Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland has jetted off from Los Angeles and is en-route to London ahead of the royal wedding.
The 61-year-old is set to touch down at Heathrow on Wednesday amid growing speculation that she will be the one to walk her daughter down the aisle in Windsor, with ex-husband Thomas Markle reportedly set to miss the event after undergoing heart surgery.
Both had been due to arrive in the UK this week to spend time with the royals ahead of Saturday, including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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Ms Ragland, a yoga instructor and social worker who met Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto last year, was picked up from her LA home on Tuesday ahead of her 10-and-a-half-hour flight.
She was dressed casually, wearing a loose pair of trousers and a t-shirt with a picture of a dog on it, complemented by a blazer and a Burberry garment bag.
Photographers later spotted her checking in at the exclusive Private Suite at LAX airport.
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Upon her arrival in London she is expected to be quickly whisked off to see her daughter and future son-in-law, before meeting other members of the royal family for the first time.
Earlier this week it was revealed that she will stay with her daughter at the Cliveden House Hotel, roughly nine miles from Windsor, on the night before the wedding.
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Prince Harry will stay at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park in Ascot, Berkshire, with his brother and best man Prince William.
Forecasters predict that it will be warm and sunny on the big day, which is expected to see 100,000 people from around the world descend on the town.
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The likely absence of Mr Markle, 73, was first reported on Monday by TMZ, which claimed he had decided not to appear after being left “deeply embarrassed” by the release of pictures that appeared to show him colluding with photographers.
It forced Kensington Palace to make the unusual move of addressing the story via a formal statement, which acknowledged Meghan was going through a “deeply personal moment” and pleaded for “understanding”.
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Then, earlier on Tuesday, Mr Markle said he had changed his mind and was hoping to walk Ms Markle down the aisle, saying he would hate to miss out on a historic day.
But the most recent indication from the former Hollywood lighting director is that he will not be making the trip, having been booked to go into heart surgery in Mexico, where he lives.
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:: Sky News will broadcast live in Windsor the week before the royal wedding with all the build-up to the big day, with exclusive live coverage of the wedding in UHD in a special programme from 9am to 3pm on Sky News and Sky One on Saturday 19 May.