Britains Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are requesting “understanding and respect” for Markle’s father after a celebrity news site reported he would not be coming to the royal wedding to walk his daughter down the aisle, Kensington Palace said Monday night.
A palace statement on “this difficult situation” did not confirm the TMZ report that Thomas Markle had decided not to attend Saturday’s wedding at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The palace said earlier it would not comment on the report, and its statement did not clarify if the bride’s father would or would not be at the wedding.
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” the palace statement said. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
TMZ said Thomas Markle was upset over the way his decision to have staged paparazzi photos taken of him preparing for the wedding has been received and decided to miss the wedding to avoid embarrassing his daughter and the royal family.
Thomas Markle was set to walk Meghan down the aisle during the church ceremony, and Ragland plans to ride to the chapel with her daughter. Both were to be entertained this week by the queen and other senior royals, including Prince Charles and Prince William.
TMZ said the father had a change of heart over the weekend after the British press reported he was paid to pose for photos that showed him getting measured for his wedding suit and making other preparations.