19 Important Things We Learned From Thomas Markle's TV Interview
On June 18, Meghan Markle's dad, Thomas Markle, gave an interview to Good Morning Britain, where he opened up about the staged photos, his heart attack, and the code name that Meghan asked him to use when referring to Prince Harry. On top of explaining how everything was ready for him to walk Meghan down the aisle, the Emmy-winning former lighting director also touched on how he felt about missing the event, his first conversation with Prince Harry, and what he would like to say to Prince Charles if he ever had the chance to meet him. Read on to see the 19 things we learned from his interview.
His First Conversation With Prince Harry Was About Politics
"He's a smart guy," explained Mr Markle. "We talked a few times about Donald Trump and Brexit and things like that. He's an interesting guy. He's quite easy to talk to, he's a very comfortable person to talk to."
When it comes to Thomas and Harry's very first conversation, it was held on the phone, and Meghan's dad still recalls what was said. "He said, 'Hello Thomas' and I said 'Hi Harry.'" He goes on, "It became a conversation back and forth mostly about politics, he was asking me about how I was feeling that day and I was talking about how unhappy I was about the President. That's how it began. We talked about how they met and how happy they were with each other, and that was pretty much it."
Meghan Didn't Tell Her Dad She Was Dating Prince Harry Right Away
Thomas reveals that Meghan drip-fed him information slowly, starting with, "He's British."
The Plan Had Always Been For Him to Walk Meghan Down the Aisle
"Absolutely, that was [the plan] from the very start," he explained. "I absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle." He added: "I was excited about that and ready for it. It was all set in place for me to go."
Thomas Markle Is Very Thankful to Prince Charles For Walking Meghan Down the Aisle
"I was honored. I can't think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles," Thomas Markle said. "He looked very handsome and my daughter looked beautiful with him. I was jealous, I wish I had been there, I wish it'd been me, but thank God he was there and I thank him for that."
While Mr. Markle also admitted that he has never spoken to Prince Charles, he did explain to the Good Morning Britain hosts that he'd like to simply say "thank you" if he ever had the opportunity. He then added: "It might have been a treat for him as well because he didn't have a daughter."
He Gave Prince Harry His Permission to Marry Meghan on 1 Condition
He warned Harry not to hurt his daughter.
He Was Involved in the Wedding Preparations From the Get Go
When asked whether he had been involved in all the wedding plans, Thomas Markle replied that "Meghan was putting together fittings for me and things to make suits for me, shoes sizes . . ."
And of course, it was all a big secret: "They arranged for me to show up in LA and Beverly Hills under a different name to get a fitting and things like that."
Meghan Has Wanted Children For a Long Time
According to Thomas, it won't be long before we hear the pitter-patter of tiny royal feet.
He Had a Conversation With Harry and Meghan Regarding Photographers Following Him
"For the most part it was always 'don't speak to the press,'" he said. "The rest of things were just 'be careful,' but they were very emphatic about not giving any info to the press or talking to them because it just encourages them more."
He Spoke to the Couple After the Staged Photos Were Released
"I spoke to them both and I apologized. I realized it was a serious mistake, but it's hard to take it back," explained Mr. Markle. Regarding this important conversation, he added that "It wasn't that difficult. Both Harry and Meghan were very forgiving about it."
Meghan Has Always Been a Princess to Him
"My daughter has been a princess since the day she was born," Thomas told Good Morning Britain.
He Thought About Going to England Early to Prepare For the Wedding
"Actually I thought it might be a good idea, but here again, those guys were busy," he explained. "Every day, those guys were really busy. I think the last thing they needed was me popping."
He Doesn't Plan on Calling Meghan "Duchess"
One of the perks of being a parent? You don't have to follow royal protocol!
He Had Written a Father of the Bride Speech
As Thomas Markle was getting ready to see his daughter marry Prince Harry, he started working on his father of the bride speech. "I worked on a little speech, whether I got to say it or not," he explained. "The little speech actually had the phone calls I talked about, and how Meghan introduced this guy, this nice guy from England, this prince. And that was part of the story and then I went on to basically thank the Royal Family for opening up to my child. That would have been the speech."
Meghan's dad also took the time to explain how "The preparations for all of this were done by my daughter, who worked really hard to get everything ready for me if I came there. I feel bad that she put all that work in and I didn't do it. But I couldn't do much about it laying on a couch with a bad heart."
His Health Was the Reason Why He Didn't Attend the Wedding
"The truth is that I couldn't get over the fact that that [the staged photographs] had happened," explained Mr. Markle. "All that stuff was working on me, and I had a bit of a heart condition. This pushed me a little further to the point that I had heart palpitations, and I had to drive at two in the morning into a hospital and they sent me to another little hospital. And then they sent me to a bigger hospital, and I had a heart attack."
After spending some time in the hospital, Meghan's dad was ready to make his way over to England: "The hospital stabilized me . . . and after about a day and a half in that hospital, I said 'I feel better and . . . and I want to check out now because I want to go to the wedding.'" He goes on, "I had to have myself signed out and had to leave on my own against their wishes, but I checked out and I thought I was better. I felt really good. In that time, I then drove to LA, took my ex-wife some flowers for Mother's Day, and I was fine. I felt really good until I went back home."
"I talked to Harry and Meghan. I was still set up to go, we were gonna go the next day or the day after. I got a call from a guy named Serge who was assigned by Harry I think, and he said 'we're going to take you tonight.' At that time I started getting heart palpitations and . . . chest pains, and I said I have to cancel. And that was because I didn't take care of the heart palpitations before. So I had a friend take me back to the hospital where I was told that my condition was very bad, and they had to operate. And I had a heart surgery."
He Deeply Regrets the Staged Paparazzi Photos
Thomas admitted he'd originally hoped the photos would show him in a good light, after so many invasive paparazzi snaps that he considered "derogatory."
He Feels Like He Missed One of the Greatest Moments in History
Thomas also opened up about the "complicated" situation when it came to the guest list, stating that "40, 50, 60 Markles came out of the woodwork, all asking for invitations to the wedding. Meghan probably had the good sense to invite none, because she would have offended the others."
He Told Her He Wouldn't Be Able to Attend the Wedding Before His Surgery
"I told her before I was going in for the surgery," he explained.
He Asked Meghan and Harry to Focus on Their Wedding and Not His Health
When asked whether Meghan had offered to go and see him before the wedding, Mr. Markle explained that "they talked about that and I suggested that I'd be able to have a surgery. I'd be recovering, I'd be fine, and you know . . . I couldn't go, and I said 'worry about the wedding and then please go a honeymoon' because they had been tied into this for months."
He Watched the Royal Wedding From a Little B&B Room
"Because we had the press all around the hospital, a friend found me a place, a little B&B place to hide for two of three days and recover," explained Thomas Markle. "So they got me this little place, this little apartment, and I watched the wedding."
Of course, watching his daughter getting married from afar was a very emotional moment for him: "It was a very emotional moment. I cried about it and I regretted it because I really wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle. I wanted that moment. But I'm thankful for everything the way it went."