The royal wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has been the rave of the moment and a long-awaited event for Prince Charles, who is expected to walk his daughter-in-law down the aisle.
As a gesture of welcome into the royal family, and a first time for the 69-year-old Prince of Wales to play this exalted role, Prince Charles is expected to be fully fit for the memorable event.
Image: Prince Charles
However, to forestall disappointments amid news of Markle’s father falling ill, Kensington Palace said Friday that the bride requested a backup plan that would see the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II offer a supporting elbow at the royal wedding in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor on Saturday.
“Charles is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the Royal Family in this way,” the palace said.
Prince Charles and Meghan Markle reportedly have a “growing affection” between them, and he has been “deeply emotional” since receiving the request from her.
Sources close to the royal family confirm that Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker have a “cordial relationship” with Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland.
Charles is so thrilled and honored for the opportunity to walk his future daughter-in-law down the aisle on her big day and can’t wait to officially welcome her to the royal family this weekend, palace insiders hinted.
As part of the final wedding preparations, Union Jacks have been unfurled and security barriers are up. Friends and well-wishers are also swarming the area to memorable scenes from prime viewing positions in Windsor, about 25 miles west of London.
Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will attend the royal wedding despite undergoing a hip replacement operation some weeks ago. The 96-year-old has retired from public duties and it remains unclear if he will be strong enough to attend the purple wedding.
The last-minute announcements about Prince Charles squashed rumors about who will be standing in for Markle even though her mother, Doria Ragland, has been the favored one to escort the bride. The heir to the British throne, without an iota of doubt, has a lifetime of experience in appearing at large-scale public events amid intense scrutiny.
“I think some people will be disappointed,” said royal historian Robert Lacey.
“People who were looking forward to the historic moment of a woman walking her daughter down the aisle, and a woman of mixed race heritage from America. It would have made an historic shot.
“But of course, Meghan has already arranged for her mother to drive up here to take her up to the castle. And for Prince Charles, the future king, to walk a bride down the aisle, what more could Meghan dream of?” Lacey added.
“And so, one symbolism may be disappointed, but the other one is more than satisfied.”
Meghan Markle’s own father, Thomas, will most likely be absent at the royal wedding after suffering a heart attack last week. He was reportedly nurturing hopes of attending the event until news surfaced that he had staged paparazzi photos. Following the news leak, Thomas revealed that he would no longer attend the event in order to save his daughter from any further embarrassment.
Meanwhile, Ragland, is scheduled to have tea with the queen at Windsor Castle on Friday. This will be her latest meeting with their in-laws since wedding preparations started. She dined with Prince William, Harry’s elder brother and best man, and William’s family on Thursday, having met Charles and his wife Camilla a day earlier.
Prince Charles and Meghan Markel walking down the aisle won’t be strange at all, considering that it’s not even the first time a royal bride hasn’t walked with her father in such occasions. The monarch’s sister, the late Princess Margaret, was walked down the aisle by Prince Philip, and Queen Victoria walked two daughters down the aisle.
Roseline Morris, 35-year-old from Basildon, England, noted that Charles hasn’t got a daughter himself, a circumstance that makes this role a lifetime memory for the heir apparent.
“He’s never going to get the chance to walk a daughter down the aisle, so this will be nice for him as well.” Roseline said, according to a report from AP. “I imagine he’ll be feeling very proud.”