Meghan Markle’s reclusive father will walk her down the aisle

Tom Markle, pictured on Friday, will walk his daughter down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry on May 19

Meghan Markle’s reclusive father will walk her down the aisle, a close friend has told The Mail on Sunday.

After months of speculation about whether retired Hollywood lighting director Tom Markle will be by his daughter’s side in Windsor Castle, one of his closest confidantes last night confirmed: ‘He will.’

And Kensington Palace has been told that the 73-year-old will be flying in for the ceremony from Mexico, where he lives in a sleepy retirement community.

‘He’s very excited about it,’ said the friend: ‘He’s very close to her [Meghan] and he’s very happy. All the pressure has been hard on him and he’s just trying to stay out of the limelight.’

The woman also said Mr Markle does not know what he will wear on the big day adding: ‘The Royal Family controls that. We’re not sure.’

She declined to be named – but, after being pictured sharing a pizza with Mr Markle at a local restaurant last week, denied that she was romantically involved with Harry’s future father-in-law.

Mr Markle has not yet met the Prince, and it is not known when he will. But his friend said: ‘He likes Harry. He thinks he’s very much a gentleman and he’s looking forward to the wedding.’

It has been rumoured that Meghan could break with convention and have both her father and her mother, Doria, walk her down the aisle on May 19.

Doria, 61, met Harry at last year’s Invictus Games in Toronto, and the Princehas described her as ‘amazing’. Tom and Doria, a social worker, divorced when Meghan was six, and she has subsequently been closer to her mother.

A family source said: ‘Meghan sees more of her mother because Tom leads such a quiet life, but she adores both her parents. It would surprise no one if she has both her mother and father accompany her.Tom has said from the start that he wants to walk her down the aisle, and that has never changed.’

A close friend said that Mr Markle is 'very excited' about attending the wedding and said that he is very close to his daughter

A close friend said that Mr Markle is ‘very excited’ about attending the wedding and said that he is very close to his daughter

The Mail on Sunday spoke to Mr Markle outside his seafront bungalow yesterday. He confirmed the woman who spoke to this newspaper was ‘a good friend’ – but nothing more. ‘I have no girlfriend,’ he added. ‘Have a good day, man.’

He met the young mum, an American, in the street when she was with her ten-year-old daughter. ‘He told me how cute she is and that he misses his kids,’ the friend said. ‘My daughter reminded him of when his kids were little.’

Mr Markle – who moved to Rosarito Beach in Mexico after being declared bankrupt in 2016 – has previously called Harry and Meghan ‘a very good match,’ saying: ‘It’s wonderful. I’m very happy for them.’

Last week the wedding invitations were finally sent out. The Mail on Sunday understands that the guest list includes British stars, including the Beckhams, international figures such as Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, and close friends from the US, including designer Misha Nonoo.