Meghan Markle’s father has spoken for the first time in public following his no-show at the Royal Wedding – revealing how his absence affected his daughter and what he talked about with Prince Harry when he was asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Thomas Markle said the Duchess of Sussex broke down in tears when he confessed he would not be attending the wedding during an emotional phone call just days before she was due to walk down the aisle.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘They were disappointed.
‘Meghan cried, I’m sure, and they both said ‘Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you’.’
He added: ‘I absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.
Mr Markle also revealed the contents of phone conversations with the Duke of Sussex when he asked for permission to marry Meghan, saying: ‘He’s great, he’s an interesting guy.’
He told GMB: ‘Harry asked for her hand on the phone and I said: ‘You are a gentleman, promise me you will never raise your hand against my daughter and of course I will grant you my permission’.’
Mr Markle said he and the Duke of Sussex had spoken about politics, including holding exchanges about Donald Trump and Brexit.
He told the programme: ‘Our conversation was I was complaining about not liking Donald Trump, he said ‘give Donald Trump a chance’.
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‘I sort of disagreed with that.’
When asked about details of the Brexit conversation, he said: ‘It was just a loose conversation… I think he (the Duke of Sussex) was open to the experiment.’
Adding that he was recovering well from his surgery, which saw him have three stents fitted, Mr Markle said he was ‘honoured’ that the Prince of Wales took on the job of walking Meghan down the aisle instead.
He said: ‘I can’t think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles.’
The 73-year-old said that he watched the wedding from California, where he was recovering from heart surgery, and revealed that he was not fazed by his daughter marrying into the monarchy.
Mr Markle said he watched the wedding from an apartment where he was recovering after leaving hospital.
He told the programme: ‘She was beautiful. It was incredible watching her. I cried a little bit about it.
‘I was very proud. I was very upset that it wasn’t me (walking her down the aisle) but the whole world was watching my daughter. I was very happy about that.
‘The unfortunate thing for me now is I’m a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history rather than the dad walking her down the aisle. That upsets me somewhat.’
Speaking of the controversy after allegedly being caught staging photographs with the paparazzi, Mr Markle said: ‘I spoke to them both and I apologised. I realised it was a serious mistake. It’s hard to take it back.’