Meghan Markle’s “jealous” father has spoken about his deep disappointment at being unable to walk his daughter down the aisle to wed Prince Harry at the St George’s Chapel last month, a role Prince Charles had to perform at the 11th hour.
Thomas Markle, who says he is still recovering from his heart surgery, has revealed his daughter, now the Duchess of Sussex, cried when he told her he would not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19.
The 36-year-old former American actress had requested Prince Charles, the father-in-law-to-be, to walk by her side at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after it was confirmed that her father would not be attending the wedding due to health reasons.
Markle said he cried as he watched his daughter’s royal wedding on television in a small rented hideout in California and felt “jealous” that Prince Charles got to perform the role of walking by his daughter.
“I absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle? The unfortunate thing for me now is I’m a footnote to the greatest moment in history rather than the dad who walked his daughter down the aisle. That upsets me somewhat,” he told ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ in a video interview from the US.
“I was honoured, I can’t think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles. I was thrilled to tears he was doing that, I just wish it had been my hand holding hers not his,” the 73-year-old former Hollywood lighting director said.
Markle, said he got to know Prince Harry over the telephone before giving his blessing to their marriage following their engagement in November last year.
He said, “Meghan told me first and then a few times after that Harry got on the phone with her and asked for her hand over the phone. I said you’re a gentleman, promise me you’ll never raise a hand against my daughter and of course I give you my permission”.
Describing his new son-in-law, the sixth-in-line to the British throne, as a ?great? and ?interesting guy?, Markle said Harry ?made a great pick? in his daughter, who has been a ?princess since the day she was born?.
Asked about the possibility of a royal baby being soon on the way, he said his daughter had “wanted children for a long time”.
Markle also claimed that he discussed politics with his new royal son-in-law, including the US president and Brexit.
“I was complaining I didn’t like Donald Trump. He said ?give Donald Trump a chance’. I sort of disagreed with that but I still like Harry. That was his politics, I have my politics,” Markle said during the interview.
Asked about their Brexit discussion, he said, ?It was just a loose conversation about something we have to try. There was no real commitment for it. I think he was open to the experiment”.
In the run-up to the royal wedding, Markle had become embroiled in controversy over reports he had staged paparazzi photos of himself in wedding-related activities, such as being measured for a new suit.
He explained that it was meant to be “a way of improving my look”, adding, “Obviously that all went to hell.”
He said he had apologised to both Harry and Meghan.
“I realised it was a serious mistake. It’s hard to take it back,” said Thomas Markle, who was unable to eventually take part in the wedding ceremony due to heart surgery.
Talking about the moment he told his daughter and her husband-to-be that he would not make the wedding, Markle said, “They were disappointed. Meghan cried, I’m sure, and they both said: ‘Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you’.”
Saying he had prepared a speech for the big day, Markle said he had hoped to regale wedding guests with the story of how he had told her about “this nice British guy” before thanking the royal family for welcoming her.
“I couldn’t be more proud of those two, I think they’ll do a fabulous job. They’re great and I love then dearly. I’m very happy to have a new son-in-law,” Markle, who plans to visit London soon to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the royal family.