Meghan Markle today confirmed her father will not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry.
Ms Markle issued a statement confirming Thomas Markle would not attend following a heart operation.
She said in a statement: “Sadly my father will not be attending my wedding.
“I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support.
“Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”
The statement came after Ms Markle’s father said he would take “a long time to heal” after undergoing a heart operation. The 73-year-old told website TMZ that he was recovering in hospital after surgery following a heart attack.
He has been at the centre of a media storm over “fake” paparazzi photos and days of uncertainty over whether he will be able join Saturday’s celebrations in Windsor.
Mr Markle had been due to walk his daughter down the aisle to marry Prince Harry, and Meghan’s nephew had suggested there was still a chance he could be fit enough to travel from his home in Mexico.
The bride’s mother, Doria Ragland, is widely tipped as a stand-in.
She spent the night at Kensington Palace after arriving at Heathrow yesterday following a 10-hour flight from Los Angeles. Meanwhile, more members of the bride’s circle of closest friends have arrived in London for the wedding.
The New York-based fashion designer Misha Nonoo, 31, who is credited as the matchmaker who brought the couple together, posted an Instagram picture of herself walking down a London street.
Sarah Rafferty, 45, a co-star in the TV legal drama Suits that made Meghan’s name, was photographed with her family sight-seeing at Buckingham Palace.
Meghan’s announcement about her father came as a full-scale dress rehearsal for the wedding at St George’s Chapel began on Thursday morning.
Members of the Royal Navy’s Small Ships and Diving unit, the Royal Marines, Household Cavalry and 3 Regiment Army Air Corps were all participating in the dry run just 48 hours before the wedding is beamed to the hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.