There's no escaping the saga that has rocked the lead up to the royal wedding with a "distraught" Meghan Markle and her "embarrassed" father dominating the headlines and front pages of the British press.

Prince Harry and his American fiancée are getting married this Saturday in St George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

And with just four days to go till the big day, Thomas Markle, 73, has reportedly pulled out of the royal wedding and walking his daughter down the aisle, citing stress and a heart attack as the reason.

The news followed the weekend's revelations that the award-winning former Hollywood lighting director had worked with US-based photographer Jeff Rayner to set up a photo deal, for an unknown fee.

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On Monday, the British press reported Thomas Markle was "deeply embarrassed" at the blunder, and by the next morning his decision to pull out of the wedding completely was all over the news.

Various media outlets reported he had a heart attack a week ago and had checked himself out of the hospital to go to the wedding, but the recent stress had led him to change his mind.

The Daily Star called the latest developments a "new royal shocker" on its front page.

The tone of the Daily Star's front page was echoed across several other British tabloids and to a lesser extent the daily broadsheets.
The tone of the Daily Star's front page was echoed across several other British tabloids and to a lesser extent the daily broadsheets.

"Heart-Scare Meghan Dad 'to miss big wedding'. He 'pulls out after suffering attack'," it plastered in big bold letters next to a picture of Thomas Markle.

The Sun online headlined the story on its homepage: "Meghan Blow: Meghan's dad will not attend wedding after admitting that he staged pictures."

Even The Telegraph, a less sensationalist daily broadsheet, couldn't avoid pointing to the news on its front page; albeit with slightly less drama.

"Meghan's father to miss the wedding. Thomas Markle pulls out after paparazzi row."

Front page from the The Telegraph, showing coverage of the news that Meghan Markle's father will not attend this weekend's wedding.
Front page from the The Telegraph, showing coverage of the news that Meghan Markle's father will not attend this weekend's wedding.

It's undoubtedly an upsetting time for the couple who in normal circumstances should be obsessing more over mundane final touches for the big day rather than a family drama.

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The Daily Mail wrote "Meghan distraught as Harry blames himself" inside its bumper wedding edition.

On its front page was also a picture of young Meghan Markle and her dad in happier times, smiling at the camera.

"Meghan pleads with dad to walk her down the aisle after he pulls out of wedding," the headline read.

Online, with the same picture of the father and daughter, were the words written in bold capitals: "PLEASE COME, DAD."

Friends told the Daily Mail and the Mail Online the bride-to-be was "distraught" at her father's decision and they described the prince as "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."

Daily Mail editor Richard Kay wrote an editorial sympathising with the bride-to-be's father, describing his blunder as a naïve move gone wrong.

"Ever since Meghan's relationship with Prince Harry first emerged, to near universal delight her father has conducted himself with quiet dignity, unfamiliar with the relentless spotlight of publicity he has been content to largely remain in the background."

But then, he said, right as they got to the "finish line" he had stumbled into the "reckless arrangement that appears to have had shattering consequences".

Kay wrote Thomas Markle's naïve hope had been that the deal might rebalance the world's image of him as a "bumbling semi-recluse".

But he said as the plan backfired "it must have been with an unbearably heavy heart that he made his sudden and totally unexpected announcement".