Meghan’s dad to miss the big oc­ca­sion

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - BILL SMITH to US

MEGHAN Markle has con­firmed that her fa­ther will not be walk­ing her down the aisle dur­ing her wed­ding to Prince Harry at Wind­sor Cas­tle to­mor­row.

“Sadly, my fa­ther will not be at­tend­ing our wed­ding,” Meghan said in a state­ment is­sued by Kens­ing­ton Palace, the cou­ple’s Lon­don res­i­dence.

“I have al­ways cared for my fa­ther and hope he can be given the space he needs to fo­cus on his health,” she said, fol­low­ing re­ports that Thomas Markle, 73, un­der­went mi­nor heart surgery on Wed­nes­day.

Markle’s mother, Do­ria Ragland, who ar­rived in Lon­don on Wed­nes­day, is now ex­pected to ac­com­pany her down the aisle at St Ge­orge’s Chapel in­side the cas­tle.

“I would like to thank ev­ery­one who has of­fered gen­er­ous mes­sages of sup­port,” Markle added.

“Please know how much Harry and I look for­ward to shar­ing our spe­cial day with you on Satur­day.”

Thomas Markle, who di­vorced Ragland when Meghan was six years old, told US gos­sip web­site

TMZ early on Wed­nes­day that car­di­ol­o­gists planned to “clear block­age, re­pair dam­age and put a stent where it is needed”.

He suf­fered a heart at­tack last week and ex­pe­ri­enced ch­est pains on Mon­day, TMZ said.

Doubt had al­ready been cast over his at­ten­dance at the wed-

ding af­ter claims that he had staged sev­eral pho­to­graphs of him taken last month near his home in Mex­ico.

Meghan’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Ju­nior, 51, and half-sis­ter Sa­man­tha Grant, 53, have also made a se­ries of em­bar­rass­ing and some­times con­tra­dic­tory

state­ments on the fam­ily me­dia in re­cent weeks.

Speak­ing to the Bri­tish tabloid The Daily Mir­ror in Wind­sor on Wed­nes­day, Markle Ju­nior said he re­gret­ted a “mo­ment of mad­ness” when he is­sued an open let­ter warn­ing Harry against mar­ry­ing his half-sis­ter. – dpa

PIC­TURE: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE

SOU­VENIRS: Royal wed­ding mer­chan­dise on sale at a store in Wind­sor, Eng­land.

PIC­TURE: REUTERS PIC­TURE: REUTERS

ARTY: An im­age of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is seen on top of a cup of cof­fee.

CUTE: A shelf dis­play of Mar­mite spread with a redesigned la­bel for the forth­com­ing royal wed­ding.

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