Thomas Markle told broadcaster ITV on Monday during his “first ever interview,” that his daughter cried when he told her he wasn’t well enough to attend the ceremony last month, but was honoured to be replaced by Prince Charles.
“I can’t think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles. He looked very handsome and my daughter looked beautiful with him. I was jealous. I wish I had been there and I wish it had been me,” Markle told Piers Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid.
The 73-year-old Markle, who watched the wedding from California, said he was “very proud” but 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.”
He did not attend the May 19 wedding after suffering a heart attack and he made headlines for his decision to have staged paparazzi photos taken of him preparing for the wedding, according to reports.
“That was a mistake,” Thomas told Good Morning Britain of the decision to take part in the staged photos. He said the photos were an attempt to “change my image” after being shown in a series of “derogatory” photos that included his “buying a toilet” and taking out the garbage that made him “look negative.”
“I thought it would be a nice way of improving my look. Well, obviously that all went to hell. I feel bad about it. I apologized for it,” he said.
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He told Good Morning Britain that he had several phone conversations with Harry, including one in which the prince asked for permission to marry his daughter.
“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,'” he said of the phone call.
He also revealed how Meghan told him she was dating Prince Harry.
“The first phone calls were, ‘Daddy, I have a new boyfriend, and I said, ‘That’s really nice,’ and the next call was, ‘He’s British,’ and I said, ‘That’s really nice,’ and eventually the third time around was, ‘He’s a prince,’ and at that point she said, ‘It’s Harry,’ and I said, ‘Oh Harry. OK.’ ‘Of course, we’ll have to call him “H” so no one knows we’re talking about Harry,'” he said of how they kept the relationship under wraps.
Markle also shared that he talked politics with Prince Harry over the phone — and Harry argued that he should give U.S. President Donald Trump a chance.
He said Trump was discussed at least once. “Our conversation was, I was complaining about not liking Donald Trump. He said, ‘Give Donald Trump a chance’. I sort of disagreed with that.”
He said he also asked his son-in-law about Britain’s 2016 decision to leave the European Union and got the impression Harry is comfortable with Brexit.
“I think he was open to the experiment,” Markle said.
He also shared that the couple, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will probably seek to have children soon.
Markle said, “She’s wanted children for a long time.”
Watch part of the interview in the video above.
— With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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