More doubt has been cast on whether Meghan Markle’s father will attend his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday, as it is reported he is due to have heart surgery.
Thomas Markle had told US website TMZ he would not go amid a row over paparazzi photographs; then that he would; then that he could not, due to a planned heart procedure.
Kensington Palace declined to comment.
Ms Markle’s estranged half-sister said he had faced an “unbelievable stress”.
Speaking to Australia’s Sunrise morning TV programme from Orlando, Florida, Samantha Markle said she was not sure if Mr Markle would be travelling to Windsor.
“He sent me a message that he was undergoing heart surgery,” she said.
“We’re all hoping he pulls through this now.”
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Mr Markle became embroiled in controversy at the weekend, following reports that he staged paparazzi photographs of himself in the run-up to the wedding.
The pictures showed Mr Markle – apparently unaware he was being photographed – in a series of wedding-related activities, including being measured for a wedding suit.
On Monday, Mr Markle reportedly told celebrity news website TMZ that he would not attend the wedding.
TMZ later reported that Mr Markle had and wanted to attend – although he might not be able to because of health concerns.
And in a third report, the website said that the health issues and planned surgery would prevent him from attending after all.
On Tuesday evening, BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Ms Markle wanted her father to be there, but her major concern would be for his wellbeing.
Kensington Palace has said events are “a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle”.
“She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and…