Amid the headline-making drama that Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, will not be attending the royal wedding, there has been a sudden vacancy in the role for who will walk the duchess-to-be down the aisle on May 19th.
Thomas suffered a heart attack after being involved in a paparazzi scandal. On Tuesday, he made a statement that he wanted to try to come to the wedding and walk his daughter down the aisle, but is reportedly now unable to make it because he'll be undergoing heart surgery. Thankfully, there is no shortage of people ready to step in to carry out the historic honor of giving Meghan away to Prince Harry.
Though it's tradition for a bride to walk with her father—Kate Middleton's father performed the duty at her 2011 royal wedding to Prince William—Carolyn Harris, royal historian and author of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting, told E! News there is no "hard rule" that says Mr. Markle has to be the one to do it.
According to Harris, there have been a number of royal brides who have been given away by other family members—including Queen Victoria, who was walked down the aisle by her paternal uncle, and Princess Helena and Princess Beatrice, who were walked by Queen Victoria—and notes that there are a "number of different possibilities" of who will assume the role.
There has been speculation that Prince William will step in, but unlikely because he is Prince Harry's best man and already has a "clear role" on the day of the wedding. Prince Charles is a more likely candidate, given that he will soon be Meghan's father-in-law. There is also chatter that Markle's mom, Doria Ragland, will walk with her daughter.
Another option, says Harris, is that the royal couple will walk down the aisle together. The couple is "very much placing their own stamp on the wedding preparations and customizing things according to their preferences and circumstances," she told E! News, and it definitely wouldn't be a surprise to see them going against tradition altogether.
Just when you thought you couldn't get any more excited for the royal wedding, there's now the prospect of Meghan and Harry walking down the aisle together?! BRB, checking my DVR for the 700th time.