Father of the royal bride!
“Both of the bride’s parents will have important roles in the wedding. On the morning of the wedding, Ms. Ragland will travel with Ms. Markle by car to Windsor Castle. Mr. Markle will walk his daughter down the aisle of St George’s Chapel. Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion,” the palace announced.
Both Meghan’s dad, Thomas, and her mother, Doria Ragland, will arrive in the U.K. in the week leading up to the wedding, allowing time for Harry’s family — including the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William and Kate Middleton —to spend time with them before the big day.
“Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are very much looking forward to welcoming Ms. Markle’s parents to Windsor for the wedding,” the palace announced.
And while Harry has spoken with Meghan’s father over the phone, this will be the very time he will meet his future father-in-law in person, the palace confirmed.
The former lighting director on TV shows such as Married With Children and General Hospital, who was married to Meghan’s mother Doria for nine years until 1988, lives a quiet life in Mexico. Doria, a yoga instructor and therapist, lives in Los Angeles and has met Harry a few times — and was with Meghan and Harry at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Toronto in September.
During their engagement interview, Meghan also revealed that her dad and her royal fiancé had yet to meet, but that they had spoken over the phone. “Everybody was really happy. And he’s talked to my dad a few times, hasn’t been able to meet him just yet, but it’s all been, it’s all been worth every effort,” she said.
After the couple’s engagement was announced, Meghan’s parents said they were “incredibly happy” about the news. “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person,” they said in a joint statement. “To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”
While Harry has the support of his grandmother the Queen, his father and his brother (who will serve as best man!), the groom-to-be is also involving his late mother, Princess Diana’s family in the wedding.
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All three siblings of Diana — Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale — will be in attendance and Lady Jane Fellowes will give a reading during the ceremony.
The couple’s floral arrangements inside the chapel will also include white garden roses, one of Diana’s favorite flowers. She is also remembered by two stones from her jewelry collection that were included in Meghan’s engagement ring.
“I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness is – and the inclusion of that and obviously not being able to meet his mom it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us,” Meghan said about the ring during the couple’s engagement interview.
- With reporting by SIMON PERRY