Kensington Palace announced on Monday, May 14, that the British prince, 33, and the former actress, 36, will celebrate his father Prince Charles’ 70th birthday a few months early in the garden of Buckingham Palace. More than 6,000 people, including Prince William and Duchess Camilla, have been invited to the event, which will honor Charles’ patronage, military affiliations and the many charities he supports.
The gathering will also recognize the emergency personnel who responded to the May 2017 terror attack at Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena. In addition, there will be performances by groups including the Band of the Welsh Guards and the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland.
Kensington Palace previously announced that Harry and Markle had postponed their honeymoon so that they could attend Charles’ patronage celebration. The location and dates for the couple’s getaway have not yet been announced.
The former Army helicopter pilot and the Suits alum are set to tie the knot at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19. Her father, Thomas Markle, was supposed to walk her down the aisle, but he claimed to TMZ on Monday that he recently suffered a heart attack and no longer plans to attend the royal wedding.
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” Kensington Palace said in a statement on Monday. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
The news of Thomas’ planned absence came just one day after a video emerged of him seemingly staging photos with paparazzi in Mexico. The bride-to-be’s estranged half-sister, Samantha Markle, later took responsibility, writing in a since-deleted tweet on Monday that she “suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family.”
A source told Us Weekly exclusively that Meghan is “upset and disturbed by the entire ordeal and just wants to move past it.”