- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 12:30PM
With just days to go until his daughter walks down the aisle, Meghan Markle's father has announced that he will no longer be attending the royal wedding on May 19.
Thomas Markle became caught up in scandal after it was revealed that he had conspired with paparazzi photographers to stage several photo shoots for money ahead of his daughter's big day.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Thomas Markle told TMZ that will no longer attend the wedding, hoping to avoid any embarrassment to Markle and the royal family.
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."
So in her father's absence, who will take over walking the royal bride down the aisle? Or will the independent actress simply do it herself?
Meghan and her mother Doria. Photo / Instagram
The most obvious choice for a suitable replacement is Markle's mother, Doria Ragland.
The two are close and Ragland has even got to know Harry over the past year, including a joint appearance at the Invictus Games in 2017.
During Markle and Harry's televised engagement interview, Harry said that Ragland was "awesome".
Ragland is expected to be driven with her daughter to St George's Chapel from Cliveden House Hotel, where the two will stay the night before the wedding. So it's quite possible that Ragland will continue on and walk her daughter down the aisle.
Meghan could walk herself down the aisle if she felt comfortable doing so. Photo / Getty Images
Perhaps the biggest show of strength and independence would come in the form of Markle walking down the aisle of St George's Chapel by herself.
The actress and activist has long been outspoken about her independence and it could be a telling gesture to walk herself down the aisle as she prepares to join the world's most famous family.
Prince William and Meghan Markle. Photo / Getty Images
A likely candidate for the job could come in the form of Markle's future brother-in-law, Prince William.
If history is anything to go by this could be an acceptable choice, as when Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960, her brother-in-law Prince Philip walked her down the aisle.
But as Harry's best man, William might be otherwise occupied being by his brother's side during the day
Prince Charles has been open with his acceptance of Meghan Markle. Photo / Getty Images
As Charles has no official duty during the wedding, her soon-to-be father-in-law could be a great choice and a show of family solidarity.
Both Charles and Camilla have been excited to welcome Markle into the family - even hosting the couple's evening wedding reception at Frogmore House.
Prince Philip could do the job if he is feeling well enough. Photo / Getty Images
Markle even could go for a different generation in the royal family and ask Prince Philip to do the honours.
But even if she did ask, he's unlikely to be fit enough to do the job.
Taking into consideration Prince Philip's recent hip replacement surgery, and the fact that the palace is yet to confirm his attendance at the wedding, he doesn't seem like a likely choice.
This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.