Kensington Palace Reportedly Blindsided as Meghan Markle's Dad Withdraws From Wedding

Meghan Markle is set to marry Prince Harry on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, though one part of the wedding has undergone a change in recent days.

It was reported that Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, participated in staged paparazzi photos of himself preparing for the royal wedding, causing an immediate backlash. As a result, Thomas told TMZ that he will no longer be attending the wedding, where he was set to walk his daughter down the aisle. He said he did not want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter after the staging was revealed.

According to TMZ, Kensington Palace was completely taken aback by the decision, as the palace had reportedly made elaborate plans for Thomas including a security detail, accommodations and access to various events.

A source added that Meghan's mother will reportedly walk her down the aisle on Saturday.

In addition to the photo scandal, Thomas reportedly backed out of the wedding because he allegedly had a heart attack less than a week ago. He said that he checked himself out of the hospital so that he could attend the wedding, though TMZ reports that he is now experiencing serious chest pains and is considering going back to the hospital.

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

“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.”

Meghan's half-sister Samantha Grant admitted to arranging the staged shots of Thomas, though she insisted on British talk show Loose Women that the move was not financially motivated.

“There’s a lot of scrutiny that it was money motivated, it was not,” she said, explaining that both she and Thomas wanted to take the photos to counteract the negative light they felt they had been placed in by the media.

Samantha will not attend the wedding, nor will Meghan's half-brother, Thomas Jr., with a source telling People that the future royal does not have a relationship with her half-siblings.


“Meghan has no relationship with her half-siblings, nor has she ever had one,” the source said.

Photo Credit: Getty / Chris Jackson