Meghan Markle’s plea about dad’s health as she confirms he won’t attend wedding
Meghan Markle has confirmed her father will not be walking her down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry on Saturday.
Reports had claimed Thomas Markle Snr had just had major heart surgery and would need a long time to recover.
Today the US actress said her dad needs space to focus on his health.
Kensington Palace released a statement from Meghan shortly before 11.30am today confirming he would not be in Windsor at the weekend.
The statement read: "Sadly my father will not be attending our wedding.
"I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.
"I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."
The statement was pointedly issued on her behalf – and not on behalf of Meghan and Prince Harry.
Thomas Markle is said to have successfully undergone heart surgery yesterday to implant three stents.
He told US website TMZ he was “OK”, although it will take a “long time to heal”.
“Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited,” he said.
MirrorOnline reported this morning how Meghan Markle had texted her father to reassure him after he was accused of posing for staged photos.
She sent the message after failing to get through to him by phone ahead of the Royal Wedding , it is understood.
The father of the bride has claimed that an open letter penned by his son Thomas Jnr.
Thomas Snr spoke to TMZ journalist Sean Mandell about his illness, saying he believes his son’s letter was something that may have led to his second heart attack last week.
The letter from Thomas Jnr said Prince Harry’s choice to marry his half sister would be "the biggest mistake in royal wedding history."
Mr Mandell spoke to Good Morning Britain today to reveal more detail about the contact the future royal has had with her father since news of him allegedly dealing with paparazzi photographers and his heart attack broke.
The revelations have thrown plans for the wedding this Saturday into chaos – as Thomas Markle had been expected to walk his daughter down the aisle.
On what contact there has been between Meghan and her father, Sean said: “She has called him, she called him on Monday, after our first story broke.
“We believe that is the timeline of it, that it was afterwards.
“But he did not have his phone on him at the time. She then texted him saying that she loved him, she was concerned for his health, and that she bore him no ill will over the controversy surrounding the staged photos.”
Asked if there was a sense that Thomas would like to get to Britain sooner rather than later, Sean said: “I do get the sense that he does want to be reunited with Meghan, because he told us that he wanted to be there.
"He had a change of heart on Tuesday of this week actually, that after speaking with Meghan over text that he felt that he had prematurely maybe made the decision to pull out of the wedding."
He added: “And he had originally felt it would be better for him not to be at the wedding because it would cause further embarrassment, he thought, for the Royal family, and for Meghan, which is the last thing he wanted.
“But at the end of the day he realised, I’m a father, and I want to be there for my daughter, and I want to be part of history.
“But ultimately his health prevented him from being able to do that.”
Speculation has mounted today over whether Prince Harry will be wearing a military uniform at the wedding.
The royal is widely expected to wear the outfit as a mark of respect to the regiment where he took over as Captain General from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.
Harry is also fiercely proud of his service in the armed forces – where he served in the front line in Afghanistan – which helped shape him become the man he is today.
Soldiers from the regiment will provide a ceremonial guard of honour lining the route from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
Insiders say that marines who have volunteered to take part have been led to understand Prince Harry will wear ceremonial regalia, also known as ‘Blues’.
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