Tea Time! Meghan Markle's Mom Doria Meets the Queen for the First Time Ahead of Royal Wedding
The 61-year-old mother of the bride joined the Queen for tea at Windsor Castle on Friday ahead of Saturday’s royal wedding, PEOPLE confirms. Prince Philip was also in attendance, along with Prince Harry and Meghan.
Ragland arrived in London on Wednesday after flying in from Los Angeles to see her daughter marry Prince Harry.
Meghan and Harry also joined Ragland for Wednesday’s tea with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House (Charles and Camilla’s residence).
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Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, was originally supposed to be present at these meetings as well. But on Thursday, Meghan confirmed that her dad would be unable to attend the wedding.
The news came after days of back-and-forth about his attendance at the wedding. On Monday, he said he would not attend in order to avoid embarrassing his daughter and the royal family after it was revealed that he staged photos with a paparazzi agency. Earlier on Tuesday, he said he had changed his mind and hoped to attend the wedding, and later backtracked his statement after he said his doctors told him he would need to have surgery that week.
On Thursday, Meghan released a statement confirming her father’s absence at her nuptials.
“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 said. “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.”
As for who will walk Meghan down the aisle in his absence on Saturday, that duty will go to Prince Charles.
After arriving by car with her mom, 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, 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.
“It was Meghan’s wish and she is grateful for the Prince of Wales to be doing it,” a royal source told PEOPLE.
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Meghan and Harry arrived at Windsor Castle on Friday for their final wedding rehearsal.
Meghan and her mother will spend the night before the wedding at the nearby Cliveden House Hotel.