Meghan Markle's half-sister Samantha attacks Harry's bride-to-be

  • Samantha Markle hits out at her half sister in bombshell interview with US media
  • She blasted Meghan for claims Meghan is trying to censor her for speaking out
  • Samantha has given a series of interviews in recent weeks defending the family
  • But she is bombarded with abuse on social media, with fans telling her: 'The world can't wait for you to go away' 

By Ed Riley For Mailonline

Published: 04:21 EDT, 16 May 2018 | Updated: 07:19 EDT, 16 May 2018

Royal fans have hit out at Meghan Markle's half-sister after she launched a stinging  attack on the bride-to-be saying that she has no right to try and censor her.   

Samantha Markle has given a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had 'freedom of speech' and has every right to speak out.

The mother-of-three, who has given a series of meddling media interviews in recent weeks laid into Meghan amid claims she is upset about her airing her views.

But after the astonishing clip emerged royal well-wishers blasted the 53-year-old telling her: 'The world can't wait for you to go away.'

Thomas Markle's daughter by his first marriage has been accused of abusing her connections to Meghan who she hasn't seen for ten years. 

Samantha Markle has given a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had 'freedom of speech'
Samantha Markle has given a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had 'freedom of speech'

Samantha Markle has given a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had 'freedom of speech'

Meghan pictured alongside Samantha Markle in 2008
Meghan pictured alongside Samantha Markle in 2008

Meghan pictured alongside Samantha Markle in 2008

The latest development comes as it emerged:

  • Meghan's father Thomas Markle will not be attending the royal wedding because he needs to have major heart surgery at 3.30pm today;
  • The bride to be's mother Doria Ragland is currently on her way to London after leaving Los Angeles International yesterday afternoon;
  • The royal page boys and bridesmaids are revealed, with Prince George and sister Charlotte joining the three children of Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney and Harry and Meghan's godchildren;
  • Canadian socialite Mrs Mulroney touched down at Heathrow Airport with her husband Ben, son of the country's ex prime minister Brian Mulroney;
  • Royal fans kitted out in Union Jack flags have started to set up camp behind the barriers that the royal procession will take through Windsor 

Yesterday she waded in to the faked paparazzi photos row as she defended her father when it emerged Mr Markle had staged the shots for money.

She spoke out as Meghan's mother Doria, now favourite to walk her down the aisle after her father faces a heart surgery operation today, headed to London on a flight from Los Angeles. 

Samantha, 53, told TMZ: 'If its about my life or my father's there is something in this country called freedom of speech.

'She doesn't have a copyright on that and she's not going to tell me that I can't speak about my life or my father's life where its a matter of public self-defence.

'The media is disparaging us. I'm not going to take it. 

'She's not qualified to suggest that I don't under any law in this country. 

'This is not Great Britain. I am a United States citizen and that's all there is to it. She's way out of her league to tell me that I can't speak.

Mother of three Samantha has given a series of interviews speaking about Meghan's romance with Prince Harry in recent weeks
Mother of three Samantha has given a series of interviews speaking about Meghan's romance with Prince Harry in recent weeks

Mother of three Samantha has given a series of interviews speaking about Meghan's romance with Prince Harry in recent weeks

'I'm not saying anything about her but if I'm talking about my life or my father's she has to respect it.'

But she was deluged with a barrage of abuse on social media, with one user commenting: 'Wow her attitude sure changed when she was told Meghan wants her to stop talking.

'I don't know why SM cares what the tabloids say..she isn't anybody important. SM actually believes she herself is a celebrity.

'Sorry lady, you're not! The world can't wait for you to go away.' 

Another said: 'Samantha Markle really needs to get a grip, everything this woman says just makes her look bitter & jealous.'

It came a day after she gave an interview to Good Morning Britain where she was accused of being a 'vulture'
It came a day after she gave an interview to Good Morning Britain where she was accused of being a 'vulture'

It came a day after she gave an interview to Good Morning Britain where she was accused of being a 'vulture'

And another tweet said: 'Desperate to go to Meghan and Harry’s wedding but wants to disparage them at the same time. Not cool!'

In the explosive chat Samantha admitted the relationship she has with her half-sister is 'strained' and claimed that Meghan doesn't have a relationship 'with anyone' in the family.

