Update: 4:54 e.s.t: Kensington Palace released a statement to TMZ regarding Meghan Markle.
"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."
Thomas Markle, the father of bride-to-be Meghan Markle will not attend the royal wedding on Saturday to spare his youngest daughter embarrassment over his photo scandal. Meghan Markle is said to be very upset over the revelation that he father sold photo access of himself to a U.S. news agency which showed him prepping for his daughter's wedding to Prince Harry. Thomas Markle was supposed to walk Meghan down the aisle.
Father of the bride, Thomas Markle has confirmed to TMZ that he is not going to attend the royal wedding this coming weekend, but he adds that he meant Meghan and Harry no harm. Markle said that money (reportedly in the six figures) was not the primary reason he decided to work with a photographer on the staged photos of wedding prep.
The elder Markle said that all of the photos of him in the press had been unflattering and in circumstances that he thought might reflect poorly on Meghan. He says that he was being portrayed as a recluse, looking disheveled and going on a beer run. Markle believed there would be no harm in organizing more flattering photos prior to the wedding, and in no way did he want to embarrass Meghan or the royal family.Complicating the story is Samantha Markle's assertion that she was the guiding force behind the staged photos of her father. Samantha is the half-sister of Meghan Markle (the two share a father) who has not been invited to the royal wedding due to an estrangement with the bride. Samantha, who also goes by the name Samantha Grant, tweeted a message to Kensington Palace saying that it was not her father's idea, but her own says Vanity Fair.
"The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault. 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."Samantha had gone public around the time of Meghan's engagement to Prince Harry that she was working on a memoir about her half-sister called The Diary Of Princess Pushy's Sister, which seemed like another attempt to benefit from this new connection to the royal family. Despite expressing interest, Samantha Markle was not extended an invitation to the big day at Windsor Castle. But now it's official that Thomas Markle will not be in London for the royal wedding. Meghan's dad says that whether or not he could attend was already up in the air as he suffered a heart attack six days ago, says TMZ. Markle says that he checked himself out of the hospital early so that he could prepare to fly to the United Kingdom, but now he says he will not attend to spare Meghan any additional embarrassment on what will likely be the biggest and most public day of her life.
The bride is not speaking publicly about the staged photo scandal, but sources close to her say that Meghan is very upset about the whole matter, says US Weekly.
"Meghan is upset and disturbed by the entire ordeal and just wants to move past it. She doesn't want to let anything ruin her day and is trying to keep focus on the weekend."