Royals

Meghan Markle addresses speculation her father won't attend her wedding to Prince Harry

Her brave announcement stands in stark contrast to the royal family’s well-worn mantra: “Never complain, never explain.”

By Candice Mehta-Culjak

Meghan Markle has personally confirmed that her father, Thomas Markle Sr., will "sadly" not be at her wedding to Prince Harry.

The former actress issued her very first statement about the situation overnight.

"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," she said in the statement released by Kensington Palace. "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," she continued. "Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."

There is still no official confirmation as to who will walk the 36-year-old actress down the aisle as she weds Prince Harry in a Saturday ceremony at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

However, there's speculation her mother, Doria Ragland, or even father-in-law-to-be, Prince Charles, may take on the important role.

Meghan is said to share an incredibly close bond with her mum, making her an ideal candidate to walk the former actress down the aisle and toward her prince.
Meghan is said to share an incredibly close bond with her mum, making her an ideal candidate to walk the former actress down the aisle and toward her prince.

The sad statement follows a whirlwind of news about her father, his health, and whether he'd make the trip across the pond for this weekend's events.

Thomas, a former lighting director who lives in a small town in Mexico, pulled out of the important day due to reports that he staged paparazzi photos of himself ahead of the nuptials. He then changed his mind and decided he would like to attend the wedding after all, but ultimately his health prevented him from doing that.

The 73-year-old was recently forced to undergo emergency heart surgery to "clear blockages" and "repair damage" after suffering a heart attack some eight days ago. He is now recovering in hospital.

Thomas is pictured with a newborn Meghan.
Thomas is pictured with a newborn Meghan.

Thomas has since opened up to TMZ journalist Sean Mandell about the unfortunate series of events dubbed the "Markle debacle" by UK media.

Speaking with Good Morning Britain, Mr Mandell said: "She [Meghan] called him Monday when the story first broke. But he did not have his phone on him and then she text him saying she loved him, that she was concerned over his health and bore him no ill will over the controversy of the fake photos."

"He [Thomas] told us we wanted to be there and had a change of heart on Tuesday after speaking with Meghan over text and he felt he had pulled out prematurely.""He had originally felt it would be better for him not to be at the wedding because it would cause further embarrassment, he thought, for the royal family, and for Meghan, which is the last thing he wanted."

WATCH: Meghan's estranged half-sister talks about the royal wedding scandal. Post continues...

"He realised, I'm a father, and I want to be there for my daughter, and I want to be part of history. Ultimately his health prevented him from being able to do that."

He added: "Meghan is by all accounts is a very strong women. From what Thomas has told me there's just love being conveyed there and a gentle approach between them when they speak."

Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, will exchange vows at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.