LONDON (Reuters) – Prince Harry’s office declined to comment on Monday on a report by U.S. celebrity news site TMZ that the father of his U.S. fiancee Meghan Markle would not attend the couple’s glittering wedding in Britain on Saturday.
TMZ said on Monday that Thomas Markle had decided not to attend the marriage of his actress daughter to the British prince, who is Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, because he did not wish to embarrass the royals after media reports that he had staged paparazzi photographs.
“We have got nothing on this at the moment,” a spokesman for Kensington Palace, Harry’s office, said.
Markle was due to walk his daughter down the aisle at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth’s home to the west of London, at a ceremony which will be attended by Britain’s royals and celebrities, and in the glare of the world’s media.
He was also due to meet the queen, her husband and the other senior members of the Windsor family this week.
However, Britain’s Mail on Sunday reported that Markle had agreed to stage pictures with a photographer ahead of his trip and the images had been sold to media for more than $100,000.
TMZ said it had spoken to Markle and that he had said the paparazzi agency had approached him and offered him money, although the sum was not close to the reported figure.
He said he had agreed to the pictures because he hoped they would improve his image as previous paparazzi snaps had shown him buying beer and looking dishevelled, TMZ said.
The website also said Markle had revealed he had suffered a heart attack six days ago but had checked himself out of the hospital in order to attend the wedding.
Earlier on Monday, Kensington Palace said Meghan Markle and her mother would be staying at a luxurious hotel near Windsor the night before the ceremony. They were due to travel to the chapel together on Saturday.
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by William Schomberg