Meghan Markle's Dad Changed His Mind About Attending the Royal Wedding

It's still unclear who will walk Meghan down the aisle.

Alcohol, Liqueur, Drink,
(Image credit: Getty / The Image Direct)

Update 5/15: Thomas Markle has changed his mind about attending the royal wedding. According to a new interview with TMZ, Thomas believes that staging the paparazzi photos of himself was "stupid" and now "hates the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle." However, health issues may still prevent him from attending.

Original story 5/14: Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, reportedly suffered a heart attack six days ago but "checked himself out of the hospital so he could attend the wedding," according to TMZ. However, the father of the bride has now "decided not to go because he doesn't want to embarrass the royal family or his daughter." So sad.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Thomas Markle hired the paparazzi to capture photos of him researching Britain ahead of his daughter's big day and getting fitted for a suit for the wedding. This morning, Meghan's half-sister, Samantha, claimed it was her idea to stage the photos of her father preparing for the wedding. Now, it's being reported that Meghan's father—who was supposed to walk her down the aisle—will no longer be attending the royal wedding at all.

Although Meghan's half-sister admitted that she convinced her father to stage the photos, Markle's father told TMZ he "meant no harm to Meghan or the royal family when he made a deal to allow a photo agency to take pics of him getting ready for the wedding. He says he had a reason and it was not principally about money."

According to sources close to Meghan, the soon-to-be-royal is "upset and disturbed by the entire ordeal and just wants to move past it." Meghan's relationship with her father has "always been strained" due to "his ill thought-out decisions and his lack of responsibility." But she's trying not to let it get to her: "She doesn’t want to let anything ruin her day and is trying to keep focus on the weekend."

Kensington Palace responded to the news a couple hours later in a statement:

"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."

Rachel Epstein

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.