US actress Meghan Markle just confirmed her father will not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry, grandson to Queen Elizabeth, putting an end to days of speculation.
Markle’s father, Thomas, former lighting director for TV soaps and sitcoms gave a series of contradictory statements this week about whether he would be there, with the Los Angeles-based celebrity website TMZ.com saying he had undergone heart surgery on Wednesday.
A statement from Ms. Meghan Markle: pic.twitter.com/TjBNarmuBU
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 17, 2018
“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,” Meghan Markle said in a statement on Thursday.
“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’s mother, Doria Ragland, a yoga instructor and social worker, has arrived in Britain and is due to meet the 92-year-old Queen and her husband Prince Philip, 96, on Thursday.
Come Saturday the wedding would be a magnificent show of British pageantry, most likely to attract a huge world audience.
Supporters hope the union of one of the most popular royals and a glamorous American actor, a divorcee with a white father and an African-American mother, will re-energize the monarchy.
However, much of the carefully-planned and choreographed build-up to the ceremony has been overshadowed by confusion over whether Markle’s father would attend.