Meghan Markle’s half-sister has confirmed their father will walk his daughter down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry.
Samantha Markle said, barring a disaster, Thomas Markle will take his place beside Harry’s bride-to-be before the wedding ceremony begins.
There had been speculation about whether Mr Markle would be invited to perform the traditional role of the father of the bride and give his daughter away, when she weds on May 19 at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.
But during a television interview, when asked by broadcaster Matthew Wright if her father would be attending the wedding, Samantha Markle replied: “Yes he is, God forbid unless a plane crashes through his roof, he’ll be there one way or the other.”
Speaking from Florida, she told Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff: “So any rumour to the contrary is … my favourite new word is becoming, ‘Oh rubbish’. Yeah, so he will be there.”
During the interview she distanced herself from comments about a tweet she posted which was widely interpreted as criticising Harry after he said his relatives were the family his actress fiancee “never had”.
When it was suggested the prince’s comments were “hurtful” she replied she was not hurt, adding: “My response was very positive verbatim and taken far out of context.
“There was never slamming, it was never negative.
“And, you know, so respectfully so, Harry said a lovely thing. But, and it’s true, marrying merely extends that family.”
Harry’s comments about Ms Markle’s family life came when he guest edited BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in December, and was asked about his bride-to-be’s experience meeting the royal family over Christmas.
The prince told Today presenter Sarah Montague: “No look, she’s done an absolutely amazing job.
“She’s getting in there and it’s the family I suppose that she’s never had.”
But her half-sister Ms Markle, who is also known as Samantha Grant, contradicted Harry’s comments on Twitter: “Actually she has a large family who were always there with her and for her.”
Meghan’s mother is Doria Ragland, an African-American, who met her father Thomas Markle on the set of the US soap General Hospital, where he worked as a lighting director when she was a temp in the studio.
They divorced when Ms Markle was six.
Although she lived with her mother in Los Angeles, Ms Markle also spent a great deal of time with her father.
Ms Markle has two half-siblings, Samantha Markle and Thomas Markle Junior, from her father’s first marriage to Roslyn Markle.
Meghan’s half-sister was asked by The Wright Stuff host if she expected to be invited to the royal wedding, and replied: “Well, invitations haven’t gone out yet but I hope so and of course I’d love to be there.”
She played down the controversial title for her proposed book The Diary Of Princess Pushy’s Sister, saying: “I chose the title because I was more making a mockery of tabloids, who at one point called my sister ‘princess pushy’. The opposite is true.”
When asked if her portrayal, as someone who was trying to “cash in on the royal relationship”, was fair, she replied the term was a “low blow”.
She added: “I wouldn’t say that it’s we’re cashing in because there’s certainly a large audience and market of people who are interested and curious. So, why not share information that is socially and historically valuable? If you like, it’s kind of a service to do that.”
Ms Markle, who has multiple sclerosis, sidestepped the presenter’s question about claims US President Donald Trump wants an invite to the royal wedding, saying: “I think it is up to Harry and Meg who they want to invite”.
Meghan’s half-sister was asked what she would say to her famous sibling and replied: “I would say you should know not to believe everything that you read in tabloids.
“I love you, I admire you, I’m incredibly proud of you and we will sit down and have tea and I look forward to it.”