Meghan Markle confirms dad will not attend royal wedding

Update 6:40 a.m. EDT Thursday: Actress Meghan Markle issued a statement early Thursday confirming that her father will not be attending her wedding to Britain's Prince Harry on Saturday.

"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," Kensington Palace tweeted. "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

The statement continued: “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.”


ORIGINAL STORY: Actress Meghan Markle's father is scheduled to undergo heart surgery Wednesday and will not be able to attend his daughter's wedding to Britain's Prince Harry on Saturday, entertainment site TMZ reported Tuesday afternoon, sparking headlines by The Associated PressCNN and other news outlets.

The doctors "will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed," Thomas Markle, 73, told TMZ, which reported earlier Tuesday that he had been hospitalized for severe chest pain but would attend the wedding if doctors let him.

The elder Markle, who originally had planned to walk his daughter down the aisle, previously said he would skip the royal wedding amid a paparazzi photo scandal, according to TMZ. He later changed his mind after receiving a text message from his daughter, the site reported.

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Kensington Palace has not confirmed the reports but issued the following statement Monday:

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding. She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

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