The decision by Meghan Markle's father, Thomas, to not attend his daughter's wedding on Saturday has sent shockwaves through the British royal family.
On Monday, after it was revealed that Thomas Markle had staged paparazzi photos ahead of the royal wedding, the former Hollywood lighting director reportedly told TMZ that he no longer plans on showing up to Windsor Castle on Saturday due to the embarrassment that he thinks he's caused Meghan and her future family. Additionally, he said, he suffered a heart attack less than a week ago and checked himself out of the hospital early.
The scandal has reportedly left Meghan "devastated," a source told ET, while noting that "this was his decision entirely."
"Meghan would still like him to come," the insider added. "There is no plan in place yet who will walk Meghan down the aisle."
"This is not what she wants," another source told the Daily Mail. "She obviously wants her dad there. And the idea of contemplating him not being there now is not something that she wants to have to do. She and Prince Harry are begging for people to give him some space. They have been saying this for weeks, while trying to offer him support and help. He is clearly feeing under immense pressure. The concern for him is real and genuine."
On Monday, after TMZ reported that Thomas wouldn't attend the wedding, Meghan and Harry released a statement through Kensington Palace reacting to the media frenzy.
"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding," the statement read. "She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation."
In addition to Meghan's shock, members of the British royal family are reportedly "very angry" with Thomas Markle and the mayhem that his decision has caused.
"Lord Chamberlain, Her Majesty and the Duke are very angry with Meghan's father," a source told the Daily Express.
Harry, meanwhile, reportedly "feels guilty that this happened to someone he loves."
"He is devastated," a source told the Daily Mail. "He feels like this is another thing in the wake of him ... the problems he causes. He feels that anyone who gets associated with his life -- this is the price they have to pay."
Ahead of the wedding, it had been expected that both Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, would fly into London early to be able to get to know Harry's family. Doria is now considered the frontrunner to walk their daughter down the aisle.
"Mr. Thomas Markle and Ms. Doria Ragland will be arriving in the UK in the week of the wedding, allowing time for Prince Harry's family, including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to spend time with them before the big day," a press release from Kensington Palace read.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will get married inside St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
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