Meghan Markle has confirmed that her father will not walk her down the aisle as it was claimed she is still ‘tearful and embarrassed’ on the eve of her royal wedding.
Thomas Markle is in hospital after heart surgery after he embarrassed his daughter by doing a cash deal for ‘staged’ paparazzi photographs.
After days of silence Meghan has been forced to make a personal statement to millions around the world and said: ‘Sadly my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health’.
She added: ‘I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday’.
Her poignant words came as thousands watched a wedding rehearsal in Windsor today.
Prince Harry’s bride-to-be, 36, has still only shared texts with Thomas Markle but has told him she loves him and forgives him for the scandal he caused on the eve of the biggest day of her life.
Her father is said to be ‘alone and upset’ in hospital after having three stents put in his heart.
The 73-year-old has spoken to TMZ journalist Sean Mandell from his bed overnight and he said: ‘Meghan was embarrassed and tearful in private. She is holding up, from what I’ve been told. It has been a tearful and a trying time for her’.
When asked if their relationship can recover he said: ‘I do get the sense he [Thomas] does want to be reunited with Meghan. She’s no stranger to having to deal with hard moments in her life’.
Mr Markle may not be discharged before his daughter’s wedding after he had three stents implanted in arteries following a heart attack at home in Mexico eight days ago.
He said: ‘It will take a long time to heal. I’m okay. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited’.
Mr Markle is highly unlikely to travel to the UK so his ex-wife Doria is set to give away their daughter at St George’s Chapel on Saturday.
Today a wedding rehearsal is planned in Windsor but Kensington Palace is yet to comment on the extraordinary turmoil in Meghan’s family.
Mr Mandell told Good Morning Britain: ‘She [Meghan] called him Monday when the story first broke. But he did not have his phone on him and then she text him saying she loved him, that she was concerned over his health and bore him no ill will over the controversy of the fake photos.
‘He [Thomas] told us we wanted to be there and had a change of heart on Tuesday after speaking with Meghan over text and he felt he had pulled out prematurely.
‘He had originally felt it would be better for him not to be at the wedding because it would cause further embarrassment, he thought, for the royal family, and for Meghan, which is the last thing he wanted.
‘He realised, I’m a father, and I want to be there for my daughter, and I want to be part of history.Ultimately his health prevented him from being able to do that.
‘But ultimately his health prevented him from doing that’.
He added: ‘Meghan is by all accounts is a very strong women. From what Thomas has told me there’s just love being conveyed there and a gentle approach between them when they speak.’
Meghan’s mother Doria was given VIP treatment when she landed at Heathrow yesterday and is expected to give her daughter away in her father’s absence.
Mr Markle said his doctors needed to ‘go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed’ during the operation.
His daughter Samantha, who has a poor relationship with Meghan, claims her father is ‘upset and alone’ following his surgery.
But there is some confusion over his care as sources close to the Markle family told the Mail yesterday that Mr Markle had already been diagnosed with a heart condition and was due to undergo planned surgery to fit a stent, the same operation Prince Philip underwent in 2011, early next week – on his return from London.
Miss Markle’s nephew, Tyler Dooley, has said he hopes his grandfather will travel but said: ‘We’ll just have to wait and see.’
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