Kensington Palace has asked for “understanding and respect” after Meghan Markle’s father confirmed on Monday he will not walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Harry at the weekend.
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, told TMZ he’s embarrassed after being caught staging paparazzi photos of himself and selling them to a photo agency. He also claims he suffered a heart attack six days ago.
He told the publication would no longer attend his daughter’s wedding and “deeply regrets” making a deal with the photo agency that purchased the paparazzi images.
On Monday evening, London time, Kensington Palace released a statement, saying this was a “deeply personal moment” for Meghan and Harry, who are already dealing with immense pressure in the lead up to their wedding on Saturday.
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” the memo read, according to multiple media publications. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
While Meghan is close with her mother Doria, who will ride with her in the car on the way to St George’s Chapel, she has a strained relationship with her father and half-brother and sister, who have all given outspoken and often cruel interviews to the media about her.
Last week, Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Marlkle Jr, penned a scathing open letter in a US magazine, warning Harry to call of the wedding and branding Meghan a “below C average Hollywood actress”. However, just days later he issued a grovelling public apology and begged for an invite to her wedding.
Her sister has also been less-than-kind in media interviews, and admitted on Monday that she was the one who encouraged their father to stage the paparazzi photos that showed him looking at photos of Harry and Meghan online and reading a book about British history.
Amongst all the drama are Harry and his bride-to-be, who is now facing the prospect of walking down the aisle in front of the world’s media without her father by her side. While her family have seemingly done their best to drag her reputation through the mud over the past few months, the Palace has been vocal in its support of her and has, in Meghan’s own words, been welcoming and understanding.
Before Markle Sr admitted to staging the paparazzi shots, Buckingham Palace released a statement telling the media to back off. It followed a similar statement from Prince Harry at the beginning of his relationship with Meghan, in which he slammed the press for the “racial overtones” into the reporting of his relationship, and said at the time he’d never before encountered such a “degree of pressure, scrutiny and harassment” from the media.