Meghan dad misses out after surgery

Dabbawalas in Mumbai purchase a sari and kurta as wedding gifts for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. (Reuters)

London: After the flip-flop over whether Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, would be able to attend his daughter's wedding, it now looks the 73-year-old can be ruled out since he had a heart operation with three stents inserted on Wednesday.

Markle Snr, who has an isolated existence in Mexico, communicates bizarrely through a US entertainment website,

TMZ, which was told: "I'm okay. It will take a long time to heal. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited."

Perhaps it was never his intention to attend.

On Thursday Meghan confirmed in a statement that her father would not be coming. Kensington Palace issued "a statement from Meghan Markle" which read: "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding.

"I would like to thank everyone who has offered messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."

Meghan added: "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

During his interview with The Telegraph on April 27, Andrew Morton, author of Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, said: "Kensington Palace insists he is coming but my sources in the family tell me otherwise."

Meghan's 61-year-old mother, Doria Ragland, a yoga teacher and social worker, arrived at Heathrow on Wednesday after a 10-hour flight from Los Angeles. She was whisked through the VIP section at the airport by Prince Harry's assistant private secretary, Amy Pickerill, who was waiting with an immigration officer.

Dressed casually in a T-shirt, linen trousers and canvas pumps, and carrying a suit bag containing what is believed to be her Burberry wedding outfit, Ragland was picked up from the steps of the aircraft by a royal fleet Jaguar. A royal aide carried her bags.

She spent the night at Kensington Palace after being reunited with her daughter. On the night before the wedding, they will move to a hotel, Cliveden House, in Berkshire, notorious for being the scene of "the Profumo scandal".

Meghan's estranged step-brother, Thomas Markle, 51, has turned up in the UK, and visited Windsor on Wednesday to see arrangements for the wedding to which he has not been invited.

Meanwhile, his sister, Samantha, 53, has been left with a broken ankle and a fractured knee back in Florida after the car in which was being driven by her partner sought to avoid a photographer and crashed into a concrete barrier.


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