Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Hopes Her Father Will Change His Mind and Attend the Royal Wedding

She says he's "quite depressed" about the situation.

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Meghan Markle's half-sister (opens in new tab), Samantha Markle—who admitted she convinced her father, Thomas Markle, to stage paparazzi pics of himself preparing for his daughter's wedding—hopes their dad will reconsider his decision not to attend the royal wedding (opens in new tab).

This morning, Meghan's half-sister told U.K. morning show (opens in new tab) Good Morning Britain, “I spoke to [Thomas] early in the morning yesterday and he was quite depressed over an unbelievable series of events involving the media.”

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Six days prior to revealing he would not attend the royal wedding, Thomas Markle had a heart attack, but checked himself out of the hospital early (opens in new tab) in hopes of making it to his daughter's special day. Once news broke about him staging the paparazzi pics, that all changed.

Though Thomas admitted he didn't want to cause his daughter or the royal family "anymore embarrassment," Samantha says his health has become a major factor (opens in new tab) in deciding whether or not he can walk Meghan down the aisle on her special day.

She continues:

"...And as far as whether or not he had a heart attack, people have had heart attacks they didn’t know they’d had until they had an EKG. They’re not always that loud. They’re not always that dramatic. For him that was the case.”

“He was really having heart pains and suffered a heart attack. It was an unbelievable amount of stress–by his report they were stabilizing him. I think he wants to go to the hospital and get checked out (opens in new tab). I don’t know as of today what his plans are, but there’s a very real concern, I wanted to see him go [to the wedding], I didn’t want him deprived of that. But clearly the priority should be whether or not it’s safe for him to do that. That’s where we’re at.”

When Thomas confirmed he would not be attending the wedding (opens in new tab), Kensington Palace responded to the heartbreaking news with this 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."

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.