In the interview, which comes just three days before the couple tie the knot at St George's Chapel, Windsor, on Saturday, she also revealed she had bought the couple a 'sentimental' wedding gift adding: 'I would like to give it to her in person, but if not I will certainly send it.'

Samantha first hit out at her famous half sister when the romance was first revealed in 2016. She claimed she had always been attracted to Harry because she was 'ambitious' and wanted to become a princess.

She also announced she would release her memoirs and that her sister should be prepared for some uncomfortable revelations.  

She also blasted her sister on Twitter when it appeared she had been snubbed from the wedding, despite members of the public being invited.

She said: 'Out of respect and humanitarianism, the Markles should be invited if 2,000 complete strangers are.

'Our uncle, brother, me, best friend of 30 years, nephews. Our issue is not a matter of closeness. Family is family.'

Yesterday she gave an interview to Good Morning Britain to speak about Mr Markle pulling out of the wedding because he didn't want to embarrass the royal family following the fake photo row.

She was then accused by host Piers Morgan of being a 'little vulture' and grabbing money by 'trashing' the Suits star.

In an explosive exchange Mr Morgan asked her: 'How much money have you made from trashing Meghan Markle?' to which Samantha replied: 'Not very much'.

Ms Markle said she had encouraged her father to do a deal with paparazzi claiming he had been treated 'shabbily' by the media.

But Piers went on the offensive and said: 'There's no bigger media vulture in this wedding than you. You are doing a book called the 'Diary of princess pushy's sister'.'

Samantha replied that a 'book cannot be judged by its cover or by its title'. 

She also claimed that she was 'the culprit' behind the embarrassing 'faked' photographs of their father taken in the run-up to this week's royal wedding.

Samantha said she advised him to co-operate with a US-based paparazzo photographer in order to show himself - and, strangely, the royal family - in a 'positive' light and insisted his motive hadn't been money.

But she could not confirm whether Mr Markle had actually accepted any payment for his collusion for the stunt. Mr Markle later told TMZ he had.

Ms Markle told GMB: 'He was unfairly present in the media as shabby, I think photographer looked for the most unflattering photographs. 

'My father has really suffered at the hands of the media. I think a person has a right to say 'enough is enough, I wasn't to be shown how I really am'.

But Piers hit back: 'You've spent the last two years criticising her, you called her narcissistic, selfish, that Hollywood has changed her and that Prince Harry shouldn't marry her, yet you have the gall to blame media vultures.

'You've made loads of money off the back of a tenuous link to Meghan Markle, who you've spoken to once in 10 years. You've been trashing her for two years you vulture'.

Meghan's dad WON'T attend her wedding because he will have heart surgery today - and blames his SON for triggering heart attack with letter to Harry urging him to walk away

Meghan Markle's father won't attend her wedding to Prince Harry in three days' time because he needs to have major heart surgery today, it has been claimed.

Thomas Markle, 73, who lives in Mexico, revealed that doctors will 'go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed' during the operation, which will take place at 3.30pm UK time.

Mr Markle is thought to have previously stayed at General Hospital in Rosarito, the town where he lives, but it is unclear where today's operation will take place.

Free public healthcare is provided in Mexico, as opposed to the US where it is administered by private institutions.

The retired lighting director believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr, wrote trying to convince Harry not to marry Meghan.

Meanwhile it was claimed today that the relationship between Meghan's parents has been strained further after the fallout over the paparazzi photos.

A source told The Sun Online: 'Thomas and Doria are currently barely speaking to one another. 

'He is trying to make peace after everything that has happened. Their relationship had been hanging by a thread for months before the staged photo scandals. 

The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding
The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding

The surgery is the latest twist surrounding Mr Markle's attendance at Meghan's wedding

Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan
Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan

Mr Markle revealed he believes his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son, Thomas Jr (pictured), wrote to Prince Harry trying to convince him not to marry Meghan

'He had told friends that he wanted to come with the peace gesture for an appeasement before the wedding and his daughter's big day, but his recent actions have crushed that.'

The revelation over surgery was the latest twist on a rollercoaster of speculation surrounding whether Mr Markle would attend Saturday's royal wedding at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

It came just hours after Meghan seemed to have convinced her father to change his mind and walk her down the aisle.

