The royal wedding is quickly approaching but there’s just one question that’s on everyone’s mind: Who will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle?
Traditionally, that honor goes to the father of the bride, Thomas Markle, but sadly, Markle’s father has been experiencing health issues in the days leading up to the wedding and the future royal released a statement earlier this week confirming that her dad wouldn’t be attending the happy nuptials.
“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding,” Markle wrote. “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.”
This comes after media scrutiny and a planned paparazzi photo caused a stir on social media. Markle’s dad was snapped doing a bit of research at an internet cafe on England and the royal couple before he was scheduled to walk his daughter down the aisle.
Later, it was revealed that the sweet candid photos were actually staged shots, with Markle’s father working with a photographer to release the images. Markle’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, claimed that the family took the pictures to paint her dad in a better light before the wedding and that the stress of all of the press attached to the stint might have contributed to his heart attack. According to CNN, Markle’s father underwent surgery for his health issues and is now recovering from the operation, but the unfortunate timing means that he won’t be there to watch his daughter get married.
Such a last minute change would put a hitch in any bride’s big day. Luckily for Markle, she has plenty of people available to fill in for her dad, but who’s the most favored to walk Markle down the aisle? Let’s look at the odds.
1. She Will Walk Alone
From the moment rumors began to swirl that Markle and Prince Harry were dating, the Suits actress has bucked every conventional idea of what a royal should look like. The actress is an American, a divorcee, a star on a popular TV series, and is bi-racial. Her past and ethnicity have been the subject of numerous headlines. Some members of the royal family have been accused of wearing racist broaches to events celebrating the couple’s upcoming marriage and paparazzi harassed the actress during the early days of the pair’s courtship.
Still, Markle has stood firm and shown she has no plans to be a traditional bride or to follow all of the conventions expected of her. It wouldn’t be surprising if she decided to walk down the aisle on her own, and the odds are 12-1 that she will. She is a feminist after all.
2. Her Mom, Doria Ragland
Markle’s mother, 61-year-old Doria Ragland, has been heavily involved in the planning for her daughter’s wedding. She arrived in London earlier this week to be by Markle’s side before the big day. Markle has repeatedly stated how close the two are. She was 6-years-old when her parents divorced and she went to live with her mother.
The actress credits her mom as her inspiration for all of the humanitarian work she’s done over the course of her career and Ragland has been a big hit with the royal family, especially Markle’s fiance, Prince Harry. Their close bond puts the odds that Ragland will be the one to walk Markle down the aisle at 4-11.
3. Prince Charles
Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, might step in to fulfill father-of-the-bride duties on the big day. Prince Charles and Markle seem to have a good relationship — the happy couple is postponing their honeymoon to attend the royal’s birthday bash following the wedding. Markle had has a wonderful influence on Prince Harry, something his dad has surely noticed and appreciated.
The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, has gushed about the bride to the press before as well so it seems Markles made a good impression on Harry’s extended family. The odds are 10-1 that Prince Charles will be escorting his future daughter-in-law down the aisle come Saturday.
4. Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth has already given approval to Markle, who reportedly made a good impression thanks to her ease with the queen’s beloved corgis, but Prince Philip is also a fan of Harry’s bride. Apparently, Markle did her research before meeting the royal family, looking into Prince Philip’s Greek heritage and making sure to show an interest in his home country and his family.
Prince Philip has reportedly stated he loved Markle’s “bold” personality, so he’s more than likely to accept should the couple ask him to walk Markle down the aisle, but with Prince Philip’s health issue proving a real concern, the odds are 33-1 that he’ll actually step in.