After a hectic week leading up to the royal wedding, there is finally a firm answer about who is walking Meghan Markle down the aisle. Despite speculation, Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, will not be stepping in for her father. Why isn't Markle's mother walking her down the aisle? The answer appears to be tied to the public nature of the wedding, and a desire not to put her mother through any extra pressure during the big day.
After medical issues prevented her father, Thomas Markle Sr., from flying to London, many people wondered if Markle's mother would be the one making the important walk with their daughter. However, the former Suits actor made a bold decision about her nuptials that marks a serious (and seriously cool) break from tradition. No one will partake in the tradition of giving the bride away; instead, Markle will walk the final few steps to Prince Harry herself and the part of the ceremony where the archbishop asks: "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" will be omitted, according to the Independent.
Markle won't make the entire walk alone. In a statement issued to Kensington Palace, Markle revealed that she has asked her soon-to-be father-in-law, Prince Charles, to walk her part way down the aisle. The official statement reads,
"Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way."
The bride is walking the first part of St. George's Chapel aisle surrounded only by her bridesmaids and page boys. The Prince of Wales will meet her at the church's Quire, and walk her the rest of the way to the altar. He will then stand back as Markle approaches Prince Harry on her own.
CNN reports that Markle is the first royal bride in the U.K. to walk down the aisle without an escort. Her decision to jettison a tradition that many consider outdated is just one more way that Markle has distinguished herself, while also showing that she's not afraid to make a bold statement about her strength. Seeing Ragland walk her daughter down the aisle would also have been a break from tradition — and a welcome one at that — but Markle's decision is one that appears to be designed in not only her best interest, but in the best interest of her mother.
As the Independent points out, the wedding is a public affair, and there's a great amount of pressure that goes along with any royal event. Instead of adding any extra stress on her mother, Markle has chosen Prince Charles, who's no stranger to being in the public eye. Meanwhile, Ragland can focus on being the mother of the bride, and all of the emotions that go along with seeing her daughter get married.
Ragland already has an important role to play in the royal wedding. Markle's mother will ride with her in the car that will take her to St. George's Chapel. Having her mom by her side for such an important moment is sure to be a beautiful experience for the both of them.
As for her walk down the aisle, knowing that Markle has chosen to walk herself most of the way, and to eschew a dated tradition, is just one more reason why she already has so many fans. She may be marrying an actual prince, but Markle has her own ideas about marriage and happiness, and she's not afraid to express them — and there's no doubt that the way her strong mother raised her has a whole lot to do with Markle's eagerness to be her own person even as she prepares to join the royal family.