I’VE ALWAYS CARED FOR DAD
Meghan Markle breaks silence
ROYAL bride-to-be Meghan Markle has broken her silence over her controversial father, confirming last night he would not attend her wedding to Prince Harry tomorrow.
Thomas Markle (left) will not be at the Windsor Castle ceremony, a per- sonal statement issued by Kensington Palace said. “I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,’’ Ms Markle said in the statement.
Her 73-year-old dad is recovering in Mexico after heart surgery following days of speculation about walking his daughter down the aisle.
The palace announcement comes as Ms Markle’s mother Doria Ragland and the actor’s Suits co-stars arrived in England for the wedding.
BRITAIN is getting ready for the party of the year for tomorrow’s royal wedding, with fans planning everything from street parties to royal-themed hot spa boat rides.
Hotels and pubs across Britain are preparing to cash in on Prince Harry marrying Meghan Markle by screening the ceremony live and encouraging royal dress-up competitions and sweeps.
Aussies living in Britain are getting in on the action, with Australian expats telling the Herald Sun they will dress up and hold parties of their own.
Rohan Johnston, 31, originally from Coffs Harbour in New South Wales but now living in Shoreditch, London, has booked out his favourite pub — The Kenton in Hackney — for the wedding.
He will throw a party for 45 of his Aussie mates. The group has hired a projector to screen the wedding.
They are also playing sweeps on the guest list, with bets on whether the Queen will be dressed in blue and who will be wearing the most ridiculous hat — with most bets going to Princess Beatrice.
“I think the locals find it a bit weird that we’re so into it but whenever there’s a big royal event we go all out,” Mr Johnston said.
“I’ve been keeping track of all the stories and following all the royal Instagram pages since moving here.
“It’s kind of a novelty and I want to embrace everything.’’
Bek Mellefont, a 27-yearold from Sydney, is helping Rohan organise the bash and said she had been swept up in royal fever since moving to London.
“I’m really enjoying the family drama of Meghan’s crazy relatives,” Ms Mellefont said.
“We might not necessarily always agree with the whole monarchy but it is exciting we’re here while the wedding is on and we can have fun with it.’’
Bars across London have created royal-themed cocktails to get into festivities.
Nightclubs are also embracing the royal mania, with Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club holding a risqué “hen’s night” for Markle the night before the wedding.
Pubs will also stay open for an extra hour — until 1am — and local councils have scratched the usual charges on road closures for street parties.
The BBC also has waived its licensing fees to encourage people to screen the wedding.
Valuation firm Brand Finance forecasts parties and events held on the day will inject $450 million into the British economy.
In a novel idea, North London brand Hotug will ferry people in its fire-powered hot spa boats across the River Thames in Windsor as the ceremony takes place.
Even London’s annual Big Day Out music festival will screen the service and has created a “Queen’s Tavern” where they are expecting about 6000 people to turn up.
For a more genteel experience, the nuptials will be screened in some churches, including former church One Marylebone, where their event will include corsage making and cake-decorating contests.
Manetta’s Bar in Mayfair will be serving a Windsor Fizz — a drink made of bourbon and hibiscus, infused with English breakfast tea and garnished with 24 karat gold.
Other super fans will enjoy the day at Prince Charles’s Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, which has sold out tickets to its champagne high tea and garden tour.
Aussies at a garden party in East London: (back row) Yasmin Mouftakir, 27, Britney Maunder, 26 and Linda Gao, 27, and (front row) Louisa Sim, 30, Bec Lantry, 21, Eliza Davies, 26. Little Delilah Schofield flies the flag (below left); and the St George’s Chapel Choir rehearses for the big event (below right). Jessica Mulroney arrives at Heathrow airport (above right); and Jacinda Barrett and Gabriel Macht (inset right). Pictures: DAVID DYSON, AUSTRALSCOPE