Controversy and Royal Weddings can often go hand in hand, but the father of the bride not being in attendance may be a first...
Royal Weddings have had their share of disastrous moments dating back as early as 1763 when Augusta of Saxe-Gotha married the Prince of Wales and vomited on her AND her mother-in-law's dresses from nerves. Or who can forget the beautiful Princess Diana's wedding to Prince Charles when she said his name incorrectly? Heck, even Queen Elizabeth II had her tiara break the day off the wedding in an emergency repair situation. Over the years there have been plenty of situations during Royal Weddings that weren't ideal, but I'm not sure Meghan Markle anticipated her father's absence on her big day.
Meghan Markle's dad stirred up some negative publicity when it was found that he staged wedding preparation photos for an agency. Although it is said his intentions behind doing so were pure and solely to help paint him in a better light, it turned out to be an added stressor in an already high-pressure event. Ashamed, Tom Markle opted to not attend the Royal Wedding as to not cause any further embarrassment to his daughter and her new Royal family. Meghan's half-sister, Samantha has tried to claim some of the responsibility in the situation stating she told her father he needed to be perceived as making "healthy" choices and be seen in a "respectable" light.
It would be silly to think this won't have an emotional effect on the bride-to-be. Meghan and Harry have asked for their personal privacy regarding his attendance during their special day as well as the privacy of her father.