He pulled out on Monday, saying he didn't want to further embarrass his daughter after The Mail On Sunday revealed he had staged paparazzi photos for money.

But yesterday it seemed he had backtracked on his decision after the bride-to-be pleaded with him to come to England for the big day in Berkshire.

He told TMZ that Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. 

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle
Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father to walk her down the aisle

Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria  with Meghan in March 2015
Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria  with Meghan in March 2015

Mr Markle has said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Pictured: Doria with Meghan in March 2015

'I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle,' Mr Markle said yesterday. 'Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history.' 

Mr Markle, who had a heart attack a week ago, returned to the hospital yesterday after having chest pains. He said a series of tests found that the heart attack had done 'significant damage' and revealed he needed immediate surgery. 

Mr Markle also blamed his recent health troubles on his son Thomas, who told Harry that marrying Meghan would be the 'biggest mistake in royal wedding history'.

'It's not too late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you,' Thomas's letter, shared with InTouch, reads. 'I'm confused why you don't see the real Meghan that the whole world now sees.' 

Thomas went on to call his half-sister a 'jaded, shallow, conceited woman, that will make a fool of you and the royal family heritage'. 

Just a week later, in another open letter, Thomas apologised for his words and begged Meghan to invite him to her wedding.  

Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter  (pictured together, circa 2000)
Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter  (pictured together, circa 2000)

Mr Markle said that he did not want to embarrass his daughter (pictured together, circa 2000)

When asked what the Queen thought about his money grab, Mr Markle laughed and said: 'I don't think the Queen is thinking about what I'm doing'
When asked what the Queen thought about his money grab, Mr Markle laughed and said: 'I don't think the Queen is thinking about what I'm doing'
Her Majesty is pictured at a garden party today at Buckingham Palace
Her Majesty is pictured at a garden party today at Buckingham Palace

Asked what the Queen (pictured yesterday at Buckingham Palace) thought about his money grab, Mr Markle laughed and said: 'I don't think the Queen is thinking about what I'm doing'

But when it came to her father, Mr Markle revealed that Meghan held no hard feelings against him for setting up paparazzi photos for money.

When asked what the Queen thought about his money grab, Mr Markle laughed and said: 'I don't think the Queen is thinking about what I'm doing.'

Who will give Meghan away if her father isn't cleared by doctors?

Doria Ragland - 4/6 

Prince Charles - 2/1 

Prince William - 5/1

Meghan Walks Solo down the Aisle 5/1

Thomas Markle 10/1

Gabriel Macht 14/1  

Prince Philip 20/1 

Prince Harry 33/1 

Kate Middleton 100/1

Mr Markle said although he doesn't believe faking the 'hammy' photos was that serious, he admitted it was a 'stupid' decision. 

He also blasted his eldest daughter Samantha Markle, who revealed she convinced Mr Markle to set up the photos.

Mr Markle said Samantha has no real relationship with Meghan, and knows nothing of her relationship with Harry.

Before changing his mind, Mr Markle said he believed his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a 'good choice' to give their daughter away at St George's Chapel, where the wedding is being held in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Miss Ragland is flying into the UK from Los Angeles to support her daughter and would be the clear favourite to walk her down the aisle if Mr Markle is not cleared by doctors to fly.

Prince Charles is 2/1 with the bookies to step in, while Prince William is 5/1 to take Meghan into St George's Chapel before starting his duties as Harry's best man.

There have also been a flurry of bets on Meghan walking down the aisle alone. On Monday night, Mr Markle told TMZ that Miss Ragland should be the person to do it.

Mr Markle's ex-wife Doria Ragland is expected to meet  Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Society yesterday)
Mr Markle's ex-wife Doria Ragland is expected to meet  Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Society yesterday)

Mr Markle's ex-wife Doria Ragland is expected to meet Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured at a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Society yesterday)

Doria with her daughter Meghan at the Invictus Games closing ceremony
Doria with her daughter Meghan at the Invictus Games closing ceremony
Prince Harry and Meghan
Prince Harry and Meghan

Doria Ragland (left, with her daughter in Toronto in September 2017) has been keeping a low profile ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding (the couple, pictured right on April 23) 

Miss Ragland has been keeping a low profile in recent weeks ahead of Saturday's nuptials, and has been photographed out and about near her home in Los Angeles.

