The eagerly anticipated royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has been overshadowed by reports that the bride’s father, Thomas Markle will not be there to walk her down the aisle on Saturday as planned.
In a sensational twist, Mr Markle told American gossip site TMZ at his home in Mexico, that he had decided not to attend his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry.
This comes after reports in the Mail on Sunday that Ms Markle’s father staged pictures for a paparazzi photographer.
The widely circulated photographs showed him being measured for a wedding suit and looking at newspaper stories about his daughter.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “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.”
Mr Markle, a former lighting director who filed for bankruptcy two years ago, is reported to have said that he did not want to cause his daughter embarrassment by attending the wedding.
Meanwhile, Samantha Markle, Ms Markle’s half-sister from her father’s first marriage, has said she hopes her father will still attend the wedding.
She told Good Morning Britain the photographs had been done with “good intention” and that Mr Markle, 73, had suffered a heart attack due to stress.
“He had a moral right to set the record straight and defend himself,” she added.