Royal Wedding Daily Digest: Monday May 14

We are back with multiple updates and news stories to share.

It has been an extremely busy news day. When Kensington Palace posted photos this morning of royal chefs at work in the Windsor Castle kitchens I thought that would be the lead for today’s post. Then we heard where Meghan and Harry will each be spending Friday night; that news was quickly eclipsed by word from the Palace about Harry & Meghan’s first official engagement next week and that seemed like the new top to the post. Of course, that was followed by reports Meghan’s father would not be coming to the wedding. And we had still more news after that.

UPDATE #2 6:10 PM MAY 15: Apparently Mr. Markle has told TMZ that he is having heart surgery tomorrow and will be unable to go to Windsor for the wedding.

UPDATE #1 12:30 PM MAY 15: Evidently Meghan’s father does want to take part in Saturday’s wedding according to a story just published by TMZ. We’ll limit ourselves to this brief update until we hear more. Below, our coverage from yesterday.

We begin with word that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, will apparently not be traveling to the UK or taking part in the wedding. More from CNN:

Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, told American publication TMZ on Monday that he will not attend his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry.

According to the TMZ report, Markle decided not to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday, after it was revealed he worked with a picture agency to stage some pictures of him preparing himself for the wedding.
with a picture agency to stage some pictures of him preparing himself for the wedding.

TMZ’s Sean Mandell told Vanity Fair Monday afternoon, “I spoke to Thomas Markle today, we have both texted and had a phone call. He told me that he had a heart attack six days ago and he is not going to be at the wedding. He has had health issues and he’s devastated by what’s happened, and he has spoken to Meghan to apologize to her.”

Kensington Palace issued a brief statement about the situation:

This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding.

She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.

This evening there are reports Meghan is still hoping her father will be part of Saturday’s ceremony. Below, a Tweet from Richard Palmer of The Express. The most recent news tonight (8:30 pm EDT) is that Mr. Markle is returning to the hospital with chest pains. More from The Mirror:

Meghan Markle’s dad is reportedly heading back to hospital after suffering new chest pains, it emerged last night.

Thomas Markle fears he will suffer another heart attack due to the emotional distress from the fallout over his deal with a paparazzi agency.

Clearly, this is an extraordinarily stressful set of circumstances for anyone, let alone someone in Meghan’s situation. This is being played out on a global stage, adding to the pressure of marrying into a new family that happens to be the British royal family. Additionally, she and Harry are dealing with the enormous media attention focused on the wedding.

We will keep you updated with any new developments here on the site via The Latest Buzz, as well as on the WMW Facebook page and Twitter feed.

NOTE: In commenting on the post let’s try to maintain a respectful tone, no matter what we may think about the situation and the participants.

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As far as the wedding itself, preps continue apace at Windsor Castle, as seen in this shot of the broadcast tents shared by Chris Ship of ITV.

Chris Ship, ITV (click photo to visit feed)

As we mentioned, we have details on where both Meghan and Harry will be spending Friday night. Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, will stay at Cliveden House, located on the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate in Windsor.

More from Erin Hill’s People story:

Cliveden House…a 5-star country house hotel, features a luxurious spa, award-winning restaurants set on 376 acres of National Trust land. Each room of the 350-year-old estate is furnished with rare antiques and priceless works of art. The rooms also come complete with their own fireplace, a separate dressing room (perfect for changing into a royal wedding gown!) and an en-suite classic bathroom.

Below, part of the remarkable gardens at Cliveden House.

Prince Harry and best man Prince William will be at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park property located in Ascot.

Some may recognize the building and location. It is one of the area’s most luxurious properties and its adjacent Guards Polo Club is where Meghan first watched Harry play polo last May. Back to the People story:

Harry’s hotel, Coworth Park, is one of England’s most iconic 5-star country house hotels. The luxury retreat is set on 240 acres of picturesque Berkshire parkland. The estate features an eco-luxury spa with an indoor pool and three restaurants. The rooms have stunning views of the lime grove, meadows and polo fields.

As far as the weather forecast, the Met weather office says the forecast is promising. (Although this is really too far out to predict with any accuracy.)

We will learn the details about the children acting as flower girl/bridesmaids and the pageboys within the next day or two.

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As mentioned at the start of the post, Kensington Palace announced this morning that Meghan and Harry’s first official engagement as a married couple will be next Tuesday, when they attend the Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration garden party at Buckingham Palace. More from the news release:

  • Over 6,000 people will be attending from 386 of the Prince of Wales’ patronages and 20 of the Prince’s military affiliations will be represented.
  • A number of the cadets and emergency services personnel attending were first responders after the bombing at the Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017.
  • There will be a number of musical performances including the Band of the Welsh Guards, Eschoir (a Welsh male chorus), the National Youth Pipe Band and a gospel choir. Below, a photo of Eschoir performing.

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One of the bigger stories of the day: details about Meghan and Harry’s fall tour. That news came via this report from The Standard’s Robert Jobson on Australia’s Sunrise show.

We’ve not had confirmation from Kensington Palace on the locations, but it has long been expected the couple would do some sort of tour in conjunction with their trip to the Sydney Invictus Games in October.

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We’ll leave you with a look at the special Royal Wedding stamps being released tomorrow by the Royal Mail. They feature Alexi Lubomirski’s engagement photos of the couple with Meghan in the Ralph and Russo gown.

From The Express:

The 1st class stamp shows the couple sitting together holding hands on the steps of Frogmore House, where they will have their evening reception.

The £1.55 stamp is a more informal black-and-white image showing Ms Markle with her arm through Harry’s as she gently holds his hand while they walk happily through the grounds.

