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Royal wedding plans in turmoil as Markle's dad 'pulls out'


AFP
WINDSOR
PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding this weekend was in turmoil on Tuesday following reports her father may not attend after a paparazzi scandal, rocking the royal family's meticulous planning for the landmark occasion.
Kensington Palace pleaded in a statement for"understanding and respect"during a"difficult situation"as US media reported Thomas Markle had suffered a heart attack brought on by the fallout from allegedly staging paparazzi photos of himself.
According to celebrity news website TMZ, he had decided against travelling from his home in Mexico to accompany his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle due to his health -- and to spare her further embarrassment.
Kensington Palace did not confirm whether Markle senior had pulled out of Saturday's wedding at St George's Chapel in the castle's grounds, but issued the statement hinting all was not well.
"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding,"it said."She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation."
The palace could not be reached for further comment.
Thomas Markle told TMZ he had agreed to pose for a paparazzi photo shoot in a bid to rehabilitate his image, rather than for money, but that he now regretted the move.
The images -- in which he was being measured for a suit and admiring a photo of the future royal couple on his computer -- sold for $100,000 (83,000 euros/£74,000) according to British tabloid the Daily Mirror.
TMZ said he had suffered a heart attack last week due to stress and that he was continuing to suffer from chest pains.
Markle senior said he had not heard from his daughter since the revelations broke, and that her mother would be a good choice to walk her down the aisle in his place.

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