Thomas Markle 'OK' after surgery

Thomas Markle has confirmed he is feeling "OK" after undergoing successful heart surgery, but admitted he will "take a long time to heal".

Meghan Markle's father successfully went under the knife on Wednesday to have stents implanted in his blood vessels, and will remain in hospital for "a few more days".

Thomas - who had to pull out of walking Meghan down the aisle at her and Prince Harry's wedding on Saturday, due to the operation - told TMZ: "I'm OK. It will take a long time to heal. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited."

The 73-year-old former lighting director believes surgeons implanted three stents, but he wasn't sure.

Before his heart op, Thomas revealed medics needed to "clear a blockage".

He recently said: "They [doctors] will go in and clear [a] blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed."

But Thomas insisted he was devastated about missing out on a piece of "history" by not walking his 36-year-old daughter down the aisle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

He said: "I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle. Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment.

"I'd like to be a part of history."

Earlier this week, Harry, 33, and Meghan called for "understanding and respect" to be given to Thomas following speculation he might miss out on the couple's big day.

A Kensington Palace statement read: "This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding.

"She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation."

While it's not yet known who will walk Meghan down the aisle at the royal wedding, the former 'Suits' star's mother Doria Ragland could take on the role.

Meghan Markle's father to miss wedding due to heart surgery

Meghan Markle's father will miss his daughter's wedding to Prince Harry, as he is due to undergo heart surgery this week.

The 36-year-old actress will tie the knot with the 33-year-old Prince on Saturday and although her father Thomas Markle is supposed to be walking her down the aisle on her big day, it has been reported he won't be able to attend the ceremony as he's due to undergo major heart surgery on Wednesday.

Thomas, 73, was reported to have pulled out of the wedding earlier this week before he claimed that he would be doing his best to make it to his daughter's nuptials, but it now seems as though he's officially had to cancel his flight to England.

According to TMZ, Thomas is due to undergo surgery at 7:30am on Wednesday, and won't be fit for Meghan and Harry's wedding four days later.

He told the publication: "They [doctors] will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed."

The news comes after Thomas said he "hates" the idea of missing out on his daughter's big day, and wants to make the trip to England to "be a part of history" by giving his daughter away during the ceremony at St George's Chapel inside Windsor Castle.

He said: "I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle. Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history."

Previously, Kensington Palace issued a statement appealing for "understanding" following the "deeply personal issue" of Thomas' attendance.

They wrote: "This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding.

"She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation."

As of the time of writing, it is believed Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, could be walking her down the aisle in place of Thomas, but it has also been speculated that either Harry's father, Prince Charles, or his older brother, Prince William - who is serving as his sibling's Best Man - could take on the role.

Meghan Markle's father not attending royal wedding

Meghan Markle's father will not attend her wedding to Prince Harry this weekend, US media reported Monday, as Kensington Palace pleaded for "understanding and respect" for the couple during a "difficult situation".

According to celebrity news website TMZ, Thomas Markle, who recently posed for paparazzi photos, has pulled out of accompanying his daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle because he does not want to embarrass her.

He is also reported to have suffered a heart attack in recent days.

Kensington Palace, the official residence of the couple, did not confirm whether Markle senior had pulled out of the wedding, but it did issue a statement hinting that all was not well.

"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding," the palace said in a statement. "She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation."

The US actress' father had previously defied the palace's pleas for secrecy by agreeing to pose for a paparazzi photoshoot.

The images, showing him being measured for a suit and admiring a photo of the future royal couple on his computer, sold for $100,000 (83,000 euros, £74,000) according to tabloid the Daily Mirror.

A source close to Thomas Markle, cited by the publication, said he was convinced to pose for the shots after being hounded by the paparazzi. He is now said to feel "like a total fool" who has been "scammed".

Markle's gaffe-prone American family has been sending royal courtiers into something of a spin by airing its dirty laundry in public.

The bride-to-be remains close with her divorced parents but other relatives have been barred from the May 19 nuptials amid unwelcome stories of bust-ups, heavy drinking - and even an arrest.

Markle, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, had been due to be walked up the aisle by her 73-year-old father an Emmy-winning Hollywood lighting director of Dutch-Irish descent who is enjoying retired life in Mexico.

Her mother Doria Ragland is a 61-year-old yoga instructor and clinical therapist.

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