So far there has been no official announcement on who will now be walking Meghan down the aisle.

But according to TMZ, Mr Markle believes Miss Ragland, who has a close relationship with her daughter, should now be the one to give her away if he can not make it.

The yoga instructor and social worker has been described by Meghan as a 'free spirited clinical therapist' and she has been seen alongside Meghan at a number of public events.

Harry, who has described her as 'amazing', flew Miss Ragland out to Toronto to join Meghan and himself at the Invictus Games last year.

Royal experts said at the time that Harry's decision to invite Meghan's mother to join them at the closing ceremony of the tournament was 'hugely significant'.

Miss Ragland was already expected to have an 'important role' during the ceremony. It is thought she will ride with Meghan in the car to the chapel to Windsor Castle.

She is also expected to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and his wife, Kate, before the big day.   

The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years 
The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years 

The 73-year-old said Meghan tried calling him on Monday, but he wasn't near his phone. She later sent a text saying she loved him and was concerned about his health. Pictured: The father and daughter in her teenage years 

Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos
Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos

Thomas Markle is seen on surveillance video entering an internet cafe with photographer Jeff Rayner to set up staged photos

A friend of Meghan and Harry's told the Mail that she was standing by her father and pleaded for understanding, saying he was 'not in a good place'. 

Meghan wouldn't be the first to be given away by a woman at a royal wedding 

If Meghan Markle's mother does walk her down the aisle it won't be the first time it has happened.   

Queen Victoria gave away her youngest child Princess Beatrice at St Mildred's Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight in 1885.

She wore black to remember her husband Prince Albert who had died 24 years earlier, although her outfit is believed to have been encrusted with diamonds.  

Royal historian Victoria Howard told the BBC: 'I think it would be a lovely touch for Meghan's mother Doria to walk her down the aisle.

'It would be unusual but it wouldn't be an unprecedented move. Queen Victoria walked two of her daughters down the aisle'.  

The friend said: 'This is not what she wants. She obviously wants her dad there. And the idea of contemplating him not being there now is not something that she wants to have to do.

'She and Prince Harry are begging for people to give him some space. They have been saying this for weeks, while trying to offer him support and help. 

'He is clearly feeling under immense pressure. The concern for him is real and genuine. He is a proud man who wants to be a father and not be taken care of, but it's quite difficult. 

'Everyone needs to pause and think what this is doing to them and, more importantly, to him. It is a really worrying, scary situation. The couple have been doing everything they can to help him.' 

Harry, 33, is said to be distraught and could try to get Mr Markle to change his mind.

The friend said: 'Harry feels guilty that this has happened to someone he loves because they are in a relationship with him.

'He is devastated. He feels like this is another thing in the wake of him... the problems he causes. He feels that anyone who gets associated with his life – this is the price they have to pay.

'He wants to protect her and this is really difficult for him to swallow.'

Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)
Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)

Meghan will now be accompanied by only mother at the wedding (Doria Ragland with Prince Harry and Meghan in September)

The couple issued an unprecedented official statement through Kensington Palace in the wake of the crisis.

A 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.' 

US gossip website TMZ claimed to have spoken 'on the record' to Miss Markle's father, who confirmed he had worked with the freelance photographer to set up images of him being measured for his wedding suit and searching online for articles about his daughter.

He said he did it to 'rehabilitate' his image but had been left looking 'stupid and hammy' – and would not be travelling to the UK to give her away in order to spare her further embarrassment. 

Kensington Palace was clearly broadsided by the claims as aides had insisted on Sunday that Mr Markle would be by his daughter's side at Windsor Castle this weekend. 

TMZ further claimed that Mr Markle – a former award-winning Hollywood lighting director who lives a reclusive life in Mexico and has yet to meet his future son-in-law – confirmed he had been offered money by US-based freelance photographer Jeff Rayner.

Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was 'struggling' ahead of the wedding
Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was 'struggling' ahead of the wedding

Thomas Jr previously told DailyMail.com his father was 'struggling' ahead of the wedding

Thomas Markle admitted to staging  paparazzi photos (pictured) with an agency for money
Thomas Markle admitted to staging  paparazzi photos (pictured) with an agency for money

Thomas Markle admitted to staging paparazzi photos (pictured) with an agency for money

But he insisted the 'deal' was not 'principally' about money. Instead, he wanted to 'rehabilitate' his image after pictures had been published of him looking overweight and dishevelled.

