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Father of the groom, Prince Charles, to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at her May 19 wedding to his son Prince Harry, in lieu of her own father. (Video: Reuters)
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LONDON — With just one day to go before the royal event of the year, palace officials have said that Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said that Charles, who is the father of the groom, Prince Harry, was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to The Royal Family in this way,” thus ending a week of rumors about who would perform the duty.

Around midday on Saturday, Markle and Prince Harry will marry at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. This will not be a quiet affair. More than 100,000 people are expected to descend on Windsor, a charming city about 25 miles west of London where some uber royal fans have been camping out for days.

Her father, Thomas Markle, was scheduled to walk his daughter down the aisle but pulled out earlier this week after he underwent heart surgery. On Thursday, Markle confirmed her father wouldn’t be at the wedding.

“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding,” she said in a statement. “I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.”

Hannah Jewell interviews royal expert and author Katie Nicholl about what it will be like for Meghan Markle when she marries into the British royal family. (Video: David Jorgenson, Hannah Jewell/The Washington Post)

Many had wondered whether Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, a yoga teacher from Los Angeles, would perform the duty. She will accompany her daughter to the wedding in a car ride to Windsor Castle. She has reportedly already met Charles and his wife, Camilla, over tea at Clarence House.

Kensington Palace said that Markle asked Charles whether he would walk her down the aisle.

"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,” the palace said in a statement.

Palace officials also confirmed on Friday that Prince Philip, 96, will be attending the wedding. Prince Harry’s grandfather has been recovering from a hip operation.