Remember Meghan Markle's dad, Thomas Markle? The one who nearly gave us whiplash with the "will he/won't he" drama over whether he would attend the royal wedding?
Well, nearly a month following Prince Harry and Meghan’s fairytale nuptials, Thomas is speaking out about his decision to skip the ceremony seen around the world.
“They were disappointed,” Markle said of the duo when he told them he wouldn’t be able to attend their wedding due to his impending heart surgery. “Meghan cried I’m sure, well she did cry—and they both said ‘Take care of yourself, we’re really worried about you.’ They said the important thing was that I get better,” Thomas shared during an exclusive interview with Good Morning Britain on Monday.
Though he wasn’t there to walk her down the aisle—an honorable task that fell to Prince Charles—Markle did watch the ceremony on television.
“She was so beautiful walking down that aisle, and so proud and so gorgeous,” he said of his daughter on her wedding day. “I was very proud. I couldn’t have seen a better moment in my life. I was very upset that it wasn’t me, but the whole world was watching my daughter—I was very happy about that. The unfortunate thing for me now is that I’m a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history rather than the dad walking her down the aisle.”
“I was jealous,” he said of Prince Charles’s role in the ceremony. “I wish I had been there. I wish it’d been me, but thank god he was there and thank him for that.”
Of course, Markle eventually opened up about his decision to stage paparazzi photos of himself preparing for the royal wedding, noting that he did so in an attempt to rebuild his public image.
“For the last year [paparazzi] photographs of me were always derogatory,” Meghan’s father explained. “Pictures of my hand grabbing a beer; they’d take pictures of me getting in my car, taking the garbage out, buying a toilet … They take all these pictures of me trying to make me look negative, so I thought this would be a nice way of improving my look. Obviously that all went to hell. I feel bad about it; I apologize for it, and that’s all I can do. That was a mistake.”
Thomas also revealed that Meghan first told him about her relationship with Prince Harry over the phone, asking that they refer to him as “H” to conceal his identity to the public.
Since then, Thomas and Harry have spoken on the phone on multiple occasions—but don’t expect him to get star-struck when they meet in person. “Yeah, he’s an interesting guy, he’s a prince,” Markle said of the 33-year-old royal, “but my daughter’s been a princess since the day she was born—I don’t have a problem with that.”
During these phone calls, Thomas got to know his daughter’s future husband, and even got a taste for his politics: “I was complaining I didn’t like Donald Trump and [Harry] 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.” When asked whether Thomas suspects his son-in-law to be a Trump supporter, he candidly admitted he “would hope not now—but at the time he might’ve been.”
It was also across a long-distance phone line that Harry asked Thomas's permission to marry his daughter. “They called me together and Harry asked for her hand over the phone. And I said, ‘You’re a gentleman. Promise me you’ll never raise your hand against my daughter, and, of course, I give you my permission.’”
Now, a month into their marriage, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the picture of newlywed bliss—but Thomas doesn’t expect they’ll be alone in their love nest for long.
“[Meghan’s] wanted children for a long time,” he confirmed. “When she met Harry and she spoke about how much she loves him … There’s got to be a child in the making soon.”
The royal baby watch starts now.