Meghan Markle is asking for "understanding and respect" following her father's decision not to attend the royal wedding on Saturday (19May18).
Thomas Markle reportedly had a change of heart about attending his daughter's big day following the uproar over his staged paparazzi photos, for which he has come under attack in the British tabloids.
He had been due to walk his daughter down the aisle for her wedding to Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, England, but he told TMZ.com on Monday (14May18) he has since cancelled the trip to avoid further embarrassment to the royal family.
Thomas also claimed the decision to skip Meghan and Harry's nuptials was partly due to health concerns after reportedly suffering a heart attack on 8 May (18).
Kensington Palace officials in London have now confirmed the medical scare in a new statement released to the media.
"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding," it reads. "She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation."
The father of the bride hit headlines on Sunday after it emerged candid photos of Thomas preparing for the former actress' big day had actually been pre-arranged, with Los Angeles-based photographer Jeff Rayner hired to snap images of Thomas looking at news reports about Meghan's upcoming nuptials, working out, and getting fitted for a suit for the high-profile ceremony.
Meghan's estranged half-sister, Samantha, subsequently revealed she helped broker the pictures, which were sold to news agencies and publications worldwide, in an effort to show her dad in a more positive light following the publication of unflattering shots in recent months.