Meghan Markle’s father has confirmed he won’t be able to attend her wedding to walk her down the aisle, as he has to have heart surgery in just a few hours time.
Thomas Markle, 73, told TMZ he will be unable to travel to England at all, as doctors need to “go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed.”
He first checked himself into hospital on Tuesday suffering with chest pains, after previously claiming he suffered a heart attack last week. Shockingly, he’s now claimed an open letter written by his son, Thomas Jr, urging Prince Harry to call off the wedding, is what triggered his recent health problems.
It comes after Markle Sr revealed his wish to attend the wedding just a few hours ago, despite initially pulling out after being caught staging paparazzi photos of himself and selling them to a photo agency.
He told the US site that his daughter had contacted him on Monday – first by phone, and then by text, and expressed her love and support after he pulled out of her nuptials. She reportedly told him she was worried about his health.
Markle Sr later told the site: “I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle… Of course I’d walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I’d like to be a part of history.”
He was recently caught on CCTV setting up paparazzi photos in advance, showing him browsing news reports of his daughter and Prince Harry, getting measured for a wedding suit and even reading a British book. But he claimed to the site that Meghan has no hard feelings over it.
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.
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.