Kensington Palace Reportedly Blindsided as Meghan Markle's Dad Withdraws From Wedding

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionTMZ's Sean Mandell says Thomas Markle thinks

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTMZ's Sean Mandell says Thomas Markle thinks"news reports are not accurate

Kensington Palace has not confirmed if Mr Markle will still attend the wedding, but said Meghan and Prince Harry have called for "understanding".

He will no longer make the journey to meet his future son-in-law Prince Harry, he said, or keep planned appointments with the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot on May 19 at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

The palace refused to confirm whether her father would be attending the wedding on Saturday.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Monday night issued a statement asking for "understanding and respect" for Thomas Markle.

Ms Markle's half-sister, Samantha Markle, said she hoped her father would be at the ceremony.

Photos showed Meghan's Tracy Dooley - the ex-wife of Meghan's half-brother Thomas Markle Jr - and her sons, Tyler and Thomas, arriving at Heathrow Airport on Monday.

"I couldn't be more proud of Meghan - she is everything to me".

"Harry and Meghan's relationship started across the Atlantic so it seemed fitting for all of us to take-off to Toronto on their special day", Megan Horsley, British Airways Customer Service Manager, added in the press release.

Ms Markle's father is white and mother African-American, and Prince Harry's office has spoken about the racism Ms Markle has experienced based on her ancestry.

So who is Thomas Markle? Meghan's father Thomas Markle is reportedly on his way to hospital again. According to TMZ, Thomas suffered a heart attack last week and has to have surgery on Wednesday (May 15).

Thomas was slated to walk the 36-year-old actress down the aisle and our source says Meghan is "devastated" about his decision.

Samantha Markle also dismissed the idea that her father had been paid to take the photos.

A screenshot of a Daily Mail posting about Thomas Markle on Facebook. "That was not the motive - it was my suggestion", she said. As we know the media can take very unflattering photographs of people on their casual days and blow it way out of proportion.

Mr Markle was married to Meghan's mother, Doria, in 1979 but they divorced in 1987 when Meghan was six years old.

According to the celebrity news site TMZ, Markle has pulled out of the wedding because he doesn't want to embarrass his daughter or the royal family. "I said, 'Really you need to show the world you are getting in shape and doing great, healthy things.' So I suggested it".

"Actually she has a large family who were always there with her and for her", Ms Grant responded on Twitter.

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