HOW MEGHAN'S BIG DAY WAS UPENDED: TIMELINE TO THOMAS MARKLE'S DECISION TO STAY AWAY

TUESDAY MAY 8: On Monday May 14, Thomas Markle Sr claims he suffered a heart attack six days ago - making it either Tuesday or Wednesday May 8 or 9. He claims he checked himself out of hospital in order to attend the royal wedding. Markle Sr was at his home from Sunday 7 onwards and was not seen leaving it at any time 

WEDNESDAY MAY 9: Markle leaves his Mexican home at 8.30pm. He checks into the Rodeway Inn in San Ysidro, just across the U.S. border, and shops at a nearby 7-11. He is seen purchasing Gas X medication, a milkshake and a bottle of Heineken

THURSDAY MAY 10: At 4.10am Markle drives 135 miles to his property in Los Feliz. He picks up mail at UPS before stopping in to CVS to buy his former wife Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, a card and returning home. He is later photographed purchasing two Happy Meals and a creamy drink at a McDonalds drive-thru. He also bought a large pot of flowers for his estranged wife from a Home Depot 

Later that afternoon, he is pictured dropping off the flowers and card at Doria Ragland's home. He is then pictured picking up KFC close to the Mexico border as he returns to his Mexico home

FRIDAY MAY 11: Markle remains in his Mexico home

SATURDAY MAY 12: Markle remains in his Mexico home

SUNDAY MAY 13: The Mail on Sunday reveals that Markle has been staging paparazzi photos of himself in the run up to the royal wedding - the photos have raised north of $110,000. Markle remains in his Mexico home 

MONDAY May 14: Markle announces he will not attend his daughter's wedding or walk her down the aisle. According to TMZ, he admitted to staging paparazzi photos in the run up to the wedding. Sources say Kensington Palace was blindsided by the decision. In a statement they say is is a deeply personal matter for Ms Markle

The website wrote: 'He says since his daughter started dating Prince Harry he's been offered anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 for interviews and he's turned all of them down. 

'Thomas says the paparazzi agency approached him, offered him money – though nowhere near the reported $100,000 – and he figured there was no harm in it and it would help recast his image. 

'He admits the pics look 'stupid and hammy'. He says he was just going along with the paparazzi agency, which he now deeply regrets.' 

The website continued: 'Meghan's father will not be walking her down the aisle on Saturday... he isn't going to the wedding at all because of the fallout over selling photos of himself.'

Mr Markle also told the website that he had suffered a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of the hospital so he could attend the wedding.

There was no independent confirmation that Mr Markle had been ill, however.

Indeed, last week he was seen leaving his home in the beachside community of Rosarito, Mexico, and driving to San Diego, just over the US border. 

According to reports, he stopped for a few hours' sleep and then carried onto LA where he was photographed putting a pot of flowers on the doorstep of his ex-wife, Miss Ragland.

To add to the confusion, Mr Markle's daughter - Meghan's estranged half-sister Samantha - claimed that she was 'the culprit' behind the humiliating photograph debacle.

In a bizarre intervention, Samantha said she had advised her father to co-operate with the photographer to show himself – and, strangely, the Royal Family – in a 'positive' light.  She also insisted his motive hadn't been money.

One source told the Mail that Mr Markle was 'very unwell', adding: 'He is under significant stress.

'There is genuine concern about his safety. His health and safety are paramount [to Meghan]. He is under a huge amount of pressure.'

If Miss Markle's father is not at the wedding, it is believed Miss Ragland will walk her down the aisle.

Revealed: The 4 procedures Meghan Markle's father could undergo following his heart attack and why they will prevent him from giving his daughter away 

By Alexandra Thompson, Health Reporter For MailOnline

Meghan Markle's father Thomas Markle (pictured on Thursday last week) has  pulled out of his daughter's big day
Meghan Markle's father Thomas Markle (pictured on Thursday last week) has  pulled out of his daughter's big day

Meghan Markle's father Thomas Markle (pictured on Thursday last week) has pulled out of his daughter's big day

Meghan Markle's father has confirmed he will not attend her wedding to Prince Harry in three days time after suffering a heart attack last week. 

