It was the subject of fevered speculation among royal watchers on Monday night after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked for "understanding" amid claims that Thomas Markle, Meghan's father, won't be attending the royal wedding on May 19.
Kensington Palace, the official residence of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, issued a statement late Monday following the allegations that Markle's father, who lives in Mexico, had pulled out of the wedding. The statement did not confirm or deny speculation surrounding his attendance.
"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," the statement said.
According to the celebrity news site TMZ, Markle has pulled out of the wedding because he doesn't want to embarrass his daughter or the royal family. The news website also claimed that he had recently suffered a heart attack.
TMZ said that Markle regretted working with a photographer and posing for pictures, which included pictures of Markle getting measured for his wedding suit and another of him looking at pictures of his daughter and future son-in-law. Markle told the website he looked "stupid and hammy."
Markle's half-sister Samantha said that she was the one to blame for the snaps and that they were intended to portray her father in a positive light.
"The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault," she said, according to tweets seen by the BBC. "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. We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money."
Earlier this month, palace officials said that Markle's father and mother, Doria Ragland, would arrive in Britain this week and would spend time with senior royals, including Queen Elizabeth II. Officials also said that on the day of the wedding, Markle's mother would accompany her in a car ride to Windsor Castle and that Markle's father would walk his daughter down the aisle at St. George's Chapel.
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