Meghan’s sad­ness as dad

Nup­tials: US ac­tor’ s state­ment brings an end to spec­u­la­tion

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY TONY JONES AND LAURA ELSTON Fri­day, May 18, 2018

Meghan Markle has spo­ken of her sad­ness as she ended days of spec­u­la­tion and con­firmed her fa­ther will not walk her down the aisle when she mar­ries Prince Harry.

In a heart­felt pub­lic state­ment, the US ac­tress said Thomas Markle, who has un­der­gone heart surgery, would not be at­tend­ing the wed­ding to­mor­row, a decision taken on med­i­cal ad­vice.

Sources have said Meghan is con­cerned for her fa­ther, but is be­ing sup­ported by her mother and friends as she gets ready for her big day.

In a state­ment re­leased by Kens­ing­ton Palace, the bride-to-be 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.”

The reclu­sive for­mer TV light­ing di­rec­tor was em­broiled in con­tro­versy af­ter al­legedly be­ing caught stag­ing pho­to­graphs with the pa­parazzi.

He re­port­edly pulled out of at­tend­ing the cer­e­mony in St Ge­orge’s Chapel to avoid em­bar­rass­ing his daugh­ter, but then later said be­fore his surgery that he wanted to be part of his­tory and hoped to be there, celebrity web­site TMZ re­vealed.

With the dra­matic up­set to the fairy­tale wed­ding com­ing just two days be­fore the cer­e­mony, Ms Markle will be bit­terly dis­ap­pointed her fa­ther will not be there.

Com­men­ta­tors have crit­i­cised what they claim is a lack of as­sis­tance pro­vided to Mr Markle from royal aides, but it is un­der­stood that since 2016 Meghan and Harry have been try­ing to help him cope with the grow­ing pres­sure of be­ing in the lime­light.

Ms Markle’s com­ment that she has al­ways “cared” for her fa­ther may be in­ter­preted by some as al­lud­ing to this pri­vate sup­port she, and Harry, have been giv­ing Mr Markle.

The ac­tress has al­ways wanted her fa­ther to be part of her nup­tials and she and the prince re­main in touch with him.

Mr Markle is un­der­stood to have told the cou­ple he can­not travel due to med­i­cal ad­vice.

“I have al­ways cared for my fa­ther and hope he can be given the space he needs to fo­cus on his health”

There is no of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion yet on who will step in to walk Meghan down the aisle in Wind­sor Cas­tle’s his­toric St Ge­orge’s Chapel, in front of a global tele­vi­sion au­di­ence of mil­lions.

Meghan’s mother Do­ria Ragland, who has ar­rived in the UK ahead of the big day, is tipped for the role, or per­haps the bride will turn to her clos­est male friend, Soho House di­rec­tor Markus An­der­son.

Prince Harry has not yet met his fu­ture fa­ther-in-law Mr Markle – the first meet­ing was due to take place this week. Mr Markle was also set to be in­tro­duced to the Queen, the Duke of Ed­in­burgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Corn­wall and the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge ahead of the wed­ding.

The de­tailed dis­play de­picts the front fa­cade and tur­rets – with St Ge­orge’s Chapel vis­i­ble in the back­ground

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