The Royal Family Just Responded to Meghan Markle's Dad Ditching the Royal Wedding

Kensington Palace has responded to reports that Meghan Markle’s dad, Thomas Markle, won’t be attending the royal wedding this Saturday, and therefore won’t be walking his daughter down the aisle. A spokesman from the palace said in a statement:

“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.”

The comments arrive hours after Thomas Markle told TMZ that he will not attend the wedding after stirring controversy with staged paparazzi photos, which first made headlines over the weekend.

He also revealed that he suffered a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of the hospital in time to attend the ceremony. However, after the fallout with his planned photographs, “he’s now decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.”

The father of the bride admitted that he made a deal allowing paparazzi to photograph him getting ready for Meghan’s upcoming wedding to Prince Harry but “meant no harm to Meghan or the Royal Family” with the arrangement.

Some of the staged snaps included pictures of him reading an Images of Britain in a coffee shop, perusing photos of Harry and Meghan online at an internet cafe, and getting measured for a suit.

Markle told TMZ that a paparazzi agency approached him with the opportunity and offered him money, but it was “nowhere near” the $100,000 sum previously reported by the Daily Mail.

Markle “figured there was no harm in it and it would help recast his image,” per TMZ. Now looking back, he said his paparazzi pictures look “stupid and hammy,” and he regrets making the agreement with the photo agency. This morning, Thomas’ daughter (and Meghan’s half sister) Samantha claimed that staging the photos photos was her idea.

It’s now unknown who will give Meghan away at St. George’s Chapel on May 19.

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