Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding has been thrown into deep turmoil due to her father’s ailing health.
Sister-in-law Erin Specht has confirmed that it’s extremely unlikely Tom Markle Sr will be able to attend his daughter’s May nuptials due to a series of serious health concerns.
The shocking turn of events has left Meghan devastated, heartbroken that her beloved dad won’t be able to walk her down the aisle – forcing her and Harry to come up with alternative options.
‘I know Meghan would want her father to be giving her away – that’s a fact,’ Erin, who dated Meghan’s brother Tom for 16 years, tells New Idea. ‘They are very, very close. And it would be devastating for him – but if you can’t travel, you can’t travel. There’s nothing you can do.’
Erin explains that Meghan’s dad – who currently lives a secluded life in Mexico – is incapacitated with high blood pressure and significant weight issues, with doctors refusing to let him fly overseas.
‘He’s had health problems his whole life,’ Erin confirms. ‘He’s got high blood pressure. He’s a big man. I don’t want to go into details about his health concerns as that is a private matter for him.
‘He would be devastated if he couldn’t give her away.’
Her father’s grave health diagnosis has thrown Meghan and Harry’s hugely anticipated nuptials into crisis, with wedding planners holding high-level talks with the royal couple to come up with solutions.
Erin confirms plans to have Meghan’s mother Doria Radlan walk her down the aisle have already been discussed, as has a suggestion to have her father film a private video message to be played at the palace wedding reception.
Erin also claims that Meghan may hold a private wedding ceremony in the US just for Harry and her dad.
‘If her dad can’t be there, she will go to him,’ Erin says. ‘Worst-case scenario, they can come and have a private ceremony or a private celebration.
‘But she would absolutely make sure he was involved in any way he could be.
‘If he can’t be there he will do a video message for her privately. He is a very private person and adores her.
Erin, a painter who dated Tom Jr from 1999 until 2016, says she got to know the family intimately and would regularly speak to Tom Sr every week – even after she had split up with his son.
And even though Tom Sr made a concerted attempt to improve his health so he could travel abroad to the UK for his daughter’s wedding, his efforts had fallen short.
‘He’s led a lifestyle since he was 20 that is not healthy, and he has made some unhealthy choices,’ a source close to the family tells New Idea.
‘He’s never been one to go see the doctor. He knows he’s overweight and it’s causing him problems.
‘Tom loves to eat lobster, red meat, steak, potatoes with sour cream – fancy stuff.
‘He suffers from high blood pressure. He knew from the beginning things were serious with Meghan and Harry and the chances were they’d get married. He’s had months to get his health in check.
‘But now he’s running out of time.’
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