Meghan Markle and Prince Harry issued a statement about Markle's father on Monday shortly after he announced that he would not attend the Royal Wedding.
Thomas Markle, 73, decided not to attend the massive ceremony after he was caught making a deal with a paparazzi photographer to pose for flattering "candid" pictures. Shortly after the news broke, Markle issued a statement through Kensington Palace, asking for privacy on the matter.
"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding," said a spokesman, according to a report by PEOPLE. "She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation."
The spokesperson was asked if the "difficult situation" referred specifically to the staged photo or to Thomas' claim that he suffered a heart attack last week, but they declined to comment.
"We are not getting into further details," the spokesperson said.
It was just over a week ago that Kensington Palace announced in a press briefing that Thomas would be walking his daughter down the aisle at the Royal Wedding. His daughter Samantha — Markle's half-sister, with whom she reportedly has no relationship — said that the photo shoot was all her idea.
"I have to say I am entirely the culprit," she admitted. "As we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion. I said, you know, the world has no idea you're getting in shape, doing healthy things. They don't photograph you buying vegetables and PH water. They photograph you as unflattering ways as they can."
"So I said, really you need to show the world that you're getting in shape and doing great healthy things," she added. "So I suggested it. There's a lot of scrutiny that it was money motivated, it was not. It was my suggestion that to benefit him and to benefit the royal family that everyone looked good and they depict you as you are – in shape and doing healthy things."
"I merely wanted him to be seen in a respectable light. I didn't feel that was being done so I suggested that the photographers show him as he is, doing positive things and that was never addressed," Samantha concluded.
She also repeated the same sentiment in a tweet posted from a private account, according to a Daily Mail.
"The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault," Samantha reportedly wrote. "The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family."