Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle’s father overshadows her wedding to Prince Harry

Meghan Markle’s father overshadowed his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry by sowing confusion about whether he would walk her down the aisle or snub the British royal family by pulling out of the intricately planned celebration at the last minute.

As royal fans convened on the genteel English town of Windsor where Harry is due to wed the American actress on Saturday, the role of her father, Thomas Markle, was still unclear after he issued a flurry of statements to an American news website.

On Monday he was reported by the Los Angeles-based celebrity website TMZ.com to be unable to attend due to a heart attack and embarrassment over whether he had staged pictures with a paparazzi photographer. But the same website said on Tuesday he had changed his mind and would go to be part of history.

TMZ later quoted him as saying the trip was off due to his need for immediate heart surgery.

TMZ on Wednesday reported that Markle was out of surgery. The website said it had spoken to Markle and that “he seemed alert and coherent, telling us doctors implanted stents in his blood vessels.” It was not known when he would be out of the hospital.

Markle, who lives in Mexico, had been due to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in front of 600 guests including all the senior British royals and a smattering of celebrities.

Britain’s Sun newspaper, the country’s best selling, had to scramble to update its front page to reflect what it called the “Royal Sensation” of Thomas Markle’s absence under the headline: “I’ve got heart op today”. It offered four pages of analysis.

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