Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe have become absolutely obsessed with their impending nuptials. And the day is almost here — in just two weeks, the couple will exchange their vows in what's expected to be an extravagant wedding at St. George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. And with the news that Markle's father, Thomas Markle, will attend the event, fans are likely wondering: Will Meghan Markle's dad walk her down the aisle? And what role will her mom, Doria Ragland, play?
Not only will Prince Harry meet Thomas Markle for the first time a few days before the ceremony on May 19, but the British royal will also get to witness his bride walk arm-in-arm with her father down the aisle, according to People. Kensington Palace posted a statement to Twitter Friday morning announcing the news, and added that her father and mother will arrive in the United Kingdom the week of the wedding so they can spend time with the British royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William and Kate Middleton "before the big day."
The communications secretary to Prince Harry wrote in the announcement released Friday from Kensington Palace, according to The Guardian:
Both of the bride's parents will have important roles in the wedding. On the morning of the wedding, Ms. Ragland will travel with Ms. Markle by car to Windsor Castle. Mr. Markle will walk his daughter down the aisle of St George's Chapel. Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion.
The spokesperson added, The Guardian reported:
Prince Harry and Ms Markle are very much looking forward to welcoming Ms. Markle’s parents to Windsor for the wedding.
Up until Thursday, it was uncertain if Thomas Markle, an Emmy-winning television lighting director retired from show business, would even attend his daughter's royal ceremony on May 19. In March, The Daily Beast reported that the 73-year-old former Hollywood executive would be present on daughter's big day and would take on the traditional paternal role. But mid-April, Meghan's uncle, Michael, had told The Daily Mirror that her father's side of the family had yet to be invited to the wedding, and that Thomas didn't know what role he'd play. (It should be noted, though, that The Sun first reported in December that Thomas had every intention to walk his daughter down the aisle.)
It's not surprising that there is such a disconnect between Meghan and her father's side of the family. Over the last few months, the humanitarian and former American actor has had to deal with a lot of drama with estranged members of her family. On Wednesday, In Touch Weekly published an exclusive on an error-filled handwritten note penned by Meghan's brother, Thomas Markle Jr., warning Prince Harry that his estranged sister is "obviously not the right women [sic] for you." Thomas Jr. also lamented in the note that, "to top it all off, she doesn't invite her own family and instead invites complete strangers to the wedding. Who does that?," according to In Touch.
Meghan's cousin, Trish Gallup, had also reportedly written to Clarence House inquiring why her family had not be invited to be part of the royal wedding, according to The Mirror. Gallup's package was ultimately turned away, so she penned a note to Prince Harry using an address she found during an internet searched, but has yet to receive a reply, The Mirror reported.
It's not clear if her uncle, her brother, her cousin or the extended Markle family was kept out of the loop, but there should no longer be any doubt about Meghan's father's involvement in her wedding.
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