It's confirmed: Thomas Markle Sr. at her royal wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday.
Meghan announced the decision in a statement released via Kensington Palace on Thursday after a week filled with a lot of back-and-forth between Thomas Sr. and the press. With just two days to go before her nuptials, Meghan said:
Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.
The former Suits actress was forced to speak out after her family stirred up a lot of controversy in the media. On Monday, Thomas Sr. received a lot of backlash when he to cooperating with an American photographer in staging paparazzi photos. He then conjured up sympathy from some by revealing that he had suffered a heart attack and was continuing to deal with health issues, as a result.
Meghan finally addressed the reports, but since the soon-to-be royal is under a microscope, the public immediately dissected every single word of her statement. Some praised her for addressing the issue in a public forum, while others criticized her for some of the words she chose to use. In particular, the phrase "I have always cared for my father" instead of "I have always loved" caused quite the stir.
Here are some of the tweets from people rooting for Meghan:
Here are some of the tweets criticizing the bride-to-be:
Royal expert Duncan Larcombe weighed in on the phrasing, telling that some people may be misinterpreting Meghan's use of the word "cared." According to Larcombe, Meghan did not use the phrase to express her affection or love for her father, but to show that she and Harry have looked out for him in the midst of the media onslaught.
“That is putting an end to speculation and accusations that Harry and Meghan didn’t offer a barrier of protection around Thomas Markle,” Larcombe said. “Things like giving him a hotline to the palace, and advice, as he’s suddenly thrust into the royal spotlight as a result of their engagement. She’s saying ‘cared for,’ and that means, ‘I did try my best.’”