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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#HarryAndMeghan’s first tour as a married couple will be to…
AUSTRALIA ✈ FIJI ✈ TONGA ✈ NZ pic.twitter.com/nUBzoRl2Ym
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) May 14, 2018
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.
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!