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Heart surgery stops Thomas Markle attending Meghan and Harry's wedding after chaotic day of announcements

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 16-05-2018 By Hannah Furness, Royal Correspondent and Gareth Davies

Meghan Markle’s father is to ungergo heart surgery which will stop him from walking his daughter down the aisle, it emerged last night.

After a day of confusion, in which he appeared to change his plans repeatedly, Thomas Markle announced via US celebrity website TMZ that he was due to have an operation and would not attend the Royal wedding on Saturday .

a person posing for the camera © Provided by The Telegraph It marked a dramatic turn of events and came just hours after an earlier u-turn, in which he said he would be at the wedding. 

The furore began on Monday when the 73-year-old said he would avoid the ceremony for fear of embarrassing his daughter in the wake of a controversy surrounding his collusion with the paparazzi .

However, on Tuesday he raised hopes of attending after all by saying his daughter had been in touch to reassure him, and was prepared to fly to Britain if his medical condition allowed.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England.  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage) © 2017 Samir Hussein LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage) Mr Markle is reported to have said: “I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle.”

But within hours he appeared to change his plans for a third time, claiming he required heart surgery after falling unwell again.

He told the site: "They [doctors] will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed."

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Prince Harry and fiance Meghan Markle attend the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England.  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor in May 2018.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) © 2017 Getty Images NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Prince Harry and fiance Meghan Markle attend the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor in May 2018. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) Playing out via TMZ, the abrupt changes raised further fears for Mr Markle’s well-being.

Kensington Palace has not commented on any of the claims, repeating only a plea for understanding and respect for Mr Markle.

Meghan Markle, he claimed, harbours “no ill feelings” towards him for the unfortunate episode, in which he was exposed for working with the paparazzi despite Kensington Palace’s repeated insistence that he wished to remain private.

Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at an event in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Adrian Dennis/Pool © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at an event in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Adrian Dennis/Pool The confusion leaves plans for the royal wedding in further disarray, irreversibly overshadowing the marriage of Prince Harry and Ms Markle. 

His inclusion in the wedding was only confirmed for the first time on May 4, with the 73-year-old planning to fly from his home in Mexico to Britain to meet the Queen and all senior members of the Royal Family before the big day.

Instead, on Monday, he disclosed he had pulled out of walking Ms Markle down the St George’s Chapel aisle “because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal family or his daughter”.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding.

“She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation.”

In comments that have not been confirmed or denied by the palace, Mr Markle said his daughter had sent him messages telling him that she loved him and was concerned about him.

It is understood that neither she or her husband-to-be Prince Harry hold him accountable for his decision to work with the paparazzi, believing him to have been placed under intolerable pressure by their presence.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland attend UN Women's 20th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing at Manhattan Centre at Hammerstein Ballroom on March 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) © 2015 Patrick McMullan NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland attend UN Women's 20th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing at Manhattan Centre at Hammerstein Ballroom on March 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) Doria Ragland, Ms Markle’s mother, is flying to Britain, and is expected to meet the Queen this week as planned.

She is expected to be the alternative choice to walk Ms Markle down the aisle.

Meghan's extended family arrive in London - without invites

Meghan Markle's extended family arrived in London with seemingly no invite to the big day. 

Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at Nottingham Academy in Nottingham, England , Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. It was announced on Monday that Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are engaged and will marry in the spring of 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at Nottingham Academy in Nottingham, England , Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. It was announced on Monday that Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are engaged and will marry in the spring of 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) With the constant speculation over whether or not her father would attend the ceremony, her nephews' arrival with their mother heaps more embarrassment on the American actress, 36.

Tracy Dooley - who was married to Meghan Markle's half-brother Thomas Markle Jr - was pictured at Heathrow Airport with her sons, Tyler, 25, and Thomas, 26.

a group of people standing on top of a suitcase © Provided by The Telegraph Ms Dooley has previously told ITV's Good Morning Britain she had not received an invitation to the ceremony at Windsor Castle on Saturday, admitting she had not seen Ms Markle for 20 years.

She is expected to cover the event for an American broadcasting network and said she "will be in the front row cheering them on" in Windsor.

The Dooleys took to Facebook to announce their presence in the capital on Monday evening.

Ms Dooley posted pictures of landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye, writing: "We're here. Yay."

© AFP Her son Tyler uploaded an image of the Imperial War Museum, as well as a photograph of the inside of a hotel room.

"Just touched down in London. Man, what a journey so far," he wrote. "We're safe and sound."

Ms Dooley lives in Medford, Oregon, according to her Facebook, but is originally from Calabasas in California. 

She is listed as a creative advertising and marketing specialist at Opus Broadcasting - a company responsible for a handful of radio stations, according to its website. 

Related: Harry and Meghan's wedding: What we know so far (Provided by Photos Services)On May 3, she shared a link to her personal blog, saying she was travelling to London to "cover all things Royal wedding".

Upon the family's arrival, the Facebook blog page - called Royal Wedding with the Dooley Markles - posted a picture of the trio landing at Heathrow with the caption: "Just glad to have landed safely and hoping for Tom senior to be well, healthy and happy.

"I wish the same for Meghan, Prince Harry, my children, friends, family and those who need our prayers and love. Peace, love and good works."

In April, the blog's page, which appears to be run by Ms Dooley, shared an article headlined "Meghan Markle snubs nephew and his mum with no invite to Royal wedding."

It was accompanied with the caption: "Beyond blessed to be any part of this momentous occasion. We'll be front and center at Windsor cheering Meghan and Prince Harry on."

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