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Why Meghan Markle’s dad was absent at her royal wedding

Why Meghan Markle’s dad was absent at her royal wedding

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The Markle family were thrust into the spotlight as a result of Meghan’s Royal Wedding to Prince Harry.

Thomas W Markle Sr, the father of the woman now married to the sixth in line to the British throne, is of Dutch-Irish origin, and was born in 1945.

He is a former television lighting director working on iconic US shows including Married with Children and General Hospital.

In 2011 he won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series for his work on General Hospital, a long-running US soap.

He was married to Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, in 1979 – but they divorced in 1987.

It was initially announced that Thomas would walk his daughter down the aisle when she married Prince Harry on Saturday (today).

Thomas planned to make the trip from Mexico, where he is spending his retirement, to attend the wedding and had been spotted looking up the latest on the happy couple online.

However, on May 14, it emerged he had been struck down by a heart problem and pulled out of the ceremony after realising he might be too ill to make the trip.

The bombshell revelation came as he admitted he was paid to pose for staged paparazzi pictures sold to news outlets worldwide.

Meghan’s mother Doria will also attend the wedding along with Meghan’s best friends Jessica Mulroney and Lindsay Roth.

In a further twist Thomas then told TMZ he DID want to attend the wedding – although admitted his doctors might not let him travel due to recent health scares.

He said: “I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle.”

However, the US outlet later reported his hopes were in vain after doctors were forced to operate.

Conceding his attendance on the big day was now “impossible”, he said: “They [doctors] will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed.”

On May 16, it was reported Thomas had undergone “successful” surgery and was “alert and coherent” following the procedure.

On May 17 Kensington Palace issued a statement on behalf of Meghan Markle confirming her father would not attend the Royal Wedding.
It is clear from social media updates Meghan has a lot of love for her father.

“Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world,” the star wrote on Instagram in 2016 – sharing a throwback snap of her with her father when she was a baby.

“Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you xo -Bean,” she added.

A teenage Meghan told of her fractured relationship with her father in a candid home video shot by her best friend.

The actress was filmed by Ninaki Priddy as they drove around Los Angeles chatting about an upcoming audition.

But as they neared divorced dad Thomas’s home in the city the mood changed — and Prince Harry’s fiancée said: “We aren’t going to go there.”

Meghan confided in a pal about her difficult relationship with dad Thomas — saying: “We aren’t on the best of terms.”

The candid admission was caught on film as an 18-year-old Meghan and then best friend Ninaki Priddy filmed themselves driving around Los Angeles.

The footage, shot when Meghan was an aspiring actress, gives an extraordinary glimpse into the past of Prince Harry’s fiancee.


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