The father of American actress Meghan Markle said on Tuesday he could not attend his daughter’s wedding to Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday because he needed a heart procedure.
Markle, 73, was due to walk his daughter down the aisle in front of 600 guests including all the senior British royals and a smattering of celebrities.
Markle threw the wedding plans into confusion earlier this week when he said he would not attend the May 19 nuptials because he did not want to embarrass his daughter or the royal family after reports he had staged pictures with a paparazzi photographer for a fee. He also said he had been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack a week ago.
TMZ said he had agreed to the staged pictures, which showed him looking at images of the couple on a computer and being sized up for a suit because he hoped they would improve his image.
On Tuesday, Markle told TMZ that he hated “the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle.” But he later said doctors had scheduled surgery on Wednesday morning. “They (doctors) will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed,” Markle told the website.
Kensington Palace, Harry’s office, could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.
If her father does not come, British newspapers suggested that Markle’s mother, would walk her daughter down the aisle.
Prince Harry and his elder brother Prince William have both made clear in the past their dislike of the press, fuelled by the death of their mother Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997 as her limousine sped away from chasing paparazzi. Kensington Palace has limited press access to the ceremony itself and strictly controlled the release of details about the wedding to the media.