ROYAL WEDDING: Why Meghan’s dad shouldn’t be there
WITH all the non-stop press coverage about the royal couple's special day, it's no wonder Meghan Markle's reclusive dad might be experiencing anxiety.
With today's revelations that Thomas Markle Sr won't be attending Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding and instead will be undergoing surgery after suffering a heart attack believed to be brought on by stress, you've got to feel a bit sorry for the guy.
Yes, he clearly doesn't work out, or eat well - shots of him doing a KFC and Macca's run are testament to that - but the fact that he's being stalked by the paparazzi because his youngest offspring happens to be marrying into one of the world's most powerful families, must be anxiety-inducing for a man in his 70s who just wants a quiet life.
Aside from his intense embarrassment of apparently staging paparazzi shots, he's had to endure his outspoken older children Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha tearing into their half-sister at every turn. The former television lighting director has reportedly been popping Valium just to get through the day and with the furore around his family, who can blame him?
Markle has been plucked from obscurity in his Mexican hideaway - where he's probably gone to escape the glare of having an amazingly famous and beautiful daughter (even before she went and got engaged to an English prince) - to be thrust into the spotlight on a global scale.
Let's face it, he's not exactly the dashing figure you would expect to have a starring role in a highly publicised royal wedding so you can't blame the bloke for feeling a tad nervous. Plus a private meeting with the Queen is enough to have even the best of us shaking in our boots.
With the world's intense media interest in the Markle family - particularly Markle Sr - it's probably a good thing that he won't be at this Saturday's wedding of the year.
If he's being ridiculed now for his portly shape, fast food choices, and habit of googling his own daughter and her royal beau at Mexican internet cafes, just imagine the Twittersphere light up when he walks down the aisle in front of England's elite and Hollywood's darlings, watched by billions across the globe.
While the royal family has certainly had a few wildcards thrown its way before - Fergie, anyone? - Markle Sr never asked for any of this. While it's part and parcel of being father of a soon-to-be princess, the intense publicity on a guy who has gone out of his way to avoid the spotlight is jarring.
His decision not to attend has left Meghan distraught, while Harry reportedly blames himself - and the media, who he's always had an uncomfortable relationship with.
Speculation is that Meghan's mum Doria Ragland, Markle ex-wife, will now walk her down the aisle, while other commentators say the bride will be lonely on her wedding day having only one family member attending, no adult bridesmaids, and no matron of honour.
But you know what? There is nothing wrong with having scant family in the pews when you say your 'I dos', even when the world's glare is upon you.
While it must be upsetting for Meghan that her dad will no longer attend, the main thing is that her future hubby is there, waiting at the end of the aisle. And who better than the loveable, fuzzy haired, really quite gorgeous Prince Harry?
At the end of the day, there is nothing more beautiful than to watch two people in love, saying their vows with all the excitement of a couple starting to build a life together.
We want to see the joy, the tears, the dress and the crowds. The beautiful bride, the playboy Prince finally settling down, the carriage, the Queen, the little princes and princesses, the crazy hats and everything else that goes with a royal wedding.
It's the happy ending for Harry and Megs that we all want to see, that's why we're all watching and 'Cheers' to that.