Meghan Markle’s family has been surrounded by scandal, a media frenzy, and health issues over the weeks leading up to her Royal Wedding to Prince Harry. With her father reportedly needing heart surgery, many believed her mother would step in to walk her down the aisle, but the question of “Who is walking Meghan down the aisle?” was not answered until today. Markle’s soon-to-be father-in-law has stepped in to walk Markle down the aisle.
According to Telegraph, though Prince Charles is walking Markle down the aisle, he is not “giving her away”. In fact, Markle has reportedly omitted this part from the ceremony. She will walk the first half of the St. George’s Chapel “long walk” alone, though surrounded by the page boys and bridesmaids, but without anyone at her side. When Markle reaches the Quire, which mark the second half of the aisle, she will be met by Charles, the Prince of Wales. He will then take her arm and walk her for the remainder of the aisle. The Archbishop will not ask, “Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?”
Kensington Palace has released an official statement about the big change, saying, “Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.”
Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, was thought to be walking her daughter down the aisle after Markle confirmed her father would no longer be attending. Ragland will be riding with her daughter to the ceremony.
Originally, Markle’s father, Thomas, was announced as walking his daughter down the aisle on her big day. After a staged photo scandal broke out, he told TMZ that he didn’t want to embarrass his daughter on her wedding day. There was some back and forth as to whether or not Thomas Markle would still attend, but he reportedly has been in ill health and no longer can attend his daughter’s nuptials. Confirming the news that her father would not be able to attend the wedding, Markle released the following statement via Kensington Palace, “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 … 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.”
Prince Charles only has two sons and no daughters, but this is not his sole opportunity to walk a family member down the aisle. In 2016, Prince Charles walked the late Princess Diana’s goddaughter, Alexandra Knatchbull, down the aisle at her wedding to Thomas Hooper. According to Royal sources, Prince Charles is reportedly delighted to walk with Markle. A royal source told People that, “It was Meghan’s wish and she is grateful for the Prince of Wales to be doing it.”
The Royal wedding will air across countless networks in the U.S., as well as in over 200 movie theaters in the nation. Television coverage will begin as early as 1 a.m. PT/4 a.m. ET, but the ceremony itself will start at 4 a.m. PT/7 a.m. ET/12 p.m. GMT.