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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Request ‘Understanding and Respect’ for Thomas Markle

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Kensington Palace released a statement on Monday following a report that Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, would not be attending her upcoming royal wedding. Markle and Prince Harry are due to wed at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel on Saturday, May 19.

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” the Kensington Palace statement reads. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

Markle’s father was expected to walk his daughter down the aisle during the Saturday ceremony, according to a previous release from Kensington Palace. He is divorced from Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, who also is planning on traveling with her daughter to the wedding. Both parents were further expected to meet the Queen and the rest of the royal family in the lead-up to the big day. “Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion,” the Palace noted in early May.

Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Markle recently told the Mail on Sunday that she was involved in a decision to stage photos of Thomas Markle at an internet cafe, following the release of surveillance footage.

“I have to say I am entirely the culprit,” Samantha said during her appearance on U.K. talk show Loose Women Monday. “So I said, really you need to show the world that you’re getting in shape and doing great healthy things. So I suggested it. There’s a lot of scrutiny that it was money motivated, it was not. It was my suggestion that to benefit him and to benefit the royal family that everyone looked good and they depict you as you are – in shape and doing healthy things.”

The palace did not offer any updates on whether this latest news would alter the royal wedding guest list.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com