Thomas Markle, 73, is due to have an operation at 3.30pm UK time today to 'go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed', he is reported to have said. 

It is unclear where Mr Markle, who lives in Mexico, will have the procedure, however, heart attacks are treated using the same procedures throughout North America and in the UK. 

Mr Markle was admitted to hospital yesterday after suffering severe chest pains, with tests confirming the heart attack did 'significant damage' and requires immediate surgery.

Despite Meghan reportedly working hard to convince her father to walk her down the aisle, the retired lighting director is not expected to be in a fit enough state to travel across the Atlantic to Windsor after a major operation.

Mr Markle claims his heart attack was triggered by an open letter his son Thomas Jr wrote to Prince Harry saying marrying Meghan would be the 'biggest mistake in royal wedding history'.

Although it is unclear exactly what his surgery will involve, the MailOnline has rounded up the most common heart-attack operations and when Mr Markle may be able to congratulate his newly-married daughter in person.

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle. However, after suffering a heart attack last week, he will not be well enough to attend 
Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father   to walk her down the aisle. However, after suffering a heart attack last week, he will not be well enough to attend 

Meghan, pictured with Harry on April 25, pleaded with her father to walk her down the aisle. However, after suffering a heart attack last week, he will not be well enough to attend 

Angioplasty

What is it?

An angioplasty involves making a small incision in a patient's arm or leg, through which a wire with an attached deflated balloon is thread through up to the coronary arteries.

The balloon is then inflated to widen areas where blood flow to the heart muscle has been reduced or cut off by plaque build up.

In some cases wires with laser tips are inserted to break up plaque. The balloon may also have a sharp rotating edge to cut away cholesterol build up. 

What does it do?

Angioplasties open blocked arteries, which restores normal blood flow to the heart.

This reduces chest pain and allows people to exercise if they were left immobile by their angina.

Angioplasties also reduce patients' risk of suffering a heart attack.

How long is the recovery? And what are the risks?

For patients being treated for chest pain, most are usually able to go home the same day of the operation. They should avoid strenuous activities and driving for at least a a week. 

Heart-attack patients may need to stay in hospital for several days after their angioplasties. 

Angioplasties are considered relatively non-invasive due to them only requiring a small incision in the arm or leg. The procedure generally lasts between 30 minutes and one hour. 

Risks depending on people's age and overall health but may include excessive bleeding, heart attacks and stroke. 

An angioplasty involves inserting a wire with an attached deflated balloon through an artery in a patient's arm, which is then thread up to the heart. The balloon expands and opens the artery
An angioplasty involves inserting a wire with an attached deflated balloon through an artery in a patient's arm, which is then thread up to the heart. The balloon expands and opens the artery

An angioplasty involves inserting a wire with an attached deflated balloon through an artery in a patient's arm, which is then thread up to the heart. The balloon expands and opens the artery

Stent placement

What is it? 

A stent is a wire mesh tube that props open arteries during an angioplasty. 

It surrounds the deflated balloon and expands with it when the balloon is inflated.  

After the balloon has been deflated and removed, the stent stays in the artery permanently.

The recovery process and risks are the same as they are for angioplasties.  

What does it do?

Stents hold arteries open to help improve blood flow to the heart and relieve chest pain. 

Stent placements are inserted in the same way as angioplasties but involve a wire mesh around the balloon. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open
Stent placements are inserted in the same way as angioplasties but involve a wire mesh around the balloon. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open

Stent placements are inserted in the same way as angioplasties but involve a wire mesh around the balloon. Once the balloon is removed, the stent remains to keep the artery open

Bypass

What is it? 

Bypass surgery involves taking arteries or veins from other parts of the body and using them to reroute blood around the clogged artery.

Depending on how narrowed people's arteries are, some patients may require several bypass grafts.

In some cases, small incisions are made in the chest, through which arteries or veins from the leg are attached to the heart. 

This requires the heart to be stopped, with blood being pumped through an oxygenator, which is also known as a 'heart-lung' machine. 

What does it do?

Bypasses are one of the most effective ways to restore blocked blood supplies to the heart.

