Salman Rushdie’s daughter-in-law reveals how walking down the aisle ALONE when her father became too ill to attend her wedding made her feel ’empowered’ – and why she’d hoped for Meghan to do the same
- Natalie Rushdie, 30, said father was unable to fly to New York for wedding
- Her father Michael had been in and out of hospital after cancer diagnosis
- The world-class soprano said it was ’empowering’ walking down aisle alone
Speculation had been rife over who Meghan would choose to walk her down the aisle, before she revealed today that Prince Charles would do the honours.
But Salman Rushdie’s daughter-in-law, who was in a similar position on her own big day, has revealed that she’d hoped for Prince Harry’s bride to walk herself down the aisle of St George’s Chapel on Saturday.
Classical singer Natalie Rushdie, 30 – who is married to Salman’s eldest son Zafar – explained how her father Michael was unable to fly to their wedding in New York, after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Her father Michael, who has since recovered, was in and out of hospital throughout Natalie and Zafar’s two-year engagement, with doctors suggesting that he might not survive.
Natalie admitted that she felt a ‘roller coaster’ of emotions after accepting that her father would not be attending the wedding, but eventually came to the decision that she would walk down the aisle alone – an experience that she describes as ’empowering’.
The world-class soprano added that due to her strained relationship with her father, she believes that she would have still ended up walking herself up the aisle, even if he had been able to come.
Salman Rushdie’s daughter-in-law Natalie Rushdie, 30, has revealed how she decided to walk down the aisle alone after finding out her father was too ill to attend her wedding
Describing the predicament that Meghan is currently in, Natalie, whose parents are separated, told FEMAIL: ‘It’s a very difficult situation. I had a very similar situation with my own dad, in that we’d had a very difficult relationship over the past year. My dad then became very unwell.
‘For myself, obviously I didn’t have the whole world watching on. But I think you grow up with this idea as a little girl that your dad’s going to give you away.’
After some consideration, she decided that she would down the aisle of herself – inspired by Julie Andrew’s character in the Sound Of Music.
‘I think the traditional idea of someone giving you away is weird,’ Natalie said. ‘I don’t like seeing myself like I’m someone’s property.
Natalie (pictured with Salman Rushdie on her wedding day) said she decided to focus on enjoying herself on her big day, after realising her father couldn’t make it
However, the classical singer (pictured with her father Michael aged eight) admitted that ‘you grow up with this idea as a little girl that your dad’s going to give you away’
‘I thought, I’m a big girl, I can walk down the aisle of myself. My dress is big enough to fill the aisle.
‘So I had the Sound of Music song played – what Julie Andrews walked down the aisle by herself to [in the film] – and I felt so much love, and so much happiness.’
The soprano, who lives with her husband Zafar in west London, describes the moment that she walked down the aisle as being ’empowering’.
‘As soon as the doors opened, I felt so much happiness. I just saw all the smiling faces, it was just such a magical moment,’ she said.
‘It felt like I was being walked down the aisle by everyone, not just one person.’
Natalie, 30, tied the knot with husband Zafar in New York, but her father was unable to fly over due to his cancer diagnosis
She eventually came to the decision of walking down the aisle alone – a decision that she describes as ’empowering’
Natalie chose to have her mum travel in the car with her on the big day, just as Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland will accompany her daughter to St George’s Chapel on Saturday.
‘I was so lucky that I had so much support from my friends and family,’ she said.
‘We were really lucky that our families were both modern about it, and said you should do whatever makes you happy.’
Natalie, who has not been in touch with her father for the past two years, added that she had no regrets about her dad not being able to make it.
‘I personally don’t have any regrets from my wedding day. We had such a magical day, it was the best day of our lives,’ she said.
Natalie (pictured with husband Zafar) said she doesn’t have any regrets about her wedding
‘We had 150 friends fly out to New York. I had so much fun, and obviously you get to marry the person you love. So I personally don’t regret anything about the wedding.’
Natalie explained that she had hoped that Meghan would have chosen to walk herself down the aisle on Saturday.
‘She’s an independent woman, she’s a feminist, and she’s worked for the UN, and I think she should walk down the aisle herself,’ she said.
However, she emphasised that it was important that brides decide to do ‘whatever makes you happy’, regardless of what other people might thing.
Natalie added: ‘I think on the day of the wedding, you literally just have to forget about everything and enjoy yourself, and enjoy getting married.’
Natalie said she had hoped for Meghan to walk down the aisle alone on Saturday, after Prince Harry’s bride confirmed her father would not be attending the wedding
Kensington Palace announced this morning that Prince Charles would be walking Meghan down the aisle tomorrow
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