Thomas Markle 'very excited' to be walking Meghan down the aisle

An aerial view of Windsor Castle in Berkshire which will host the wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
An aerial view of Windsor Castle in Berkshire which will host the wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle's father is said to be "very excited" about walking his daughter down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry, the sister-in-law of the former US actress has said.

The countdown for Harry and Meghan's wedding has begun in earnest after invitations went out last week and the bride-to-be's father, Thomas Markle, will take his place beside his daughter for the ceremony on May 19 at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel.

Tracey Dooley, who was married to the actress's half-brother, told ITV's Good Morning Britain show she had not received an invitation but admitted it had been about 20 years since she last saw Ms Markle.

Speaking from America with he son Tyler beside her, she said of Ms Markle's father: "I've heard that he's going to be over there and I'm sure that he will be giving her away, the arrangements are being made.

"I don't think he's waiting for his invitation, because I'm sure they already have the plans in place, and from me talking to him, he's very excited to be a part of it."

She added: "With her being an actress and the progression, this is a fairy tale come true for so many people and for him, for his daughter, he's so proud of her."

Some 600 guests will attend Harry and Meghan's wedding - with 200 joining them to party at an evening reception in Frogmore House with Harry's father the Prince of Wales hosting the evening celebration.

Those lucky enough to be attending will have received invites - on thick white card gilded along the edge - featuring printed italic writing and issued under Charles' name and bearing his heraldic feathers embossed in gold at the top.

Meghan's sister-in-law told the programme: "I don't think that we're going to get the invitations and that's just fine, we're OK with that but we're supporting her on, and just having a good time - so proud of her."

After being told about the decades that have passed since she last saw the actress, presenter Richard Madeley said: "Well then it doesn't seem unreasonable for you not to be invited, does it? I mean, if it's 20 years, you're pretty much on the fringes, aren't you, of the family, to be honest?"

Ms Dooley insisted she was close to Meghan's father and grandfather but admitted they were "somewhat on the fringes".