Kensington Palace has responded to reports Meghan Markle’s father may not attend her wedding to Prince Harry, saying it is a “deeply personal moment” for her.
According to TMZ website, Thomas Markle said he will skip the ceremony this weekend after he faced a backlash for staging paparazzi photos for money.
The 73-year-old also revealed that he suffered a heart attack just six days ago, but had checked himself out of hospital in anticipation of walking Meghan down the aisle.
He told the site, however, he will no longer be travelling to the UK.
Kensington Palace initially declined to comment when contacted by HuffPost UK, but in a statement a spokesman later 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.”
Images of the 73-year-old reading online content about the couple, working out and getting a suit tailored, appeared in the media despite requests from Kensington Palace to respect the privacy of the couple and their family.
The Mail on Sunday this weekend claimed that the images were staged in collaboration with a photographer.
Markle admitted to TMZ that the pictures look “stupid and hammy”, and now deeply regrets going along with the paparazzi agency.
He said that he did not want to embarrass the royal family or his daughter on her big day.
Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, attempted to shoulder some of the blame when she earlier said it was her idea for her father to pose for what she described as “positive photos” in a bid to combat his “bad” portrayal in the press, but stated it was not done for money.
An Emmy-award winning lighting director, it was thanks to her father that Meghan got her first taste of the glamour of a Hollywood set, with her dad working on a US sitcom during her childhood.
“Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of ‘Married… With Children’, which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up,” the 36-year-old told Esquire in 2013.
Now retired, her father currently lives in the coastal city of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Meghan’s mother, Doria Radlan, was the only other member of her family expected to attend the wedding in Windsor.