Thomas Markle, Meghan Markle's father, was one of the most talked-about figures surrounding last month's royal wedding. He was originally expected to walk Meghan down the aisle on her big day with Prince Harry, but he dropped out after news broke that he seemingly staged paparazzi photos of himself. Thomas then had a change of heart and decided to attend the royal wedding. "I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle," he told TMZ.
But it a health issue ultimately kept Thomas away. He told TMZ he was having heart surgery on May 16 (three days before the royal wedding), and doctors advised him not to travel. Meghan confirmed this herself in a statement from Kensington Palace shortly after. It was a lot of drama—so much so that we published a timeline just to keep track.
Now, one month later, Thomas is opening up about everything in his first televised interview. During a chat with Good Morning Britain, Thomas revealed exactly how the conversation went when he told Meghan he couldn't attend the wedding. "They were disappointed. Meghan cried, I’m sure—she did cry—and they both said ‘Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you.’ They said the important thing is that I get better," he said.
Thomas says a friend put him up in a secluded bed-and-breakfast to recover from his surgery and watch Meghan's wedding. “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 said.
Thomas covered other topics, as well—like those paparazzi pics of him. "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. Watch him expand on that further, below:
He also revealed how Meghan told him about her new royal boyfriend. "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. This, interestingly, has shades of how Meghan told Wendell Pierce, her Suits father, about Prince Harry.
Prince Harry apparently went the super traditional route and asked Thomas if he could marry Meghan. Thomas talked a little bit about that conversation, as well. He says he told Prince Harry, "You’re a gentleman. Promise me you’ll never raise your hand against my daughter and of course I will grant you my permission." Watch him discuss that, too, below:
One tidbit that may surprise royal aficionados is that Thomas says he and Prince Harry talked about politics. "We talked a few times about Donald Trump and Brexit and things like that," Thomas said. "I was complaining. I didn't like Donald Trump. [Prince Harry] said, 'Give Donald Trump a chance.' I sort of disagreed with that, but I still like Harry. Those were his politics. I have my politics."
Kensington Palace hasn't commented on Thomas' tell-all interview yet, but we'll update this post if they do.