Meghan Markle confirmed Thursday morning that her father Thomas Markle won't be attending the Royal Wedding due to a health concern.
"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health," the statement reads. "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."
Earlier this week, reports emerged alleging that Thomas had staged a series of paparazzi shots that went viral last month. He was reportedly embarrassed to have taken the photos, which included pictures of him working out and reading up on Great Britain. Shortly after, TMZ reported that Thomas suffered a heart attack and would not be attending the Royal Wedding at all. (And then, yesterday, Meghan's half-sister was hospitalised as well. It's a whirlwind.) Amid all these reports — some of which conflicted, as is what tends to happen when people report on the tight-lipped Royal family — Kensington Palace released a statement on behalf of Harry and Meghan.
"She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation," the statement read. It did not, at the time, clarify whether or not he would attend the wedding.
This most recent statement appears to be in response to a mounting scrutiny on Meghan's father and his adjacent family members. Thomas himself has been giving statements directly to TMZ, — all of a sudden, days before Meghan's wedding, a small soap opera (or the biggest soap opera ever) was unfurling in the tabloids. The Daily Beast declared that Kensington Palace had "lost control" of the Royal Wedding narrative.
And, indeed, Kensington Palace has lost the narrative, evidenced by Meghan's first real, from-the-source statement since becoming a Royal-to-be. It's rare that any single Royal releases a statement since Kensington Palace usually speaks on behalf of its vast web of monarch-ish people. This statement is the Royal equivalent of pulling over on the side of the road to yell at the kids bickering in the backseat.
Plus, Meghan just gets to call him "Harry"? Okay, braggart.
Read her full statement, below.