'This is not what she wants'

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With just days to go before the royal wedding, Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, has taken center stage.

Doubts that Thomas Markle Sr, 73, would give his daughter away on Saturday followed claims by USA celebrity website, TMZ, that he was pulling out amid allegations he cooperated with a Los Angeles based photo agency to stage pictures of himself preparing for the wedding day.

When stories emerged last week that Thomas staged photos with a photographer, Samantha defended him, saying it was her idea to show how he had been preparing for the big day on May 19.

Meghan Markle's half-sister said Tuesday that their retired father is under an "unbelievable" amount of stress because of relentless pressure from reporters and paparazzi hounding him at his home in Mexico.

Tracy Dooley also operates a personal blog on Facebook titled "Royal Wedding with The Dooley Markles", where she posts news articles related to Markle and Prince Harry, and photos of herself.

According to TMZ, Markle said his ex-wife "is a good choice for walking Meghan down the aisle".

TMZ reported that several members of Markle's extended family including her nephew, Tyler Dooley, his brother, Thomas, and their mother Tracy, who was married to Markle's half-brother Thomas Markle Jr., were spotted arriving at London's Heathrow airport on Monday morning. Mr Markle reportedly told TMZ that he's back in hospital after experiencing chest pains after he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Speculation has swirled around her father, Thomas Markle, amid media reports he is not able to attend because he is due to have heart surgery. "They (doctors) will go in and clear blockage, fix damage and put a stent where it is needed", Markle told the website. "If not, we will still be cheering her on".

Our palace sources say the plans included a security detail for Thomas Markle, along with accommodations and access to various events. "She obviously wants her dad there", a friend of Meghan's said. The reason for opting out of the royal wedding as stated by Thomas was that he suffered from a heart attack, a week ago.

I wish the same for Meghan, Prince Harry, my children, friends, family and those who need our prayers and love. They're not always that loud.

"He wants to protect [Meghan] and this is really hard for him to swallow", they add.

His absence has broached the question: who will walk Meghan down the aisle? I didn't want him deprive of that.

According to initial reports, Meghan actually wanted her mother to walk her down the aisle.

Dooley is expected to cover the royal wedding for an American broadcasting network and said she "will be in the front row cheering them on" in Windsor.