Meghan Markle‘s father will not be walking her down the aisle — but could her mother do the job instead?
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, arrived in the U.K. Wednesday ahead of her daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday. Her arrival came just one day after Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father, told TMZ that he would not be able to attend her wedding due to health concerns. He said he underwent heart surgery on Wednesday, and will be unable to fly to London to be at his daughter’s wedding.
With Meghan’s dad unable to walk her down the aisle, who will do the job now? While there’s quite a few contenders for the role, Ragland is a favorite for the role.
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Meghan is very close with her mom, and Doria has a good relationship with Harry, too. During the couple’s televised engagement interview, Harry said that Meghan’s mom was “amazing,” and the pair were spotted spending time together at the Invictus Games closing ceremonies in September 2017.
There is also royal precedent when it comes to mothers walking their daughters down the aisle. Queen Victoria walked two of her own daughters down the aisle at their weddings following the death of her husband and her children’s father, Prince Albert.
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The first daughter Victoria walked down the aisle was her fifth child, and third-eldest daughter, Princess Helena, who married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein at Windsor Castle’s private chapel in 1866, five years after her father’s death in 1861. The other was the wedding of her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, who married Prince Henry of Battenberg in 1885, over two decades after Albert’s death. Victoria walked Beatrice down the aisle at her wedding at St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight in England.
For both weddings, Victoria paid her respects to her late husband by wearing a black gown and a white widow’s cap. The cap was covered in diamonds, and it’s believed that her dress at Beatrice’s ceremony was diamond-encrusted, too.
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With just two days to go until Harry and Meghan’s wedding, wedding preparations and festivities are in full swing: Ragland had tea with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on Wednesday following her arrival in the U.K. Harry and Meghan were also spotted arriving at Windsor Castle on Thursday for their wedding rehearsal.