Meghan Markle’s wedding is certainly a break from tradition, in more ways than one.
Meghan’s father Thomas incited some bad press after staging paparazzi photos in an attempt to show a positive image of his lifestyle. On Wednesday, he underwent heart surgery, which ultimately caused him to drop out of the 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 shared by Kensington Palace on Thursday.
“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.”
If Ragland is asked to step in and handle the honor, Meghan will become the first royal to have their mother escort them on the big day. Her father will also miss the opportunity to give a speech at a reception dinner, but it’s unclear whether Ragland will take on that responsibility as well. Other contenders for walking Markle down the aisle include Prince Harry’s older brother, Prince William, or his father, Prince Charles.
Hopefully, the bride is taking all the last-minute changes in stride!
The ceremony will take place at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel and will livestream on most major networks beginning at 5 a.m. on Saturday, May 19.
Be sure to follow ESSENCE on Twitter as we watch the ceremony.