Meghan Markle has confirmed that her father, Thomas Markle, will not attend her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday.
Her comments come after days of confusion over whether he would attend, and after reports that he underwent heart surgery.
“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,” Meghan Markle said in a statement Thursday.
“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, Thomas Markle cited the heart operation as his reason for not attending the wedding and said he would be staying in hospital for a few more days.
Speaking to the TMZ entertainment website, he said it would “take a long time to heal.”
He had reportedly changed his mind about attending the wedding ceremony several times as he became embroiled in controversy over allegedly staging a series of photos of himself captured by an American paparazzo.
Meghan Markle’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, recently said she was the “culprit” who urged their father to stage the photos in an ill-fated bid to improve his image. She said her father had “suffered at the hands of the media” and had decided “enough is enough.”
Before his operation, Thomas Markle had reportedly told TMZ he wanted to walk his daughter down the aisle.
“I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle,” he was quoted as saying.
Thomas Markle is a former lighting director who worked on popular TV shows “Married with Children” and “General Hospital,” according to the Internet Movie Database.
He met Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, at a Hollywood studio in the late ’70s and the pair split when their daughter was young.