Meghan Markle’s Father Drops Out of Royal Wedding Ceremony After Staging and Selling Photos, Suffering a Heart Attack

Sadly, it looks as if Meghan Markle won’t have her father to walk her down the aisle on her very special wedding day after all. Popular celebrity news site, TMZ, reported on Monday that Thomas Markle had decided not to attend his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry at St. George’s Chapel on Saturday, the 19th, to spare her and the royal family embarrassment after it was revealed over the weekend that he was paid to pose for paparazzi photos showing him preparing for the royal wedding. Mr. Markle expressed regret over agreeing to have the “stupid” pictures taken and said that the money was not his main motivation for participating in the staged photographs. To be fair, however, Meghan Markle’s half-sister, Samantha, who has criticized her in the press, took to Twitter Monday to take the blame for the photo debacle, saying the idea for it was her own. According to TMZ, Mr. Markle also attributed his decision not to attend Meghan’s wedding to the fact that he suffered a heart attack less than a week ago and was still experiencing chest pains.

This sad development comes just days after Kensington Palace officially announced that Mr. Markle would indeed walk Meghan down the aisle and his ex-wife, Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, would ride with Meghan to the chapel ahead of the ceremony. Both parents were set to arrive in England early this week to meet Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals. The TMZ report prompted Kensington Palace to issue a new statement which reads: “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.” If Mr. Markle holds to his decision to drop out of Meghan’s wedding altogether, it appears that it will be up to Ms. Ragland to give their daughter away on her wedding day.

– Seraya Rivera

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