What’s Really Going on With Meghan Markle’s Dad?

Prince Harry Meghan

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s whirlwind romance has captivated the world for months now. However, the excitement has been somewhat dimmed by concerns over Markle’s father, 73-year-old Thomas Markle.

In a statement released by Kensington Palace yesterday morning, the American bombshell revealed that her father would not be in attendance at her wedding this Saturday at Windsor Castle:

“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. I 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.”

According to TMZ, Markle said Wednesday that he recently underwent heart surgery and that he believes doctors implanted three stents in his blood vessels.

“I’m ok. It will take a long time to heal. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited,” he told TMZ.

Markle required surgery after he suffered a heart attack just over a week ago. The retired lighting director told TMZ previously that he “hated the idea” of missing such a momentous historical event and the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle, but after his attack, he knew he wouldn’t be able to make it to London.

The news of Markle’s inability to attend the royal wedding comes just days after he admitted to staging paparazzi photos to “improve his image.” The photos show Markle sitting in a café reading a book titled “Images of Britain,” an obvious attempt at demonstrating his preparations for his daughter’s big day. Markle now says he regrets the photos.

With her father unable to attend the wedding, Markle will walk down the aisle solo for the first half (an unprecedented move for a British royal bride), while Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will chaperone her for the second half. For now, Markle is still recovering in the hospital, and it’s unclear when he’ll be discharged.

Across the pond, the atmosphere is abuzz with excitement over the upcoming wedding. Markle’s Suits co-stars Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty have landed in Europe, and Harry and Meghan (soon to be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) have arrived at Windsor Castle.

From the flowers to the cake to the multi-million-dollar security plan, final preparations for the wedding are currently underway, and the event is sure to go off without a hitch. Yesterday morning, a dress rehearsal of the carriage procession through Windsor Town took place, and if this is just the practice round, the real thing should be truly stunning.