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Meghan Markle Asks Prince Charles to Walk Her Down Aisle in Her Father’s Absence

Meghan Markle will have a member of the royal family by her side during her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday, May 19. In her father Thomas Markle’s absence, the Suits alum has asked her future father-in-law, Prince Charles, to walk her down the aisle at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, Kensington Palace announced on Friday, May 18.

Related: Harry and Meghan’s Wedding: Everything We Know

“Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the quire of St George’s Chapel on her wedding day,” the palace said in a statement. “The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the royal family in this way.”

Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Michael Dodge/Getty Images; Mark Cuthbert/Getty Images

This means Meghan will walk down the first half of the aisle by herself (but flanked by her bridesmaids and page boys) before being joined by Charles, 69, from the end of the nave to the altar.

Related: Meghan Markle Through the Years

The news comes one day after the bride-to-be, 36, confirmed that Thomas, 73, could no longer attend the royal nuptials as planned because he recently underwent a successful heart surgery.

“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,” Meghan said in a statement via Kensington Palace on Thursday, May 17. “I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

Related: Wedding Essentials Fit for a Princess

Despite the last-minute change, Harry, 33, and the former actress are still looking forward to their big day. They visited Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon to oversee the final preparations and rehearsals, in addition to having tea with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

“Harry and Meghan are still very excited for Saturday,” a royal source recently told Us Weekly exclusively. “Meghan’s mother, Doria [Ragland], is with her at Kensington Palace right now and her friends are here in town. Everyone is really excited for a magical and special day.”

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