There's no one right way to get married, something royal wedding watchers might not exactly agree with, but nevertheless, it's true. Such was the case with Saturday's royal wedding, as the bride made quite a controversial decision regarding a long-standing tradition. But, the reactions to Meghan Markle walking herself down the aisle made it clear that her choice was definitely respected.
As CNN reported ahead of the wedding, "Meghan Markle will make a striking feminist statement in her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday, choosing not to be chaperoned for much of the procession down the aisle of St. George's Chapel."
Now, for many brides in the United States, Markle's decision might not seem like such a big deal. But the thing is, when Markle walked herself down the aisle, she was actually making history. According to CNN, "No other royal bride in the UK has walked unescorted down the aisle at their wedding ceremony." So yeah, while plenty of brides have made the bold decision to walk solo down the aisle, Markle was the first bride of a royal wedding to do so, cementing her position as a landmark feminist in the royal family.
Markle's wedding is certainly her day, and this decision was hers to make.
Unfortunately, the lead up to the royal wedding was rife with plenty of drama and rumors surrounding Markle's father, Thomas Markle. Months ago, paparazzi photos of Markle's father made the rounds. However, as it turns out, Markle himself admitted to having those photos staged in order to make himself took better to the press. Per TMZ,
Markle tells us over the last year he's been ambushed by paparazzi who have photographed him in the most unflattering circumstances ... buying beer, looking disheveled and reclusive. He's especially upset that they made him look like a lush. Thomas says he doesn't even drink beer ... he was buying it for the guards at the place where he lives.
However, the fall-out from the photo scandal meant that Markle's father suffered a heart attack and subsequently had to undergo surgery. Because of that, Markle made the sad announcement that her father wouldn't be able to attend her wedding at all, let alone walk her down the aisle.
As Markle confirmed in a statement from Kensington Palace, her father's absence at the royal wedding was somewhat last minute. In part, Markle's statement read:
Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.
Soon after the announcement, many speculated about who would walk Markle down the aisle. And while many suggested that her mother would do the honor, it wasn't until the day before the wedding that Markle and Kensington Palace confirmed that she would be walking down the aisle by herself for most of the journey, before being joined by her new father-in-law, Prince Charles.
Yes, according to People, the statement read, "Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day." Additionally, Kensington Palace confirmed that Prince Charles was happy to have the honor and considered it the perfect way to welcome Markle into the family. But, even though Markle was accompanied down the aisle during the second half of her walk, she was alone at first, something Twitter users definitely took notice of.
Yes, Markle is definitely changing the game when it comes to royal weddings, and she's even more adored for it.