As well as improving blood and oxygen supplies to the organ, the procedure relieves chest pain, reduces the risk of a heart attack and often allows patients to be more mobile.

How long is the recovery?

Most patients need to stay in hospital for at least a week after having a coronary artery bypass.

Patients are generally able to sit in a chair after one day, walk after three and use stairs after six. 

It takes around six weeks before people can resume their normal daily activities, such as working and driving, and three months before they make a full recovery.   

What are the risks?

Up to one in every three patients will suffer an irregular or abnormally fast heart rate, which is usually not serious and treatable with medication. 

Around one in 25 develop infections at the site of the incision on the chest, arms or legs.

Reduced kidney function affects less than one in 20, which is typically just temporary and resolves within a few weeks. 

Brain-related problems may also occur, which can affect people's abilities to concentrate. Although this can be permanent, it usually improves after a few months. 

Due to the heart and coronary arteries being vulnerable after a bypass, up to 10 per cent of patients suffer a heart attack within 30 days of the surgery.

Risks depend on a patient's age, overall health, weight and the number of vessels grafted.

Bypass surgery involves taking arteries or veins from other parts of the body and using them to reroute blood around the clogged artery. Some patients may require several grafts
Bypass surgery involves taking arteries or veins from other parts of the body and using them to reroute blood around the clogged artery. Some patients may require several grafts

Bypass surgery involves taking arteries or veins from other parts of the body and using them to reroute blood around the clogged artery. Some patients may require several grafts

Heart transplant

What is it?

Heart transplants involve removing diseased organs and replacing them with a healthy donated heart from someone who has recently died.

They are considered in patients with severe heart failure who have not responded to medication.

This may include those with coronary heart disease, birth defects that affect the heart or abnormally large or shaped hearts that have become stiff. 

Heart transplants involve a cut being made in the middle of the chest while a patient is under general anaesthetic. 

Once the diseased heart is removed, the donor organ is connected to the main arteries and veins, and should begin beating normally. 

What does it do?

Such procedures have been proven to restore heart health in patients with irreversible damage. 

Heart transplant can be life saving in patients whose organs no longer worked efficiently. 

How long is the recovery?

Most patients stay in hospital for between two and three weeks after a heart transplant. 

It can take several months before they can return to their normal activities.

Patients are required to take immune-system suppressing drugs for the rest of their lives to reduce the risk of their bodies rejecting the donated organ.

They also require regular check ups with heart specialists. 

What are the risks? 

One of the most common complications is the donor heart being rejected, which occurs when the immune system recognises the organ as foreign and attacks it.

Taking immunosuppressants to reduce the risk of rejection can cause side effects such as infections, weight gain and high blood pressure.  

In up to 10 per cent of surgeries, the heart transplant does not work properly, which can be lift threatening and requires medications, ventilators and bypass machines to keep circulation going. 

If the donated heart's function does not improve, a second transplant may be required. 

Narrowed and hardened arteries are common after a heart transplant. They tend to occur several years after the operation.

These can restrict the heart's blood supply, leading to attacks and even failure. Medications can prevent this.  

Heart transplants involve removing diseased organs and replacing them with a healthy donated heart from someone who has recently died. This is done in severe heart failure (stock)
Heart transplants involve removing diseased organs and replacing them with a healthy donated heart from someone who has recently died. This is done in severe heart failure (stock)

Heart transplants involve removing diseased organs and replacing them with a healthy donated heart from someone who has recently died. This is done in severe heart failure (stock)

 

Royal page boys and bridesmaids revealed: Prince George and sister Charlotte will be joined by the three children of bride-to-be's best friend and Harry and Meghan's godchildren 

Princess Charlotte and Prince George will be among the bridesmaids and page boys for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, it was revealed today.

The three children of Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney - twins Brian and John, seven, and daughter Ivy, four - will also walk down the aisle on Saturday.

The bridesmaids for the service at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, include Harry's goddaughters, Zalie Warren, two, and Florence van Cutsem, three. 

Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured on the way to meet their new baby brother who was named Prince Louis, at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, on April 27
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured on the way to meet their new baby brother who was named Prince Louis, at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, on April 27

Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured on the way to meet their new baby brother who was named Prince Louis, at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, on April 27

The three children of Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney - twins Brian and John, seven, and daughter Ivy, four - are pictured with their mother arriving at London Heathrow Airport today
The three children of Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney - twins Brian and John, seven, and daughter Ivy, four - are pictured with their mother arriving at London Heathrow Airport today

The three children of Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney - twins Brian and John, seven, and daughter Ivy, four - are pictured with their mother arriving at London Heathrow Airport today

Also involved are 36-year-old Meghan's goddaughters, sisters Remi and Rylan Litt, aged six and seven respectively, and four-year-old Ivy Mulroney.

The other pageboys are 33-year-old Harry's godson, Jasper Dyer, aged six, and seven-year-old twin brothers Brian and John Mulroney.

Kensington Palace announced this morning that Harry's niece and nephew would be among Meghan's young helpers at the nuptials in Windsor this weekend.

Charlotte, three, and four-year-old George are already skilled in the role, having performed the duty for the Duchess of Cambridge's sister, Pippa Matthews, last year.

Meghan is godmother to her friend Benita Litt's two daughters Remi, six and Rylan, seven, and she is thought to have spent Christmas with the family in 2016 (pictured)
Meghan is godmother to her friend Benita Litt's two daughters Remi, six and Rylan, seven, and she is thought to have spent Christmas with the family in 2016 (pictured)

Meghan is godmother to her friend Benita Litt's two daughters Remi, six and Rylan, seven, and she is thought to have spent Christmas with the family in 2016 (pictured)

Remi, six and Rylan Litt, seven, will be among the six bridesmaids at this Saturday's wedding
Remi, six and Rylan Litt, seven, will be among the six bridesmaids at this Saturday's wedding

Remi, six and Rylan Litt, seven, will be among the six bridesmaids at this Saturday's wedding

Harry has paid tribute to former mentor and close friend Mark Dyer by requesting his son Jasper as a pageboy.

Meanwhile Meghan has publicly recognised one of her best friends, stylist Mrs Mulroney, by choosing her twin sons to take part in the wedding.

Mr Dyer, a redhead like the prince, was a supportive big brother figure for Harry during the 1990s and early 2000s.

It was during that period that the teenager was coming to terms with the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris in 1997.

Mrs Mulroney, who is married to Ben Mulroney, the son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, was seen arriving at London Heathrow Airport today. 

Six-year-old Jasper Dyer, pictured with his father Mark Dyer, will be a page boy at the wedding
Six-year-old Jasper Dyer, pictured with his father Mark Dyer, will be a page boy at the wedding

Six-year-old Jasper Dyer, pictured with his father Mark Dyer, will be a page boy at the wedding

Police officers stand today outside Windsor Castle on the Long Walk in the Berkshire town
Police officers stand today outside Windsor Castle on the Long Walk in the Berkshire town

Police officers stand today outside Windsor Castle on the Long Walk in the Berkshire town

Police pose with the Madame Tussauds wax figures of Harry and Meghan in Windsor today
Police pose with the Madame Tussauds wax figures of Harry and Meghan in Windsor today

Police pose with the Madame Tussauds wax figures of Harry and Meghan in Windsor today

Zalie Warren is the daughter of Jake Warren, son of the Queen's bloodstock and racing adviser John Warren, and his wife Zoe.

The palace has already revealed Meghan is not having a maid of honour because she did not want to choose just one person from her close-knit group of friends.

Kate is likely to play a supervisory role for the page boys and bridesmaids, something she did when her younger sister, Pippa, married James Matthews last year.

The duchess was spotted giving a polite warning to the youngsters in her charge, holding her finger to her lips to ensure they were quiet as they entered the church.

Who are the four page boys and six bridesmaids for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding?

Kensington Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have six bridesmaids and four pageboys at the wedding. Here is the full list:

BRIDESMAIDS

Kate with Princess Charlotte after Pippa Middleton's wedding in May last year
Kate with Princess Charlotte after Pippa Middleton's wedding in May last year

Kate with Princess Charlotte after Pippa Middleton's wedding in May last year

Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (aged three)

The middle child and only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has made a name for herself for her royal confidence despite being just three years old.

It was Charlotte - Harry's niece - who led the way into the Lindo Wing to meet new baby brother Prince Louis, giving a regal

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