Will Meghan Markle's Mom Give Her Away at the Royal Wedding

Following news that Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle Sr., will no longer be attending the royal wedding on May 19, the role of giving the soon-to-be royal away may be falling upon her mother, Doria Loyce Ragland.

After a staged photo scandal and health issues painted him in a bad light, Markle Sr. announced that he would no longer be attending the royal wedding at St. Geogre’s Chapel on May 19 to avoid embarrassing his daughter and the royal family. His reported absence has left one very important role vacant and one question hanging in the air: who will walk Markle down the aisle?

While it was originally announced that Markle Sr. would be taking on the role, it is now believed that her mother, Ragland, will play double duty on the big day.

Ragland was already set to travel across the pond for the royal nuptials, though she was to play no significant role in the ceremony. Instead, it was reported by Buckingham Palace that Markle’s mother would accompany Markle on the ride from her overnight accommodations at Cliveden House Hotel to St. George’s Chapel, where Markle Sr. would then escort his daughter down the aisle.

Markle and her mother are close, and Ragland has already spent time with Prince Harry, who said that she was “awesome” during Markle and Harry’s televised engagement interview. She also spent time with the couple at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in September 2017, making her seem like the most obvious person to walk Markle down the aisle.

Other possible candidates for the important role of giving Markle way include her soon-to-be father-in-law, Prince Charles, who is hosting the couple’s evening wedding reception at Frogmore House. It is also possible that Prince William could take on the role. Future brother-in-laws have walked brides down the aisle at past royal weddings, most recently when Prince Philip walked Princess Margaret down the aisle when she married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. However, given that William is Prince Harry’s best man, his hands are already full on the big day.

The sudden scramble for a replacement comes after a scathing report alleged that soon-to-be royal Markle’s father met with a photographer to stage heartwarming photos of himself reading a book about Great Britain, looking at photos of his daughter, and being fitted for his suit. As a result of the scandal, and recent health issues, Markle Sr. reportedly told TMZ that he had chosen not to attend the royal nuptials.

On Monday night, Kensington Palace issued a statement regarding the controversy.

0comments

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a spokesman said, via PEOPLE. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

The spokesperson declined to go into further detail.