Royal wedding: Final preparations underway for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Posted at 9:05 PM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 23:05:06-04

WINDSOR, U.K. — The royal wedding excitement is "on the boil." The bride and groom had a rehearsal Thursday and the mother of the bride had tea with her royal in-laws. The question of whether the father of the bride will attend was finally settled.

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rode to Windsor Castle for a dress rehearsal, the bride was still smiling despite a tumultuous week. On Thursday morning, she confirmed her father won’t walk her down the aisle, saying in a statement she hopes he "can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."

How to watch the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Thomas Markle Sr. is reportedly recovering from surgery after a heart attack. Earlier in the week, he was caught up in controversy over photographs, reportedly telling TMZ he staged to show himself in a positive light.

Royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah says the run-up to royal weddings is usually much smoother.

"We’ve been told from Kensington Palace is far from being debilitated from going on, she’s been trying to carry on as usual," Nikkah said. 

Other wedding plans appear to be on track. Troops are rehearsing — some will escort the newlyweds on a carriage ride through Windsor on Saturday, when the streets will be filled with even more fans.

"I am a crazy American," said Nancy McCoy, who flew in early from California, sleeping on the sidewalk to save a spot — just like she has for the queen’s past two jubilees.

"You have to come early to get a good place," she said. "I wanted to be right where the carriage comes down."

On Thursday, Prince Harry and Meghan met with the queen at Windsor Castle. Meghan’s mother has arrived in England and is expected to accompany her daughter to the wedding on Saturday. 

See also: Meghan’s ‘Suits’ squad descend on London ahead of royal wedding