Hours after TMZ published a report that Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, will no longer be attending the royal wedding because of the fallout from his staging photos with the paparazzi, Kensington Palace issued a statement. “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a spokesman said. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

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Thomas was to walk Meghan down the aisle, the Palace previously announced, but he backed out last minute after The Daily Mail ran footage that proved he worked with paparazzi to stage photos of himself preparing for the royal wedding. Thomas told TMZ that he didn’t want to embarrass Meghan or the royal family in the wake of that scandal. He also told the outlet he had suffered a heart attack six days before and had checked himself out of the hospital just so he could go to the wedding.

Regarding the photos, Thomas told TMZ that “he meant no harm to Meghan or the Royal Family when he made a deal to allow a photo agency to take pics of him getting ready for the wedding,” TMZ wrote. “He says he had a reason, and it was not principally about money. Over the last year he’s been ambushed by paparazzi who have photographed him in the most unflattering circumstances: buying beer, looking disheveled and reclusive. He’s especially upset that they made him look like a lush.”

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