Spectators are asking who will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle Saturday after reports surfaced that her father, Thomas Markle, plans to skip the royal wedding amid a paparazzi photo scandal and health issues.
Meghan Markle is set to marry Prince Harry on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel at England’s Windsor Castle. Kensington Palace officials previously announced that Thomas Markle would walk his daughter down the aisle, but his role in the wedding appeared to be in jeopardy after he admitted to celebrity news site TMZ that he was caught staging paparazzi photos. He told TMZ on Tuesday that he would not be able to attend the wedding due to scheduled surgery.
If Thomas Markle skips the wedding, Meghan will most likely be walked down the aisle by her mother, Doria Ragland, The Telegraph reported, noting "who else could it be?" Kensington Palace officials previously announced that Ragland would accompany her daughter in the bridal car.
Ragland and Meghan Markle have a close relationship, with the younger woman naming her mother as one of the 10 women who changed her life in an article last year for Glamour magazine.
"My mom's a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community. For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mom has always been a free spirit," Meghan Markle wrote. "We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend."
Ragland isn’t the only one rumored to be in consideration to take Thomas Markle’s place Saturday. CNN reported that Meghan Markle’s future father-in-law, Prince Charles, and her future brother-in-law, Prince William, were also
in the running. People magazine noted that her future grandfather-in-law, Prince Philip, could also fill the role.
Thomas Markle told TMZ on Monday that he recently suffered a heart attack but that checked himself out of a hospital to attend the royal wedding. He said that after reports surfaced about his posing for paparazzi photos, he changed his mind about attending to keep from embarrassing either his daughter or the royal family. TMZ reported that text messages from his daughter prompted another change of heart.
"I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle," Thomas Markle told TMZ. "Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history."
He was hospitalized again Tuesday after suffering from severe chest pain and scheduled to undergo heart surgery Wednesday, according to TMZ.
Officials have not confirmed that Thomas Markle will not be St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. In a statement released Monday, Kensington Palace officials asked for privacy for the Markle family.