Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, will not attend the royal wedding or "walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday", according to TMZ. The website reports that the 73-year-old made the decision amid claims he had staged photos with a paparazzi, saying he meant no harm to his daughter or the royal family and that he is now deeply embarrassed about it.
Thomas, a retired Emmy-award winning lighting director, spoke directly to TMZ, and admitted that the photos taken look "stupid and hammy" and that he "deeply regrets" taking part in them.
A Kensington Palace spokesman has said: "This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding. She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation."
Kensington Palace revealed just ten days ago that Thomas Markle would be attending the royal wedding. It was thought that Meghan's dad would be waiting for the bride at the church entrance, ready to walk her up the aisle and give her away to Prince Harry. Her mother Doria Ragland is still set to have a special role on the day, accompanying Meghan to St George's Chapel in Windsor in the same car.
Prince Harry’s press secretary Jason Knauf told reporters at a press briefing earlier this month that Meghan was "delighted" that her parents would be by her side.
Meghan's dad, who was due to arrive this week, was set to meet senior members of the royal family, including the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William and Kate. It would have also been the first time that the groom-to-be would have met his future father-in-law.