Meghan Markle is all set to her wed her prince this Saturday, but one of her closest family members just announced he won’t be there. In a stunning turn of events, Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, won’t be walking her down the aisle like he planned to.
The real reason why he ultimately decided to bail on the nuptials (page 5) is kind of heartbreaking. Read on to find out why he’ll be watching the royal wedding on TV just like the rest of us.
Who is Thomas Markle?
Thomas Markle hasn’t taken easily to the spotlight. | Inside Edition via YouTube
Like his actress daughter, Thomas Markle used to work in Hollywood. He was a cinematographer on Married with Children and even won a Daytime Emmy for Lighting Direction on General Hospital.
These days, Markle is retired and living a slow, quiet life in Mexico. That’s part of what makes his recent actions so surprising.
Next: There’s been speculation about his attendance.
No one was sure whether he’d attend
Meghan’s dad planned to be there for her big day. | Meghanmarkle_hd via Instagram
Rumors have been swirling for weeks as tabloids speculated whether Meghan’s dad would attend the wedding. Even though her parents divorced when she was six, Meghan kept in touch with her dad. That’s part of why up until recently, he was planning on crossing the pond to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.
Next: This is what caused the controversy.
The paparazzi scandal is to blame
He’s been hounded by the press, too. | Inside Edition via YouTube
For the past year, Thomas Markle has been hounded by paparazzi and admits he was disappointed with how the resulting photos made him look. Photographers captured the 73-year-old retiree buying beer and looking disheveled. He agreed to a staged paparazzi photo shoot to improve his image.
The staged photos showed him getting fitted for a wedding outfit, reading books about Great Britain, and looking at pictures of Meghan and Harry. The faked pictures caused a media uproar.
Next: He just faced this scary medical event.
He just had a heart attack
Markle is going through some serious health issues. | OgnjenO/iStock/Getty Images
Thomas Markle suffered a heart attack right after the staged photos were revealed. He checked himself out of the hospital early so he could attend the royal wedding, but ultimately decided he wouldn’t go in light of the paparazzi scandal.
Next: Here’s the reason Meghan’s dad won’t be there.
He doesn’t want to embarrass his daughter
Markle regrets having paparazzi photos taken of him, fearing he embarrassed Meghan. | Meghanmarkle_hd via Instagram
The ultimate reason Meghan’s dad isn’t going to the wedding? He realizes the staged photo shoot casts a negative light on the whole event and he doesn’t want to embarrass his daughter.
Thomas says the photos are “stupid and hammy” and regrets ever agreeing to do them. Now he’s stepping aside to let the wedding go on without him.
Next: This person came forward as the real culprit behind the scandal.
Markle’s half-sister took the blame
Samantha Grant has owned up to her part in the debacle. | Good Morning Britain via YouTube
Meghan Markle’s half-sister took the blame for the staged paparazzi photos, saying the whole thing was her idea. Samantha Markle says she wanted to make her dad look better.
She said: “I’m entirely the culprit. I said to him to show the world ‘I’m getting in shape and getting healthy’ so I suggested it to benefit him and the royal family.”
Samantha and Meghan’s other half-sibling, Thomas Markle Jr., were not invited to the wedding.
Next: People believe this is why Thomas did the photo shoot.
Meghan’s dad didn’t do it for the money
Markle claims he wasn’t motivated by money. | Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images
Sources speculate that Meghan’s dad did the photo shoot for money, but Thomas Markle is adamant that his motives were pure. He claims that since his daughter started dating Prince Harry, he’s turned down $50,000 to $100,000 interview requests.
It’s unclear if Thomas was paid for the staged photo shoot. However, if he got any cash, it was reportedly nothing more than a “pittance.”
Next: Here’s how he feels about not attending the wedding.
He’s happy for his daughter — even if he has to watch her wedding from afar
Her father is excited for her upcoming wedding. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Thomas Markle loves Meghan and wants what’s best for her, even if it means he can’t be by her side on her special day. When asked about how he felt about the union, he had nothing but praise for the couple: “I think it’s wonderful, I’m very delighted,” he told the Sun. “I think they’re (a) very good match, I’m very happy for them, Meghan and Harry. I love my daughter very much — Harry’s a gentleman.”
Next: The palace released a statement on the matter.
The royals request privacy and respect
They’re asking for respect toward her father. | Oli Scarff-WPA Pool/Getty Images
Unsurprisingly, palace reps requested that people not take the spotlight off the bride and groom in the wake of this embarrassing incident. The official statement from Kensington Palace says:
“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.”
Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry May Face This Dangerous Issue at Their Royal Wedding
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