Meghan Markle may be joining England’s royal family in a few months, but that doesn’t mean the American isn’t going to break a few traditions on her big day.
A source tells E! News that the bride-to-be is hoping that her mother, yoga teacher Doria Ragland, will walk her down the aisle instead of her reclusive father Thomas Markle, when she weds Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 18.
A bride is traditionally walked down the aisle by her father (if he is alive) on her big day.
When soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate Middleton wed Prince William in 2011, she was escorted down the aisle at Westminter Abbey by her father Michael Middleton.
The desire to have Ragland give her away also doesn’t come as a total surprise since the mother and daughter have a very close relationship. While Meghan has been photographed in public with her mother many times in 2017, she was never snapped with her father—often described as “reclusive.”
However, when Clarence House announced Nov. 27 that the prince had proposed, Meghan’s parents did issue a joint statement through the palace.
“We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents,” Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, who are divorced, said at the time. “We wish them a lifetime of happiness,” they added, “and are very excited for their future together.”
Last month, the U.K.’s Daily Mirror tracked Thomas down in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, as he was buying beer and cigarettes. Asked if he will be at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in May 2018 to give away his daughter, Thomas “beamed” and told the newspaper reporter, “Yes. I’d love to.”
“I’m very pleased,” the 73-year-old added. “I’m delighted.”
During an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today program last week, Prince Harry caused some tension when he spoke about the holidays and how the royal family “loved” having Meghan join them for Christmas.
“I think we’ve got one of the biggest families that I know of and every family is complex as well,” Harry said. “She’s done an absolutely amazing job, she’s getting in there and it’s the family that I suppose she never had.”
But Markle’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr. took issue with the interview, and told the Daily Mail that while Harry’s comments weren’t “upsetting” they were “a little shocking,” and shared that their father would be “confused” by Harry’s statement.
“She’s had a really good family,” he told the publication. “We were as close as we could be, as tight as we could be, that’s what we were. We’d get together on Christmases, on holidays, on birthdays, on Thanksgivings… It was always somewhere, even though we lived in different parts of the city [Los Angeles] – we still all got together. Obviously, she had a family. She was very privileged. She got everything she ever wanted. We did the best that we could in terms of getting together for holidays and whatnot.”
Talking about their dad’s reaction to Harry’s comments, Thomas Jr. shared, “My father will be extremely hurt, actually. He dedicated the majority of all his time and everything to her. He made sure she had what she needed to be successful and get to where she’s at today.”
The Palace has not commented on who will be walking Markle down the aisle come May.