(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are requesting “understanding and respect” for Markle’s father after a celebrity news site reported he would not be coming to the royal wedding to walk his daughter down the aisle, Kensington Palace said Monday night.

A palace statement on “this difficult situation” did not confirm the TMZ report that Thomas Markle had decided not to attend Saturday’s wedding at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The palace said earlier it would not comment on the report, and its statement did not clarify if the bride’s father would or would not be at the wedding.

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” the palace statement said. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

TMZ said Thomas Markle was upset over the way his decision to have staged paparazzi photos taken of him preparing for the wedding has been received and decided to miss the wedding to avoid embarrassing his daughter and the royal family.

The site also said he suffered a heart attack less than a week ago.

The palace had announced last week that Thomas Markle and his ex-wife, Doria Ragland, would play important roles in the wedding. Both were expected to meet Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals in the days before the wedding.

Thomas Markle and Ragland divorced when their daughter was 6-years-old, but they both played an active role raising her.

He spent many years supervising the lighting and camera crew for the “Married…With Children” television show and often brought young Meghan to the set at Sunset Gower Studios. Since retired, he has been living in Mexico. The Associated Press has been unable to reach him for comment.

Thomas Markle was set to walk Meghan down the aisle during the church ceremony, and Ragland plans to ride to the chapel with her daughter. Both were to be entertained this week by the queen and other senior royals, including Prince Charles and Prince William.

TMZ said the father had a change of heart over the weekend after the British press reported he was paid to pose for photos that showed him getting measured for his wedding suit and making other preparations.

According to TMZ, he told the website he regretted allowing the pictures to be taken and acknowledged they looked “stupid.” The website reported that he said money was not his primary motivation for agreeing to be photographed and he was opting to miss the wedding to avoid embarrassing his daughter and the royal family.

Meghan Markle’s half-sister, Samantha, tweeted Monday that she is to blame for the photo debacle.

“The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault,” she tweeted. “The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family.”

Meghan Markle is estranged from her half-sister, who has not been expected to attend the nuptials, and from her half-brother.

Harry and Markle have invited 600 guests to the wedding, which will be followed by a gala reception hosted by the queen.

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9 thoughts on “Royal Wedding Drama: Meghan Markle’s Father Won’t Attend After Selling Pics

  1. Perry on said:

    Why are is quippian saying it will be filled with drama from the brides side of the family. Is that because she is half black? The Royal family has been filled with drama since Prince Charles married Princess Di. He was still seeing his current wife and she was seeing someone else. Hell, drama is quite possible on both sides.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      It looks like her white side of the family is bringing all of the drama, her white sister, brother and father seems to be causing all of the problems.

    • Mac Daddy on said:

      True dat, whites can sometimes bring the drama, but blacks always bring it. Mo-fo’s Be fighting at funerals

    • Shut up, Perry. Drama will come from the bride’s side of the family because THAT’S WHERE IT’S COMING FROM! PERIOD. Got nothing to do with race. Her father has already shown why the wife divorced him (dumb as a cowbell and NO commonsense). The half-brother is a recovering alcoholic and the half-sister is a golddigger. GEEZ! WHAT …I say…WHAT could possibly go wrong!?!?!

  2. The Truth on said:

    Blessing to the both of You. Forgive your father he feels bad enough. This is a once in a lifetime for you and him. He made a mistake we all make them. One thing we can never get back time and a heartache of regrets. It’s your day and if it’s wasn’t for your father you would Not Exist. Thank God for him and do your part as a Beautiful Princess….Much Love..

  3. Good luck with your wedding and best wishes for happiness in your new life together, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle. But please remember, “There comes a time when the jewels cease to sparkle, the gold loses its luster, the throne room becomes a prison, and the only thing left is a father’s love for his child.”—Max Von Sydow as The King in “Conan the Barbarian.” (screenplay by John Milius and Oliver Stone)

  4. Regardless of this pre-marital drama, everyone should know by now that THIS marriage is gonna’ be filled with drama …. from the brides side of the family. I can hear Meghans mother hurrumphing at the father, “this is why I divorced your sorry azz…..NO common senses … and you’re messing up things for your daughter” PLUS …. wer’re ALL waiting to exhale for that first baby!!!! Gonna be interesting.

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