With the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just days away, there’s still a major question mark hanging over one key part of the proceedings — who will walk the bride down the aisle? Last week, a briefing from Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle Sr, would be giving his daughter away at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. However, after suffering a heart attack and undergoing surgery, Meghan has confirmed that her father will not be attending the wedding.
So, this leaves Meghan with a conundrum. Should she ask her mother and close confidante, Doria Ragland, to do the honors (as the bride reportedly always wanted to)? Should another close friend — or perhaps a member of Harry’s family, like Prince William — carry out the duty? Or, should she side-step an arguably irrelevant tradition and just walk by herself?
The latter option is, let’s face it, highly unlikely (this is the British monarchy we’re talking about, not a feel-good rom-com). But should Meghan choose to be accompanied by someone other than her father when she walks down the aisle, she certainly wouldn’t be the first royal bride to do so. From Queen Victoria to Princess Margaret, we’ve rounded up all the royals who had someone other than their father walk them down the aisle at their wedding — scroll down to see!
1840: Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria’s father died before she turned one, so when she married Prince Albert in 1840, she asked her favorite Uncle (Prince Augustus Frederick, the Duke of Sussex) to walk her down the aisle.
1866: Princess Helena
Should Meghan ask her mother Doria to give her away, it won’t be the first time that this has happened at a royal wedding. Queen Victoria walked her third daughter Princess Helena down the aisle when she married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein five years after the death of Prince Albert.
1885: Princess Beatrice
When Queen Victoria’s youngest child Princess Beatrice tied the knot with Prince Henry of Battenberg in 1885, the by-now elderly Queen walked her daughter down the aisle.
1937: Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
For her low-key (but highly scandalous) wedding to the former King Edward VIII (later styled as the Duke of Windsor), the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson was given away by a close friend, Herman Rogers. Members of the royal family were banned from attending the ceremony at the Chateau de Conde in France, by order of King George VI.
1960: Princess Margaret
As fans of The Crown will already know, Prince Philip accompanied his sister-in-law Princess Margaret down the aisle of Westminster Abbey ahead of her wedding to Anthony Armstrong-Jones. (Her father King George VI, who walked a then-Princess Elizabeth down the aisle when she married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, died in 1952).
2018: Meghan Markle
Since Meghan’s father, Thomas, will not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry, will her mother Doria accompany her down the aisle? It’s seeming more and more likely as the weekend approaches, but we’ll have to wait until May 19 — or, at least, for a final announcement from the palace — to know for sure!
This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. It originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia Daily.
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