Why Meghan Markle's father is not going to the royal wedding

Meghan Markle's dad will reportedly not be attending the royal wedding.

According to a TMZ report, published on Monday, May 14, 2018, Thomas Markle no longer plans to walk his famous daughter down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry this weekend following a recent photo controversy.

The 73-year-old told the gossip rag that he'd suffered a heart attack six days ago, but had checked himself out of the hospital to attend the former Suits actress' nuptials. However, after he was caught selling staged paparazzi photos of himself preparing for the wedding this past weekend, Thomas said he's decided to skip the royal affair so as to not embarrass his daughter or the royal family.

While reports have alleged that he'd struck a $100,000 deal with a photo agency, Thomas claimed that the rate wasn't nearly that high, adding that he didn't do it for the money. 

As he told TMZ, he wanted to fix his public image ahead of the big day, as he was previously caught by the paparazzi in more "unflattering circumstances," such as "buying beer, looking disheveled and reclusive." That said, he now regrets having the photos taken, saying that they made him look "stupid and hammy."

Since the controversy broke, Meghan's half-sister, Samantha, has taken responsibility. "The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault," she tweeted from a private account on Monday morning (via the Daily Mail). "The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family."

In response to these reports, Kensington Palace released a statement, saying, "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" (via Page Six).

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, announced their engagement in late November 2017. The couple have been together since the fall of 2016, and plan to marry at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19, 2018.