Prince Charles, the father of the groom will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at her wedding to his son Prince Harry on Saturday 19 May after her own father had to pull out to undergo heart surgery.
“Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day,” Kensington Palace stated in a statement on the eve of the ceremony being dubbed wedding of the year.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 18, 2018
“The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way,” the palace added.
Her father, Thomas, 73, pulled out of the wedding after he was alleged to have staged candid shots with a paparazzi in the run-up to the event. American gossip website TMZ.com subsequently reported he had suffered a heart attack and had to undergo emergency surgery which would rule him out of performing the traditional role of giving his daughter away.
In 2016, Prince Charles also helped out the daughter of his close friend, Lord Brabourne who passed away in 2005. Alexandra Knatchbull’s father was a celebrated film producer and married to the Duke of Edinburgh’s cousin, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
More family drama and pronouncements from Meghan’s step siblings had cast a shadow on the wedding and she was forced to release a statement on Thursday revealing she was sad he could not make it.
Meanwhile, Prince Philip, 96, the Prince Consort, will attend the nuptials of his grandson Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday.
The Duke of Edinburgh who had successful hip replacement surgery last month, would be at Saturday’s ceremony, the palace said. Former naval officer Philip retired from public life last August and is renowned for his tongue-in-cheek comments and observations.