Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA

Meghan Markle's Father Will Not Attend Her Wedding

May 17, 2018 - 8:02 am

WINDSOR, England (WCBS 880/AP) -- Meghan Markle says her father will not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry, and has expressed hope that he can be "given the space'' to focus on his health.
Kensington Palace's statement Thursday puts to rest days of speculation about whether Markle's father, Thomas, would walk her down the aisle -- as the palace had previously said. 

His participation was put into doubt after news site TMZ reported he would not attend because of embarrassment regarding paparazzi photographs. It later reported that he was having heart surgery.

CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman said Thomas Markle’s decision is not a surprise.

“We didn’t think he would be attending. He was talking to our friend Harvey Levin with TMZ. I’m sure Harvey was supplying him with some compensation as well. But he basically, through TMZ, he made it clear that he was having this heart procedure; although he wanted to attend, he probably would not be able to attend,” Futterman said.

Meanwhile, Kensington Palace has been subjected to some criticism for not protecting Thomas Markle’s privacy.

“This is the British tabloid press finding stories to talk about. They have been trying to suggest, and they’ve had people who’ve backed them up, that perhaps Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace – the royal household, essentially – did not prepare Meghan Markle’s extended family for what they were going to go through,” Futterman said.

Markle says she would like "to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.''  

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)