down the aisle instead.

Guesses on Twitter included her mother, Doria Ragland, a yoga instructor and social worker; and Prince Charles, her future father-in-law.