Prince Charles will accompany Meghan Markle down the aisle at St George’s Chapel when she marries Prince Harry, Kensington Palace has said. A statement said Markle had asked the Prince of Wales to accompany her on Saturday. “The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the royal family in this way,” it said. Charles is standing in for Thomas Markle Sr, who told his daughter this week he would be unable to fulfil the traditional role as father of the bride due to ill-health, having reportedly undergone a heart procedure earlier this week. Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday that the Duke of Edinburgh, 96, who has been recovering from a hip operation, will attend his grandson’s wedding. Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is to accompany her daughter in the bridal car. The social worker and yoga instructor, who arrived from Los Angeles on Wednesday, is expected to be introduced to the Queen over afternoon tea at Windsor Castle on Friday. She has already met Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. She will stay with Markle at the Cliveden House hotel in Taplow on Friday night. Prince Harry has not yet met his future father-in-law, a retired TV lighting director who lives in Mexico. Offering tips to Ragland on meeting the royals, the former England rugby captain Mike Tindall, who is married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara, recalled a family reception before his wedding. “We had a drinks event the night before and they [the royals] are professional meeters-and-greeters, and I remember my family were in a corner and a little bit out of their comfort zone because it’s not where they are used to being,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. But, he said, they were welcomed with open arms. With final preparations for the nuptials under way, it emerged that the wedding cake would be presented in a special installation, more a work of art than a traditional tiered display. Claire Ptak said the triple-layered lemon and elderflower cake would be a “slight shift from tradition”.