Who Will Walk Meghan Markle Down the Aisle at Her Royal Wedding?
With only five days left until the royal wedding, it's likely Meghan Markle will still have to make one big decision.
The former Suits star may now have to choose who, if anyone, will walk her down the aisle at St. George's Chapel on May 19, right before she says "I do" to Prince Harry, after TMZ reported on Monday that her father, Thomas Markle, is skipping the nuptials following a recent photo controversy.
"This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding," Kensington Palace said in a statement to ET, in regard to the report. "She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation."
Earlier this month, before the photo scandal was reported, the palace revealed what roles Meghan's parents would play in the wedding. "Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are very much looking forward to welcoming Ms. Markle's parents to Windsor for the wedding," the press secretary noted at the time. "Mr. Thomas Markle and Ms. Doria Ragland will be arriving in the UK in the week of the wedding, allowing time for Prince Harry's family, including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to spend time with them before the big day."
"On the morning of the wedding, Ms. Ragland will travel with Ms. Markle by car to Windsor Castle," the statement continued. "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."
Of course, there's still a chance that Thomas could be walking Meghan down the aisle, but if he doesn't, ET's breaking down all the other people who could potentially do the honors:
Her mother, Doria Ragland
Meghan's mother has been tremendously supportive of her daughter's decision to marry Prince Harry. In fact, she was one of the first individuals in Meghan's family and friends circle to meet the 33-year-old royal, cheering him on at the Invictus Games last September. She's also been helping Meghan with some of the wedding planning, which is why we wouldn't be surprised to see her be the one to "give her away."
In the weeks after Meghan and Harry first announced their engagement, it was actually rumored that Doria would be the one fulfilling the duties. And according to various U.K. wedding guide websites, many brides opt to have someone other than their father give them away -- typically a brother, uncle or their mother.
"There is no rule about this," the-perfect-day.co.uk advises. "It is traditional for the bride to walk down on the right arm of whomever gives her away. Her hand shall then be placed into the grooms as an act of 'giving her away.'"
A close colleague/the bride's best friend
Meghan also has the option to ask one of her closest friends to walk her down the aisle, like Jessica Mulroney, Lindsay Roth or Heather Dorak, who were all rumored to be in the running to serve as her maid of honor before she opted to not have one.
"Sometimes the person closest to you isn't related to you at all," the perfectweddingguide.com blog says. "It's quite significant to ask someone [to walk you down the aisle] who has chosen to be your best friend to fill such an important role, and says a lot about how much they mean to you."
Her future father-in-law, Prince Charles
Many modern brides have gone this route, typically when their father is deceased, they are not on speaking terms with their dad, or they have no other male figure in their family (like a brother or cousin) that they're close enough with to do the honors.
Her future brother-in-law, Prince William
On Harry's side, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were some of the first people in the royal family to meet Meghan, and they have spent quite a lot of time with the bride-to-be. Seeing how close Meghan and William have become in recent months, there's a chance he could walk her down the aisle and lead her to his brother.
Similar exceptions have been made in the past, such as the late Princess Margaret's wedding to Anthony Armstrong-Jones, the 1st Earl of Snowdon, in 1960, according to Town & Country. Because her father, George VI, died before the nuptials, Prince Philip -- the husband of her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied her down the aisle.
Her future husband, Prince Harry
Though it's highly unlikely for this to happen at a royal wedding, many brides have done this in the past. Others have also chosen to walk down the aisle alone halfway, where the groom then meets them to walk to the altar together.
However, traditionally for U.K. weddings, the groom has his back to the congregation and doesn't watch his bride-to-be walk down the aisle at all, according to thecoordinatedbride.com.
Although it is considered "untraditional" in both America and Britain, it's also very well possible that Meghan will take the trip down the aisle solo.
According to The Spruce, "This is a popular option for older brides and for second weddings." This will mark Meghan's second wedding, as she was previously married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011-2013
As we patiently wait to see what decision Meghan makes, keep up with all of ET's coverage of the royal wedding as we count down to May 19.
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