'I really wanted to walk her down the aisle': Meghan Markle's father breaks silence
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WATCH: Thomas Markle told "Good Morning Britain" that the series of paparazzi photos were "a serious mistake" and said he was "glad" Prince Charles was there to walk Meghan down the aisle.

Thomas Markle, father of newly married Duchess Meghan Markle, apologized for staging photos before his daughter's wedding to Prince Harry and expressed regret at not being able to walk her down the aisle in his first interview since the wedding.

"She was beautiful. I cried a little watching her," Thomas Markle said on "Good Morning Britain." "I was very proud and I couldn't see a better moment in my life. The whole world was watching my daughter."

"The unfortunate thing now is that I'm a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history instead of a dad walking his daughter down the aisle," he said. "It was a very emotional moment. I regretted it because I really wanted to walk her down the aisle. But I'm thankful for how it all went."
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a Wheelchair Tennis match during the Invictus Games 2017 at Nathan Philips Square, Sept. 25, 2017, in Toronto.

Meghan's father admitted to being a bit jealous that he was not at the wedding, but expressed thanks to Prince Charles, Harry's father, for stepping in.

"I can't think of a better replacement than Prince Charles," said Markle. "He looked very handsome. I was jealous, I wish it was me, but thank God he was there and I thank him for that."

The father of the bride, who described his daughter as a "princess," said that he imagines Prince Charles was thrilled to walk his daughter down the aisle.

"It might have been a treat for him as well because he didn't have a daughter."

The Prince of Wales has expressed many times how he had always hoped to have a daughter. He has become particularly close to his new daughter-in-law, Meghan.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, places the wedding ring on Meghan Markle during their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

Thomas Markle decided to withdraw from the wedding after the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday claimed that he had been participating in staged photo shoots to help his image.

Within 24 hours it appeared that he had changed his mind after speaking with his daughter and Prince Harry. But again he backed out several days later after saying he had suffered a heart attack and would be unable to travel.

"Good Morning Britain" host Piers Morgan disclosed on-air that Markle, who lives in Mexico, was paid "a few thousands pounds" for his interview with the TV show.

Markle said his daughter was only concerned about his health in a tearful phone call with Prince Harry when he shared that he would be unable to attend her wedding.

"They were disappointed," he said. "Meghan cried, I'm sure, and they both said, 'Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you.'"

Meghan's father said he apologized to Meghan and Harry for his error in judgment with regard to taking the photos.

"I realized it was a serious mistake," he said. "It's hard to take it back."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an Ascot Landau along the Long Walk after their wedding in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan ride a horse-drawn carriage after their wedding ceremony at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ride in an Ascot Landau carriage up the Long Walk at Windsor Castle after their wedding, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Steve Parsons/PA
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle react and wave as they leave Windsor Castle in a carriage after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Matt Dunham/AP
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, leave Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau carriage during a procession after getting married at St Georges Chapel on May 19, 2018 in Windsor. Photo Credit: Odd Anderson/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an Ascot Landau during the procession after their wedding at Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Andrew Matthews/Reuters
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Sussex leave Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau carriage during a procession after getting married at St Georges Chapel on May 19, 2018 in Windsor. Photo Credit: Frank Augstein/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an open-topped carriage through Windsor Castle after their wedding, at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Andrew Milligan/AP
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony. Photo Credit: Andrew Matthews/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss on the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, places the wedding ring on the finger of Meghan Markle during their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Jonathan Brady/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, places the wedding ring on Meghan Markle during their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Jonathan Brady/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/Reuters
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge take their seats in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand, prior to the start of their wedding ceremony, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Dominic Lipinski/AP
The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, primate of the Episcopal Church, gives an address during the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/Reuters
Prince Harry looks at his bride, Meghan Markle, as she arrives accompanied by the Prince of Wales in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for their wedding in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Meghan Markle walks down the aisle as she arrives for the wedding ceremony to Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: AP
A general view of guests sitting in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Meghan Markle arrives for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: AP
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge arrives with the bridesmaids at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Princess Charlotte arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Gareth Fuller/Reuters
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Gareth Fuller/Reuters
Princess Charlotte arriving at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, May 19, 2018 in Windsor. Photo Credit: Stephen Lock/i-Images/Polaris
Prince Harry, left, and best man Prince William arrive for the wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Gareth Fuller/AP
Meghan Markle, right, and her mother Doria Ragland leave Cliveden House Hotel in Taplow, May 19, 2018 where she stayed before Markle's wedding ceremony with Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle... Photo Credit: Tim Ireland/AP
A general view of guests arriving for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Dominic Lipinski/AP
Sarah, Duchess of York arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Reuters
Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian arrive for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Odd Anderson/AP
Amal and George Clooney arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor. Photo Credit: Ian West/Getty Images
David and Victoria Beckham arrive for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Chris Radburn/AP
Chelsy Davy arrives at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Reuters
Lady Kitty Spencer arrives for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: AP
James Blunt and Sofia Wellesley arrive for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: Chris Radburn/AP
A view from the Round Tower at Windsor Castle shows guests arriving for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, May 19, 2018. Photo Credit: AP
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, May 19, 2018, in London. Photo Credit: Gareth Fuller/Reuters
Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and Karen Spencer arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, May 19, 2018, in Windsor, England. Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Oprah Winfrey arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, May 19, 2018, in Windsor, England. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Kensington Palace issued a statement on Meghan’s behalf shortly before the wedding and after her father announced he would be undergoing heart surgery.

