After a chaotic week of swirling and often contradictory rumors, Meghan Markle has confirmed that her father will not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday.
In a brief statement issued Thursday by Kensington Palace, Markle said: “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.”
Less than two weeks ago, the palace announced that Meghan’s father would walk her down the aisle. It is now widely assumed that Meghan’s mother, Doria, will take on that role.
Questions have been asked as to why Mr. Markle was not spirited out of the rundown and crime-riddled Mexican town where he lives well in advance of the wedding, while palace courtiers are said to be referring to the chaos of the past week as the “Markle debacle.”
Thomas Markle’s plans were thrown into disarray on Sunday, when a British newspaper revealed that he had collaborated with a paparazzi photographer to set up a series of images that were sold around the world for thousands of dollars.
TMZ's Sean Mandell told the Daily Beast: "I’m told by sources that Meghan was tearful and embarrassed when the photo controversy broke."
Markle told the website TMZ that he would not be attending the wedding out of a desire not to embarrass his daughter, but did not apparently communicate with the palace.
He then said that he actually did want to come after all, but was not able to as he was having heart surgery.
He said he had experienced a heart attack, which he suspected may have been brought on by the stress of hearing his other kids —Samatha Grant and Tom Markle Jr.—publicly trashing Meghan.
Samantha is now in hospital herself after being injured in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi.