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Meghan Markle’s dad won't be at wedding after photos row

By Tony Jones

Meghan Markle’s father has pulled out of his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday.

Thomas Markle is reported to have told journalists at his home in Mexico that he had decided he wouldn’t be walking Meghan down the aisle.

He won’t be at his daughter’s nuptials because of allegations that he posed for staged paparazzi photos of himself, according to TMZ. Kensington Palace issued a statement saying it was “a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle”.

Mr Markle reportedly suffered a heart attack less than a week ago, but checked himself out of hospital so he could attend the ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Now, after the paparazzi claims were made by the Mail on Sunday, he has reportedly decided not to go to the event in order not to “embarrass” the royal family and Meghan. He told TMZ that paparazzi have “ambushed” him in the last year, photographing him in unflattering situations like “buying beer, looking dishevelled and reclusive”.

According to Meghan’s father (right), he has been offered between $50,000 and $100,000 for interviews since the future princess began dating Prince Harry, but has “turned all of them down”. Markle claims he was approached by the paparazzi agency in question which offered him money, TMZ says, but nothing close to the reported $100,000. He thought “there was no harm” in working with them if it would help him repair his image, the site said.

However he reportedly thinks the images look “stupid and hammy” and “deeply regrets” working with the agency. Markle married Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland in 1979. They divorced in 1987.

A statement from Kensington Palace 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.”

Meghan’s half-sister had claimed she was to blame for the controversy surrounding their father over the photographs.

Samantha Markle tweeted it was her idea Thomas Markle pose for what she called “positive photos” in a bid to combat his “bad” portrayal in the press, but said it was not for money.

The pictures were published earlier this month in a number of newspapers and news websites.

Mr Markle was pictured being measured for what was thought to be his wedding suit, looking at screen pictures of Meghan and Prince Harry while in an internet cafe, and reading a picture book about Britain while having a coffee.

It is reported that the photos of Mr Markle were sold for as much as £100,000, but Samantha Markle has disputed this.

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