When Meghan Markle makes her historic walk down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel on Saturday, she’ll be starting it off solo, PEOPLE confirms.
After arriving by car with her mom, Doria Ragland, the bride-to-be will be greeted by her little bridal party members (including Prince George and Princess Charlotte!), who will lead the way down the aisle as Meghan takes her first steps to the altar by herself.
She will then be met by her future father-in-law, Prince Charles, who will be waiting for her at the halfway mark to escort her the rest of the way to the altar. The length of the aisle is about 110 steps, and more than half of those will be taken solo by Meghan.
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Charles is stepping into the role in place of Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, who is unable to come to the royal wedding.
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“It was Meghan’s wish and she is grateful for the Prince of Wales to be doing it,” a royal source tells PEOPLE.
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The royal bride-to-be asked Charles to take over the duty in the last 24 hours, since it was revealed that her father was not able to attend.
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It was always Meghan’s “wish” to conduct the first portion of the walk by herself and then be met by her dad for the final steps to the altar, the royal source says. Now, Charles will greet her at the Quire (the last section of the church, where the immediate members of the royal family and close relatives will likely be seated) and walk her to the end of the aisle where Prince Harry will be standing.
- With reporting by SIMON PERRY