WINDSOR, United Kingdom — Prince Charles will be the one to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle when she marries his son Prince Harry, palace officials said Friday as final preparations were under way on the eve of the royal wedding.
The bride had initially hoped her father Thomas Markle would take on the role, but confirmed Thursday he would not attend as he is recovering from a heart operation after being caught up in a paparazzi fiasco involving staged pictures.
Although many thought her mother Doria Ragland could step in, Kensington Palace said her future father-in-law would take on the responsibility at Saturday’s ceremony.
“Ms Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle… on her wedding day,” a statement said.
“The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the royal family in this way.”
Markle’s mum will on Friday meet Queen Elizabeth II for the first time at Windsor Castle, where the nuptials will take place.
She met with Charles and his wife Camilla on Thursday, and will be joined by her daughter and future son-in-law for Friday’s afternoon tea with the monarch.
In the weeks running up to the wedding, organisers have been caught off guard by the chaos surrounding the family of the bride-to-be, with palace staff referring to it as the “Markle Debacle”, Britain’s Daily Mirror reported.
And the palace itself has come under fire for its handling of the situation.
“Kensington Palace has missed a trick with the whole family,” veteran royal biographer Penny Junor told AFP, suggesting it might have been prudent for Markle to invite her half-siblings.
“The relatives have become a bigger story than the event itself, which is tragic.” (Excerpts from AFP)