Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have appealed for “understanding and respect” to be shown to the actress’ father amid speculation he will not attend their wedding in Windsor this Saturday.
Thomas Markle, 73, has been surrounded by controversy since photos emerged that he reportedly staged himself and was paid to pose for.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding.
"She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr Markle in this difficult situation."
The photos were circulated widely around the world before the Mail on Sunday claimed to have proof that they had been staged.
In the shots, Mr Markle is seen appearing to prepare for the Royal wedding, getting measured for a suit, reading a book on British history and looking at images of his daughter and future son-in-law in an Internat café.
Talking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRadio breakfast show, The Sun Royal photographer Arthur Edwards expressed his sympathy for Meghan and noted the difficult situaiton with her father, saying she was "probably better off without him".
He added: "I just feel so sorry for Meghan Markle. I imagine she's still crying over some of the things her family's said about her. My god, she's had a bucketload."
Listen to Arthur Edwards' inteview above
American website TMZ claimed to have spoken with Mr Markle, reporting that he meant the former Suits actor “no harm”.
A source said: "He's now decided not to go because he doesn't want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.”
Meghan’s half sister Samantha Markle stepped in to try and shoulder the blame for the images, taking to Twitter to confirm she had played a role in organising the shots.
She said: "The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault.
"The media was unfairly making him look bad so I suggested he do positive photos for his benefit and the benefit of the royal family.
"We had no idea he would be taken advantage of. It was not for money."
With Mr Markle’s absent from the wedding, questions remain as to who will take on formal duties such as walking Meghan down the aisle and giving a speech at the reception.
It is thought that responsibility will fall to Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, 69, to step in and represent both parents.