Meghan Markle won't have maid of honour; dad will walk her down the aisle

Meghan Markle's father will walk her down the aisle when the American actress marries Prince Harry this month, and both her parents will meet the Queen and senior royals in the run-up to the ceremony, Kensington Palace said on Friday.

Markle's divorced parents will meet members of the Royal Family ahead of the wedding on May 19

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are shown at a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London on April 25. The bridesmaids and page boys for the couple will all be children, Kensington Palace said Friday as it released more details about the May 19 nuptials. (Eddie Mulholland/Pool via Reuters)

Meghan Markle's father will walk her down the aisle when the American actress marries Prince Harry this month, and both her parents will meet the Queen and senior royals in the run-up to the ceremony, Kensington Palace said on Friday. 

The bride-to-be's divorced parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, will have "important roles" in the wedding at Windsor Castle on May 19, Jason Knauf, communications secretary for groom-to-be Prince Harry, told reporters.

"On the morning of the wedding, Ms. Ragland will travel with Ms. Markle by car to Windsor Castle," Knauf said. "Mr. Markle will walk his daughter down the aisle of St. George's Chapel. Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion."

There had been speculation about what role Markle's parents, who divorced when she was six, would play in the wedding ceremony. Thomas Markle, 73, a former lighting director for TV soaps and sitcoms, had said he wanted to give his daughter away.

Before the wedding, Meghan's parents will meet her future in-laws, including the Queen, 92, her husband Prince Philip, 96, Harry's father Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, and Harry's elder brother William and his wife, Kate.

The detail about Meghan parents was part of a slew of information released by Knauf ahead of the wedding, which is attracting massive global media attention.
Lady Jane Fellowes, sister of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and aunt to William and Harry, is seen in a 2007 file photo. Fellowes will give a reading at the wedding. (Lewis Whyld/Reuters)

The three siblings of Harry's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997 when he was 12, will be at the wedding with her sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, giving the reading.

"Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel honoured that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late princess on the wedding day," Knauf said.

Harry and William, who is his best man, are expected to arrive by foot at the castle's St George's Chapel where the ceremony will be held. Meghan will meet her father at the church after arriving by car with her mother.

No immediate honeymoon

No details were given of the guests, but it has already been confirmed that no political figures would be present who were not personal friends of the couple. Knauf also revealed that Meghan would not have a maid of honour, and that the bridesmaids and page boys would all be children.

"She has a very close-knit group of friends and she did not want to choose one over the other," Knauf said. "They have also been actively involved in helping her prepare for the day and are going to be there at Windsor on the day before in London, and she's very pleased to have their support on the day."

Prince George, left, and Princess Charlotte, shown on April 23 arriving to greet their new sibling Louis along with their father, Prince William, are expected to attend the wedding. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

One royal who will not be attending is William and Kate's new son Louis, who was born on April 23, although his mother and two older siblings, George, 4, and Charlotte, 3, will be there.

Prince Philip is expected to be there. He underwent a hip replacement operation last month.

Knauf said the newlyweds would not immediately be heading off on a honeymoon and would carry out their first public engagement as a married couple the week after the wedding.

Two Windsor Greys, which will pull the carriage at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are groomed during preparations at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace on May 1. The wedding ceremony will take place at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, southern England, with about 600 guests and some 2,600 neighbours, staff and specially selected members of the public greeting the couple outside the chapel. (Victoria Jones/Pool via AP)

One tradition of recent British royal weddings has been for the newlyweds to share a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, something that will not be possible with the marriage taking place at Windsor.

Asked if the world would see something similar, Knauf said: "I have no comments on the kissing today."

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