Prince Charles to walk Meghan down the aisle

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London: Prince Charles will walk actress Meghan Markle down the aisle today when she marries Prince Harry, the Kensington Palace said.

Meghan’s father Thomas is unable to attend the wedding after undergoing heart surgery.

She released a statement on Thursday saying she hoped he could be given space to focus on his health.

The Prince of Wales was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the Royal Family in this way”, the palace added.

Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland will take her daughter to the wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Ragland will meet the Queen for the first time at Windsor Castle later, accompanied by Meghan, 36, and Prince Harry, 33.

She has already been introduced to Prince Charles and Prince William.

Earlier on May 17,  in her first solo statement issued by the palace, Meghan thanked people for their messages of support since the news first emerged that her father was not going to the U.K. for the wedding, reports ew.com.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

A royal source said that Meghan “is very concerned about her father. But equally, she is excited about her wedding. She is with her mother and with her best friends, and is preparing for one of the most magical days of her life”.

On Wednesday, Thomas said that he successfully completed heart surgery and his doctors implanted multiple stents in his blood vessels. He remains hospitalised, according to TMZ.

The royal source couldn’t confirm the operation, but said of Meghan’s father, “He has told Meghan he cannot attend due to medical reasons”.

The couple will marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, at midday and, at 1 p.m., they will travel through Windsor, Berkshire, in a carriage, the BBC reported.

Kensington Palace said the couple are “hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received”.

The palace also confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will marry the prince and Markle.

The Rt Rev David Conner, dean of Windsor, will conduct the service at St George’s Chapel.

The chapel holds about 800 people, making it a more intimate setting than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in Westminster Abbey.

The couple will then return to a reception for guests from the congregation at St. George’s Hall.

That evening, Prince Charles will give a private evening reception for the couple and close friends and family, the BBC reported.

Markle will be baptised into the Church of England and confirmed before the wedding.

(Agencies)