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Markle confirms absence

Meghan Markle has issued a statement confirming her father Thomas Markle won't be attending her wedding to British royal Prince Harry on Saturday.

Thomas told TMZ earlier this week that he wasn't fit to travel to England for his daughter's big day because he would be recovering from major heart surgery, and the former Suits actress confirmed the news in a statement issued by Kensington Palace on Thursday.

"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," the statement read. "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 on Saturday."

Thomas, 73, had suffered a heart attack on 8 May and had been experiencing chest pains, so he returned to hospital on Tuesday and underwent an operation on Wednesday. He told TMZ that the doctors "will go in and clear a blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed."

Reports suggest the procedure has been completed and Thomas is alert and coherent, telling TMZ he believed doctors had implanted three stents in his blood vessels.

It is not known who will now walk Meghan down the aisle, although reports suggest it will be her mother Doria Ragland, who was pictured arriving at London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday.

The mother of the bride was met at the airport by Harry's assistant private secretary, Amy Pickerill, who has been assigned as Meghan's new aide, and one piece of luggage appeared to hint at the outfit she had chosen for her daughter's big day - a Burberry garment bag.

Doria will accompany the bride in the car ride from Cliveden House Hotel, where mother and daughter will stay on the eve of the nuptials, to St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday.



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