Meghan Markle's Dad Isn't Going to Walk Her Down the Aisle

Thomas Markle won't attend his daughter's wedding after all.

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Update 5/14: Sad news today: TMZ is reporting that Meghan Markle's father no longer plans to attend (opens in new tab) the royal wedding this Saturday. According to the outlet, Thomas Markle suffered a heart attack six days ago, which may be part of the reason for this last-minute change.

The other reason? After The Daily Mail discovered Mr. Markle had staged paparazzi shots (opens in new tab) of himself looking at cute pictures of his daughter and Prince Harry on the Internet and reading a book about British landmarks (opens in new tab), the father-of-the-bride has "decided not to go because he doesn't want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter," TMZ reports (opens in new tab).

In response to the news that Markle had faked the photos, Meghan is reportedly "upset and disturbed by the entire ordeal and just wants to move past it," according to a source.

Kensington Palace responded to the news in a statement (opens in new tab):

"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."

So, if Meghan's dad isn't walking her down the aisle, who will be? Initial reports stated (opens in new tab) that Meghan wanted to buck tradition and have her mother do the honor, so perhaps we will see Doria Ragland accompanying her daughter to the alter this Saturday.

Original story 5/4:

This morning, Kensington Palace confirmed (opens in new tab) that both of Meghan's parents (opens in new tab) will be playing significant roles in the royal wedding. Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, will drive with her to Windsor Castle and her father, Thomas Markle, will walk her down the aisle.

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Per a statement via Kensington Palace, they also confirmed the role (opens in new tab) Prince Harry's family will have in the big day:

"In addition to having the support of The Queen, his father The Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince William as Best Man (opens in new tab), Prince Harry is also keen to involve his mother's family in his wedding. All three siblings of Diana, Princess of Wales will be in attendance and Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel honored that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day."

It was originally speculated that Meghan's mother would walk her down the aisle (opens in new tab).'s exclusive royal wedding expert, Caroline Castigliano (opens in new tab), notes that the Queen may have preferred for Meghan to go the traditional route with her father.

"I think Harry would want to do what his grandmother sees as appropriate as a sign of respect to her," says Castigliano. "They just wouldn't have her mother walk her down the aisle because it wouldn't be what made the Queen feel comfortable, especially at her age."

"There's going to be all sorts of opportunities for Harry to break with tradition and get things to move in a slightly different direction, but at this point I'm sure his respect for the Queen is the most important thing."


Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.