Kensington Palace has requested “understanding and respect” for Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, amid reports that he will not attend the royal wedding this Saturday, May 19.

“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said in a statement to CNN on Monday, May 14. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”

Earlier on Monday, TMZ reported that Thomas had decided not to attend his daughter’s nuptials because of some controversy over staged paparazzi photos that showed him getting ready for the big day. He reportedly told TMZ he regrets the pictures and is skipping the wedding because he doesn’t want to embarrass Meghan or her future in-laws.

The statement from Kensington Palace neither confirms nor denies whether Thomas will attend the wedding, but before all of the drama, he was expected to travel to the UK this week to spend time with the royal family. He was also set to walk Meghan down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel.

“The first thing I would like to share is that Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are very much looking forward to welcoming Ms. Markle’s parents to Windsor for the wedding,” Prince Harry’s communications secretary said in a statement earlier this month. “Mr. Thomas Markle and Ms. Doria Ragland will be arriving in the UK in the week of the wedding, allowing time for Prince Harry’s family, including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to spend time with them before the big day. … Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion.”

We’ll update this story as more details are available.

(photo via Ben Birchall/WPA Pool/Getty Images)