Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) — When Meghan Markle walks down the aisle Saturday to meet Prince Harry at the altar, she will be escorted by her soon-to-be father-in-law, Prince Charles.
“Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day,” Kensington Palace said Friday in a statement. “The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.”
Prince Charles will walk Markle from the quire, the area of St. George’s Chapel where the clergy and choir sit, to Harry. The procession in the nave, the central part of the church, will include Markle, the Dean of Windsor and Markle’s bridesmaids and page boys, as was previously planned.
The confirmation that it will be Charles who does the honor on Markle’s wedding day put an end to speculation about whether Markle would walk down the aisle alone or be escorted by her mom, Doria Ragland, in her father’s absence.
Ragland will also play an important role on her daughter’s wedding day, escorting her Saturday from the local hotel where they will both stay tonight to St. George’s Chapel.
Markle, 36, confirmed in a statement Thursday that her dad, Thomas Markle Sr., who lives in Mexico, will not attend her wedding due to health concerns. Markle originally asked her dad to walk her down the aisle in front of an expected 600 guests.
Markle has been told by her father — who faced accusations this week that he staged paparazzi photos — that he is unable to travel because of medical advice from his doctors, royal sources told ABC News.
Markle’s choice of Charles to walk her down the aisle signifies the warm welcome Britain’s royal family has extended to Markle, a California native.
Markle and Harry, 33, introduced Ragland to Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, for the first time over tea Wednesday at Clarence House, Charles and Camilla’s London residence.
Ragland, a Los Angeles-based yoga instructor and social worker, also met Harry’s older brother and best man, Prince William, and his wife, Princess Kate, and their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Thursday at Windsor Castle.
Queen Elizabeth, Harry’s grandmother, will meet Ragland for the first time at Windsor Castle today. Harry and Markle will join them, according to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.
In addition to introducing Ragland to Harry’s relatives and their close friends in the United Kingdom, Harry and Markle have been busy with preparations and celebrations ahead of their wedding day.
They traveled to Windsor Thursday to oversee final preparations for the wedding.
Friday night, Markle and Harry will stay at separate hotels on the eve of their wedding.
Harry will be joined by his best man, William, at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park. Markle and her mother will stay at Cliveden House Hotel, on the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate, according to Kensington Palace.
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