We’ll see you tomorrow!

14 Comments

  1. Julie May 14, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Wow—what a needless distraction before Meghan’s big day. I thought my family was wacko, but hers takes the cake. Wicked step-sister, dangerous step-brother, selfish father. I can’t believe a British TV station is giving these attention seekers air time. How embarrassing and sad. I hope Prince Charles walks her down the aisle. Not because she needs “support” but just to offer a friendly arm to lean on while millions watch around the world. It would be kind, gracious, and a statement of how much they’ve taken Meghan into their hearts. I say, hold your head high, dear—you’re better off without toxic people marring your special day.

    1. Laurie May 15, 2018 at 6:52 am

      Her dad had a heart attack – cut the guy some slack!

      1. Julie May 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

        Don’t think driving from Rosarita Beach to LA counts as a stay in hospital. And it was awful to tell TMZ he wasn’t coming before he spoke to his daughter.

    2. Jessica May 15, 2018 at 8:40 am

      “NOTE: In commenting on the post let’s try to maintain a respectful tone, no matter what we may think about the situation and the participants.”

  2. Lee N May 15, 2018 at 6:29 am

    I wouldn’t characterize Meghan’s father as “selfish”. I think he is an emotionally fragile individual who leads a reclusive existence and would never have sought this kind of publicity. The son and daughter from his first marriage are, of course, quite a different matter. They both seem to be money-grubbing and more than a little delusional if they think their tactics so far will improve their obviously distant relationship with their half-sister. I, too, would like to see Prince Charles escort her down the aisle, as he has been known to do for other brides whose fathers were not able to perform the honor. I think it would go a long way in improving Charles’s public image, making him appear more caring and less stuffy. It would also be quite dramatic if Meghan walked down the aisle with no escort; frankly, a woman of her age being married for the second time should be able to show no small measure of independence, one would think. Beyond everything else, both Meghan and Harry should realize that this is a minor blip in what is hopefully a lifetime-long story. If either of them NEED any one person at their wedding beyond one another, then they have no business being married. This is not the first wedding marred by family drama, or illness, or even death. Whether or not Meghan’s father is present will be a minor footnote in history; let’s remember that until VERY recently, it wasn’t even a given that he would be there at all.

  3. Jessica May 15, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I do feel for Meghan having to navigate this difficult situation with her family as she’s preparing not only for the happiest day in her life, but an entirely new public and professional life. I am impressed at the royal family’s unflagging support of her and the graceful way they and she are handling it all.

    My girls and I are so excited for Saturday. We’re on the East Coast, so our plan is to get up between 5:30 and 6 and eat a very British breakfast while we are watching. For Mother’s day I got a commemorative tea towel and a bottle of elderflower cordial! 🙂

  4. Lauri May 15, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Awww, the stamps are lovely! And the hotels where Harry and Meghan will be spending the night before are stunning, I know I’d never want to leave my room! I had thought that they’d both stay at Windsor Castle, there are plenty of rooms after all, but both hotels are elegant substitutes.

    I feel so bad for both Meghan and Harry and hope that they can draw strength from each other and the love they share. At the end of the day all the guests, the pomp and circumstance, flowers and tiaras are all just extras, the only people that matter are the two of them and the only thing that matters is the love they have for each other.

  5. Lindsey May 15, 2018 at 11:46 am

    What a shame that there is a family situation – of whatever nature – so close to the big day. I’d like to see her mom walk her down the aisle, though I think the previous suggestion of Charles is a lovely sentiment too. Or by herself, though I know if it was me, I’d want someone next to me given that the world is watching – how nerve-wracking. I’m British, but living in California – my plan is to go to bed at the same time as my 5 year old on Friday, and then get up around 1.30am to watch the BBC stream (just hoping it is available here!).

    1. Lauri May 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Lindsey, I’m going to watch it on CNN and Good Morning America (yes, I’m recording it on two stations 🙂 ). I watched W&K’s wedding on CNN and really liked their coverage. I did buy the BBC video of the wedding and was really disappointed with their coverage.

  6. ElizaMo May 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Wow – it seems strange to have to check almost hourly to see what goes with the #royalwedding, I was hoping it might be a break from politics.

    But I thank you for noting the need for respect so everyone can sort themselves out in their own way. I can see no need to judge anyone, but rather prefer to wait for what is sure to be a lovely day.

    I like very much that the newly-weds are getting straight down to work post-wedding. That’s easily the best way to change the headlines and let bygones be bygones

  7. Julie May 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    If Meghan’s father can/won’t then I would like to see her Mom walk her down the aisle. I think Charles walking her down would be odd. Not because it’s Charles, but because it’s the grooms father. I would think a better option would be a family member or very good friend of the family, it just seems odd to me that the father of the groom walking the bride down the aisle. Loving the coverage. It will be a beautiful wedding regardless of who walks Meghan down the aisle.

  8. ElizaMo May 15, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I also think it makes more sense for Meghan to have someone connected to her to walk down the aisle. The event will already be packed out with Harry’s relatives. And anyway no one will be looking at her escort, all eyes will be on that dress

  9. Stephanie May 15, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Poor Meghan. So much added stress in the days immediately before such a huge event (on many levels). She must be so concerned for her father’s health and I would think it would be frustrating to have it all dragged through the media not to mention that if he is indeed having surgery to not be able to be there with him. I mean a wedding alone is a lot to handle never mind THIS wedding and all this extra crap happening.

  10. Tamara May 16, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Thank-you for your measured and respectful coverage of such a difficult week for Meghan and Harry. We’re so excited for the wedding; over here on the west coast of Canada, we will be up all night!

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