"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health," Meghan wrote in a statement posted to Kensington Palace's Twitter feed early on May 17.
"I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support," she added. "Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."
Hours later, she and Harry were photographed arriving at Windsor Castle for their wedding rehearsal in a three-vehicle caravan led by a police officer on a motorcycle. Meanwhile, Prince William and Duchess Kate were photographed leaving Kensington Palace and heading to Windsor ahead of the wedding.
Meghan's confirmation comes a day after her dad underwent surgery to insert three stents in his chest in the wake of a heart attack last week that days earlier he told TMZ was triggered by the stress of his staged paparazzi photos scandal and ongoing public criticism of Meghan by his two older children, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant, who are Meghan's half-siblings.
TMZ reporter Sean Mandell, who has been speaking directly to Thomas Sr. all week, appeared on "Good Morning Britain" on May 17 and revealed that Thomas and Meghan have not actually yet had a serious discussion about the former Hollywood lighting director's photo scandal (he was forced to admit he'd agreed to work with a photo agency to set up pictures of himself prepping for the wedding in the Mexico town where he lives in retirement). According to Sean, Meghan has focused on telling her dad she loves and cares for him.
"She is holding up, from what I've been told. It has been a tearful, at times, and a trying time for her," Sean said on "Good Morning Britain," according to The Sun. "I do get the sense he does want to be reunited with Meghan. He told us he wanted to be there."
TMZ's Sean continued, "He had a change of heart on Tuesday of this week actually, that after speaking with Meghan over text that he felt that he had prematurely maybe made the decision to pull out of the wedding. And he had originally felt it would be better for him not to be at the wedding because it would cause further embarrassment, he thought, for the royal family, and for Meghan, which is the last thing he wanted.
"But at the end of the day he realized, 'I'm a father, and I want to be there for my daughter, and I want to be part of history.' Ultimately his health prevented him from being able to do that."
MailOnline added that Sean also explained that "Meghan is by all accounts a very strong women. From what Thomas has told me, there's just love being conveyed there and a gentle approach between them when they speak."