‘Frantic’ Meghan Markle’s ‘plea to dad after he pulls out of royal wedding’
"Frantic" Meghan Markle has reportedly pleaded with dad Thomas Markle to walk her down the aisle after his apparent shock decision to pull out of the royal wedding.
The 73-year-old reportedly fears his presence at the ceremony so soon after being caught staging paparazzi photos would cause his daughter and the Royal Family major embarrassment.
The news will have thrown Meghan into turmoil, her half-brother Thomas Markle Junior has said tonight.
A friend of Meghan and her fiancé, said Meghan "obviously wants her dad there" and she was standing by her father and pleaded for understanding, saying he was "not in a good place" and are "begging for people to give him some space."
Harry, 33, is reportedly blaming himself, with the friend telling the Daily Mail: "He feels that anyone who gets associated with his life – this is the price they have to pay."
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Kensington Palace had insisted on Sunday that Thomas would be walking Meghan down the aisle before she tied the knot with Prince Harry at Windsor Castle, despite the pictures scam.
And he claimed he suffered a heart attack last Tuesday but checked himself out of the hospital for the wedding.
Reports in the US said tonight he did not catch the flight he was due on to London today.
Son Thomas Jr, 51, told the Daily Mirror: “Meg will be frantic, she’ll want to know how he is. I’m deeply concerned about him.
"As much as he was dreading all eyes being on him he will not want to cause any embarrassment or deflect attention away from Meghan and Harry’s day.
“He’ll be devastated not to be going but also relieved.”
A friend said: "This is not what she wants. She obviously wants her dad there. And the idea of contemplating him not being there now is not something that she wants to have to do.
"He is clearly feeling under immense pressure. The concern for him is real and genuine.
‘He is a proud man who wants to be a father and not be taken care of, but it’s quite difficult. Everyone needs to pause and think what this is doing to them and, more importantly, to him."
The friend also said Harry was "devastated" at the situation, adding: "He feels like this is another thing in the wake of him… the problems he causes.
"He wants to protect her and this is really difficult for him to swallow."
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “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.”
Thomas told US website TMZ he had suffered a heart attack, but his condition tonight is unknown.
He had vowed to apologise to Meghan, 36, and the royals over the staged photos with US-based British photographer Jeff Rayner.
The shots came after he claimed he had been harassed by snappers.
Reports in America said Thomas admitted the shots, near his home in Rosarito, Mexico, look “stupid and hammy” and he “deeply regrets” the episode.
The pictures included ones of him looking at internet photos of Meghan and Harry, 33, and being measured for his wedding suit.
They reportedly sold across the world for up to £100,000, Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Markle today claimed the stunt was her idea.
But she insisted her motive was not financial. She said: “I’m entirely the culprit. I said to him to show the world, ‘I’m getting in shape and getting healthy.’
"I suggested it to benefit him and the Royal Family. It was not money-motivated.”
It was today announced Meghan and mum Doria will stay at Cliveden House Hotel in Taplow, Bucks, on the banks of the River Thames the night before the wedding.
There was no mention of Thomas.
Harry is to stay 17 miles away at Coworth Park in Ascot, Berks, with best man and brother Prince William.
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