All eyes will be on Meghan Markle when she heads down the aisle. The actress-activist’s marriage to Prince Harry has already been scrutinized from every possible angle. Fans are obsessed with what dress she’ll be wearing and who will stand alongside her when she says her vows. The wedding promises to break many royal conventions.
And that will especially be true if she gets her wish when it comes to who walks her down the aisle.
1. Markle’s family drama has made headlines
It feels like Markle’s entire existence has been tabloid fodder since she and Harry announced their relationship. The British press has fixated on her race, her marital history and career. And recently, they’ve turned their attention to her family.
That is, in part, because her half-sister, Samantha Grant, hasn’t been shy about expressing her less-than-glowing feelings about Markle’s upcoming nuptials. But it’s also because of Markle’s relationship with her father.
Next: How well do Markle and her dad get along?
2. Markle’s relationship with her father may not be the best
According to numerous reports, Markle is mostly estranged from her father, Thomas Markle, and his family. In 1998, her parents divorced.
In a recently unearthed 1999 home video, Markle declared that she and her father weren’t “on the best of terms.” Of course, that was nearly 20 years ago, and their relationship could have improved since then.
But recent developments regarding the wedding could indicate that their relationship is still strained.
Next: Markle’s dad has a hard time with all the added attention.
3. Markle’s father is apparently upset about how the family has been represented in the press
Harry and Markle broke with a longstanding royal tradition and attended the family’s Christmas events together in 2017. Shortly after, Harry gave an interview in which he praised Markle’s willingness to jump into royal life. He told a BBC Radio 4 reporter that his family was like the one she “never had.”
It was likely meant to be an offhand comment with no malice. But Harry’s comments hit a nerve with some members of Markle’s family — including her half-sister and father.
Next: False photos?
4. Markle’s father staged publicity photos
Markle’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, convinced their father to stage publicity photos. She urged him to prepare staged photos of himself living a healthier, more positive lifestyle, and to sell them to the press. He was caught red-handed staging the photos.
Next: All this family drama could have implications for Markle’s wedding day.
5. Markle confirmed her father won’t walk her down the aisle
As the wedding approaches, it seems Thomas is begging off traditional wedding duties, citing the photo incident. Thomas claims he doesn’t want to embarrass Markle or the royal family. And if that’s the case, Markle may have to look to someone she’s closer to when she’s ready to walk down the aisle.
Next: There’s another reason Thomas might not show up.
6. Thomas Markle suffered a heart attack
Embarrassment aside, Thomas Markle might not be able to attend due to health issues. After suffering a recent heart attack, Markle claims to be having additional chest pains. Whether it’s his health or his embarrassment that prevents him from attending is up for you to decide.
Next: Markle could break one huge tradition on her wedding day.
7. Markle does have another important parental relationship
If Markle’s father doesn’t walk her down the aisle, it begs the question: Who will take his place? And it seems that she has some idea of who she’d like it to be. Markle is very close with her mother, Doria Ragland — she’s even called her one of her best friends. And she is reportedly considering having Ragland walk her down the aisle instead of her father.
If this had come to pass, the decision would have surely raised a few eyebrows.
Next: Ragland and Markle are on the same page.
8. Markle’s mother is all in where the royal family is concerned
Little has been revealed about how Markle and Harry’s families get along in a broad sense. But Harry himself admitted that he admires and adores Ragland. He told the BBC that he thinks Markle’s mother is “amazing.”
Ragland, for her part, seems pleased with Markle’s decision to join the royal family. She told reporters that she was “very happy” following news of her daughter’s engagement.
Next: Doria Ragland has dreams of her own
9. Markle’s mother quits her job
Ragland isn’t just preparing for the wedding. She recently quit her job to fulfill her goal of opening a private practice. With a bold mother like her, it’s no wonder Markle became the person she is today. It’s not difficult to imagine Ragland walking Markle down the aisle.
Next: Markle has chosen who will walk her down the aisle.
10. Markle and Harry are keeping their heads up
Markle’s dad is allegedly overwhelmed with all the attention heading into their big day. That could be the reason reason he is reportedly choosing to no longer participate. Whatever the reason, Markle and Harry are trying to put their best foot forward as they try to plan for her walk down the aisle. And they’ve asked that the media to be respectful.
On Monday, May 14, a Kensington Palace spokesman had this to say: “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.”
And they finally were able to settle the drama once and for all. On May 18, Kensington Palace confirmed that Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will walk her down the aisle.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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Additional reporting by John Wolfe