Thomas Markle, the father of Meghan Markle, has reportedly changed his mind about skipping this weekend’s royal wedding and now wants to walk his daughter down the aisle as originally planned.
“I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle,” Thomas told TMZ on Tuesday morning.
However, because he suffered a heart attack last week, he has been admitted to a Mexico hospital to treat recent chest pain and is unsure whether doctors will release him in time to make the trip to Windsor, England, where the American actress is set to marry Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday.
The Baja California resident told the site that doctors said his heart was “seriously damaged” after last week’s health scare. The chest pain was triggered by emotional upset over the fallout from his much-maligned deal to sell staged photos of himself, as well as his elder daughter Samantha Grant’s continued criticism of her half-sister.
Thomas, a retired Daytime Emmy-winning lighting director, confirmed to TMZ that his daughter reached out to him following the unflattering reports. He said she harbours no ill will from his paparazzi-photo flap and is more concerned about his health, the gossip site said.
As the media frenzy mounts ahead of the royal wedding, speculation arose that his ex-wife, Doria Ragland, whom he split from when their daughter was six, was being eyed to walk the actress down the aisle instead.
Kensington Palace previously announced that the actress’ parents would arrive in the UK the week of the wedding, Ragland would accompany her daughter on the car ride to Windsor Castle ahead of the ceremony and her father would walk her down the aisle.
As for the bride’s extended family, her estranged half-sister and much of their extended family have been vocal about not being invited to the 600-guest ceremony. Nonetheless, several dogged relatives were photographed arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport this week despite claiming they never received invitations to the wedding, the Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
Kensington Palace did not comment on the latest round of reports regarding the actress’ parents on Tuesday, nor did it announce changes in wedding plans.
The royals have had a tense relationship with the media, which hit a fever pitch when Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a 1997 car chase with Paris photographers.
Harry and his brother, Prince William, have been vocal about their distaste for aggressive paparazzi. Upon confirming his romance with Meghan in 2016, Harry issued several directives for the media to respect their privacy.