Meghan Markle’s dad will reportedly not attend his daughter’s royal wedding to Prince Harry Saturday.
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a spokesperson for Kensington Palace told CNN. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
The comments come after TMZ reported Monday that Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, told the outlet that he will not be there to walk his daughter down the aisle so as to “not to embarrass the royal family or his daughter.” It follows reports that photos of him looking online at news about his daughter’s big day while visiting an internet cafe were allegedly “staged.”
Markle said he partnered with a paparazzi agency to help “recast his image.” A Los Angeles-based photographer reportedly got $135,000 for the shots, but Markle’s father claims those reports are not accurate.
Markle’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, shared the information Monday during an interview with British news network ITV about how she encouraged her father to stage the photos for the paparazzi because they only showed him in “unflattering ways.”
“I said the world has no idea that you’re getting in shape and doing healthy things,” Samantha Markle told ITV’s program, “Loose Women.” “They don’t photograph you buying vegetables and pH water, they photograph you in as unflattering ways as they can. I said, ‘Really you need to show the world you are getting in shape and doing great, healthy things.’ So I suggested it.”
The royal wedding will take place Saturday at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.