Meghan Markle's father not attending royal wedding: Report

Meghan Markle's father not attending royal wedding: Report
PHOTO: AFP

Meghan Markle's father will not attend her wedding to Prince Harry this weekend, US media reported Monday, as Kensington Palace pleaded for "understanding and respect" for the couple during a "difficult situation".

According to celebrity news website TMZ, Thomas Markle, who recently posed for paparazzi photos, has pulled out of accompanying his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle because he does not want to embarrass her.

He is also reported to have suffered a heart attack in recent days.

Kensington Palace, the official residence of the couple, did not confirm whether Markle senior had pulled out of the wedding, but it did issue a statement hinting that all was not well.

"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding," the palace said in a statement. "She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation."

The US actress' father had previously defied the palace's pleas for secrecy by agreeing to pose for a paparazzi photoshoot.

The images, showing him being measured for a suit and admiring a photo of the future royal couple on his computer, sold for $100,000 (83,000 euros, £74,000) according to tabloid the Daily Mirror.

A source close to Thomas Markle, cited by the publication, said he was convinced to pose for the shots after being hounded by the paparazzi. He is now said to feel "like a total fool" who has been "scammed".

Markle's gaffe-prone American family has been sending royal courtiers into something of a spin by airing its dirty laundry in public.

The bride-to-be remains close with her divorced parents but other relatives have been barred from the May 19 nuptials amid unwelcome stories of bust-ups, heavy drinking -- and even an arrest.

Markle, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, had been due to be walked up the aisle by her 73-year-old father an Emmy-winning Hollywood lighting director of Dutch-Irish descent who is enjoying retired life in Mexico.

Her mother Doria Ragland is a 61-year-old yoga instructor and clinical therapist.

Britain's Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle

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    Britain's Prince Harry is to marry his US actress girlfriend Meghan Markle early next year it was announced Monday, with the Queen leading a chorus of approval and best wishes for the couple who got engaged in secret earlier this month.

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    "His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018," Clarence House, Prince Charles's office, said a statement.

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    The couple's engagement was sealed in London and the prince then informed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, close members of the royal family and had also sought the blessing of Markle's parents.

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    Britain's Prince Harry and his soon-to-be wife, American actress Meghan Markle.

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    The couple will live at Nottingham Cottage in London's Kensington Palace, where his brother William and his pregnant wife Kate live with their two children.

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    Harry's 36-year-old bride-to-be is best known for her role as a lawyer in the hit television show "Suits".

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    Reports that Markle, who is expected to become a duchess, was moving her two dogs -- Guy and Bogart -- to London further fuelled rumours of the first royal wedding since William and Kate in 2011.

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    The actress's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland said in a statement they were "incredibly happy" and wished the couple "a lifetime of happiness."

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    "Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person," they said. "To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents."

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    Prince Harry revealed Monday that he proposed to US actress Meghan Markle over roast chicken, and said she would be "unbelievably good" at her new royal role despite its pressures.

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    The couple said they were enjoying "a cosy night" at home in his cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace earlier this month - "trying to roast a chicken" - when he got down on one knee.

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    "She didn't even let me finish, she said, 'can I say yes? can I say yes?' and then there were hugs," Harry said in the couple's first interview since the announcement of their engagement earlier Monday.

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    They revealed they knew little about each other when they were set up on a "blind date" by a mutual friend.

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    Harry said he had never heard of Markle, while the actress added she was largely ignorant about the British royal family and just asked of their friend, "is he nice?" The date went so well they immediately met up again before going camping together for five days in Botswana just a few weeks later.

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    "Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other," Prince Harry said.

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    They spent the first few months after that staying in, cooking dinner and watching television to avoid any public attention.

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    Bookmakers have already started taking wedding related bets, with Westminster Abbey a firm favourite to host the event and fashion label Alexander McQueen favourite to design the dress.

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