"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," Markle, 36, said in the statement from Kensington Palace. "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.

"I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support," the statement continued. "Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."

First conversation with Meghan about her new boyfriend

The first phone calls were, "Daddy, I have a new boyfriend.' And I said, 'That's really nice,' and the next phone call was like, 'He's British,' and I said, 'That's really nice,' and eventually the third time around was like: 'He's a prince.'"

He continued: "And at that point, she said, 'It's Harry,' and I said, 'Oh, Harry, OK!' She said, 'Of course we’ll have to call him 'H' so no one knows we're talking about Harry.'"

"We talked a little about how they met and how happy they were with each other," Markle reflected.

"He's quite easy to talk to; he's quite a comfortable person to talk to," Markle added. "I wasn't nervous. Ten thousand miles apart, it's hard to be nervous talking to someone on the phone."

Asking for Meghan's hand in marriage

Thomas Markle recounted the moment when Prince Harry asked him for his daughter's hand in marriage over the phone.

"You are a gentleman, promise me you will never raise your hand against my daughter and of course I will grant you my permission,'" he recalled saying.

Markle said his daughter has "been a princess since the day she was born," adding, "He made a good pick, didn't he?"

When asked about Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, Markle replied, "I’ve had respect for that women since I was a child. I think she’s one of the most incredible women in the world and I would love to meet her."

On Meghan wanting children

Thomas Markle also revealed that Meghan and Harry are ready to start a family.

"She's wanted children for a long time," the former Hollywood producer told "Good Morning Britain." "When she met Harry and spoke about how much she loved him, there’s got to be a child in the making somewhat soon."

On when he knew the relationship was serious

The wide-ranging interview with "Good Morning Britain" saw hosts Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid ask about when he realized that Meghan and Harry's relationship was serious.

"I can't give you a date, no, [but] it was certainly a few months before the announcement of the engagement," he said.

"My daughter is very intelligent. She knows how to choose who she wants to be with. She's a smart girl and she made a good pick. The royals are very complicated, but she can always rise to that occasion.

"My daughter is capable of anything and she will be a complement to the royal family."

Meghan Markle walks down the aisle as she arrives for the wedding ceremony to Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, May 19, 2018.

On the staged photos and paparazzi deal

For the first time Meghan's father discussed the leaked photographs and his agreement to participate in order to change his image.

"For the last year photographs of me were always derogatory," he explained. "They would take pictures of my hand grabbing the beer, they’d take pictures of me getting in my car, taking the garbage out, they’d take pictures of me buying a toilet and making a big deal out of it. They took all kinds of pictures making me look negative."

He said he apologized to his daughter and son-in-law over the phone.

"I thought this would be a nice way of me improving my look. Well obviously that all went to hell. And I feel bad about it," he said. "I apologized for it and that’s all I can do. I can't do much beyond that. That was a mistake.

Markle added, "I didn’t do this for money; I did this to change my image. For one whole year I was presented as a hermit hiding out in Mexico. I was looking to change my image and obviously that was a mistake that went wrong."

On Markle’s nickname for his daughter

Markle also spoke warmly about his nickname for his daughter and how it came about.

"When she was a child she loved "Jack and the Beanstalk." ... Because she’s so small I called her Bean or beanie," Thomas said.

When asked jokingly if he called her Duchess Bean, Markle answered, "Well I don’t think I’ll call her duchess. I don’t have to, she’s my daughter."