Royal wedding 2018: Prince Charles to walk Meghan down the aisle
Prince Charles will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle on Saturday when she marries Prince Harry, Kensington Palace has said. Ms Markle’s father, Thomas, is unable to attend the wedding, after undergoing heart surgery. The Prince of Wales was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the Royal Family in this way”, the palace added.
Prince Harry’s grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, will also attend the wedding, Buckingham Palace confirmed. Prince Philip, 96, has been recovering from a hip operation. Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, will take her daughter to the wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Ms Ragland has arrived at Windsor Castle to meet the Queen for the first time, accompanied by Ms Markle, 36, and Prince Harry, 33.
She has already been introduced to Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The ceremony begins at 12:00 BST and will be broadcast to the world.
- Royal Wedding final preparations: Live Updates
- Windsor’s glimpse of Meghan and Harry
- Reality check: Who’s paying for the wedding?
- How to watch the events
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who will marry the prince and Ms Markle, said he thought it was “wonderful” Prince Charles will walk Ms Markle down the aisle.
“He’s a very warm person and that he’s doing this is a sign of his love and concern and support,” he said.
Mr Markle had been due to arrive in the UK earlier this week, but became caught up in controversy over the apparent staging of photographs with the paparazzi.
Speaking to the BBC from Windsor, American celebrity news site TMZ’s Sean Mandell said he had spoken to Mr Markle on Wednesday and that he was “doing well” and “recovering from surgery”. Mr Mandell – who broke the story – said Mr Markle realised on Tuesday that he would not be travelling to Windsor.
“Chest pains were really being exacerbated by the emotional strain he was under,” he said.
“When doctors told him he needed to have surgery, he decided he needed to heed that advice, despite the fact he wanted to be here in Windsor for Meghan.”
“He definitely feels he’s been mis-characterised,” Mr Mandell added. “That’s why he felt the need to speak out when I reached him.”
Ms Markle released a statement on Thursday saying she hoped her father could be given space to focus on his health.
Ms Markle’s mother met William and Catherine and their eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon.
She took tea with Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House in London on Wednesday.
Ms Markle will have 10 bridesmaids and pageboys, who are all under the age of eight.
She decided against having a maid of honour, saying she wanted to avoid choosing between her closest friends.
- In pictures: Crowds line streets for rehearsal
- Which titles might Harry and Meghan have?
- Eight different ways to spend royal wedding day
- Royal wedding: All you need to know