Meghan Markle’s father has been going back and forth about attending the royal wedding this weekend, but the royal-to-be just cleared up any confusion for fans in a new statement released via Kensington Palace on Thursday, May 17.

“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,” she sadly confirmed. “I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

Life & Style previously learned exclusively that Thomas Markle got heart surgery in the US yesterday, so he wouldn’t be able to attend Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry. Tom was staying in a hotel on America’s southern border, but prior to the operation, a source revealed, “[he’s] having surgery in the US, not Mexico, but he doesn’t know which hospital he’s in [yet.]”

A May 14 report revealed that Tom suffered a heart attack last week. Then, he said he was experiencing new chest pains and feared that another heart attack was on the way. Finally, on May 15, docs told him he needed to have heart surgery immediately, so he wouldn’t be able to go to the wedding after all. “[The doctors] will go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed,” Tom told TMZ. He was scheduled to go under the knife on Wednesday, May 16, so there was clearly no way he’d be able to recover in time to get to the wedding.

Thomas insisted that his first heart attack was due to his son, Tom Jr., writing an open letter telling Meghan not to marry Harry. Then he blamed his new chest pains on the emotional distress caused by seeing eldest daughter Samantha Grant shade Meghan. “I’ve been popping Valium for the pain, especially when I hear about my oldest daughter,” he said. He also said that Meghan’s mother would make a good backup to walk her down the aisle if he couldn’t make it, and we couldn’t agree more.

The 73-year-old was rushed to the hospital last week, however, it wasn’t necessarily the heart attack that led to the decision to skip the ceremony. Thomas actually checked himself out early for the wedding, but now he’s decided not to go because of the drama surrounding a deal he made with a photo agency.

prince harry and meghan markle engagement getty images

Thomas was reportedly offered a chunk of change from the paps to photograph him getting ready for the wedding, and he felt like there was “no harm in it.” Since last year, he has been depicted in an unflattering light — looking disheveled and buying beer (which he claims he doesn’t even drink) — so the deal would give him an opportunity to fix his image. Plus, he claimed it wasn’t about the money. He told the site that he turned down countless interviews that offered to pay him up to $100,000.

The Palace first released a statement a few days ago asking the public to respect Mr. Markle and his decision. “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said on Tuesday, May 15. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.” So, who will walk Meghan down the aisle now?

This post will be updated as more details become available.

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