LONDON(Reuters): The father of American actress and royal-to-be Meghan Markle said on Tuesday he could not attend his daughter’s wedding to Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday because he needed a heart procedure.
Thomas Markle, who lives in Mexico, was quoted as telling Los Angeles-based celebrity website TMZ.com that he was scheduled to undergo a heart repair and blockage clearance procedure early on Wednesday morning. Markle, 73, was due to walk his daughter down the aisle in front of 600 guests including all the senior British royals and a smattering of celebrities.
Markle threw the wedding plans into confusion earlier this week when he said he would not attend the May 19 nuptials because he did not want to embarrass his daughter or the royal family after reports he had staged pictures with a paparazzi photographer for a fee. He also said he had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack a week ago.
Harry, 33, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and the sixth-in-line to the British throne, and Markle, 36, will marry on Saturday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
On Tuesday, Markle told TMZ that he hated “the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle.” But he later said doctors had scheduled surgery on Wednesday morning. “They (doctors) will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed,” Markle told the website.
Kensington Palace, Harry’s office, could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday. However, in a statement issued on Monday it said called Thomas Markle’s comments “a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle.” The statement also read, “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation.”
If her father does not come, British newspapers suggested that Markle’s mother, with whom she is spending the night before the ceremony at a nearby luxury hotel, would walk her daughter down the aisle.