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Markle “has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle,” Kensington Palace said Friday. It added that Markle’s future father-in-law “is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the Royal Family in this way.”
Markle and Prince Harry requested “understanding and respect” for her father Thomas. A palace statement on “this difficult situation” did not confirm a TMZ report that said he suffered a heart attack and was also upset over the way his decision to have staged paparazzi photos taken of him preparing for the wedding was received, deciding to miss the wedding to avoid embarrassing his daughter and the royal family.
Prince Charles is the heir to the British throne and will now walk Markle down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle midday Saturday local time.
Meanwhile, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is set to meet Queen Elizabeth II later on Friday.
It was speculated, going into the weekend, that in place of her father could be her mother Doria Ragland, her future father-in-law Prince Charles, or her future brother-in-law Prince William.
Markle is not the first royal bride to walk down the aisle without her father.
Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II’s sister, walked down the aisle with her brother-in-law Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at her 1960 nuptials to Antony Armstrong-Jones. Her father, King George VI, had died eight years earlier.
Queen Victoria also gave away several of her daughters on their wedding days after the death of her husband Prince Albert.
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