Meghan Markle confirmed that her father will not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday and pleaded for him to receive “the space he needs to focus on his health.”
After days of reports speculating whether Thomas Markle would skip the ceremony, first over embarrassment about a series of paparazzi shots he staged and then because of an apparent heart attack, the bride-to-be issued a short statement Thursday through Kensington Palace.
"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,” she said.
"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.”
Markle will marry the British prince on Saturday inside St. George's Chapel, located on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
According to reports by TMZ, Markle’s father suffered a heart attack last week. He returned to the hospital days later to undergo surgery Wednesday.
The upheaval in Markle's wedding plans has led to speculation over who might walk the bride down the aisle.
Many royal watchers say the most likely option would be Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, with whom she shares a close bond. Others wonder whether it will be Harry’s brother and best man, Prince William, or her future father-in-law, Prince Charles.
Some say Markle may choose to walk down the aisle by herself.
Although William will serve as best man, Markle declined to have a maid of honor at the ceremony so she wouldn’t have to pick one person among her circle of friends. The palace on Wednesday revealed other members of the bridal party, which will include Harry’s niece and nephew.
Prince George, 4, will serve as a page boy while his 3-year-old sister, Princess Charlotte, will be a bridesmaid.