It was inevitable, really.
After all the hype finally settled following the Royal Wedding, it was only a matter of time before Papa Markle sat down with the media to talk about his surprising absence from the big day.
It’s been more than a month since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex exchanged vows in front of the whole world in Windsor, and the 73-year-old Thomas Markle — who captured more than his fair share of dramatic headlines in the days leading up to the nuptials — is apparently ready to talk.
The retired TV lighting director sat down with the U.K.’s Good Morning Britain for an exclusive interview on Monday and opened up about missing the Royal Wedding on May 19 due to “health issues.”
An interview, mind you, that has completely caught Kensington Palace and the Royal Family off-guard — and has probably left them more than a little miffed.
Thomas, who was expected to walk Meghan down the aisle, later bowed out of his parental duties after somewhat embarrassing reports revealed his arrangement with a member of the paparazzi to stage several photo shoots ahead of the big day. Thomas later said that he would only attend the wedding if doctors signed off on him travelling after he reportedly suffered a heart attack following all the public scrutiny. Two days before the wedding, however, Meghan confirmed in an official statement from Kensington Palace that her father would not walk her down the aisle.
“It was a very emotional moment for me. Like I said, I cried about it,” Thomas said on Good Morning Britain. “I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle. I wanted that moment. But I’m thankful for everything the way it went. I was very proud. I was very upset that it wasn’t me, but the whole world was watching my daughter. I was very happy about that.”
Watch the full interview here.
Thomas also revealed his reaction when he first learned Meghan was dating a member of British royalty.
“Of course it’s ‘Wow,’ it comes out as a ‘Wow,’ but this is my daughter, and she’s certainly a prize for him as well,” he said. “He’s great, an interesting guy, a prince, but my daughter’s been a princess since the day she was born.”
Thomas admitted he didn’t realize it was Prince Harry at first, explaining, “The first phone calls were, ‘Dad, I have a new boyfriend.’ And I said, ‘That’s really nice.’ And then the next call was like, ‘He’s British.’ And I said, ‘That’s really nice.’ And eventually, the third time round was, ‘He’s a prince.’ At that point, she said, ‘It’s Harry.’ And I said, ‘Oh Harry, okay.’ And she said, ‘Of course, we’ll have to call him H so no one knows we’re talking about Harry. It’s H.’”
Although he has yet to meet Harry in person, Thomas told Good Morning Britain that the two have talked on the phone.
“Eventually I spoke to him as well,” he revealed. “Very nice man. Gentleman. Very likeable.”
The two even chatted briefly about Brexit and the divisive U.S. president. “Our conversation was I was complaining about not liking Donald Trump. He said ‘Give Donald Trump a chance.’ I sort of disagreed with that.”
As for Brexit, Markle said he got the impression Harry is comfortable with the idea. “I think he was open to the experiment.” (As of this writing, Harry’s press office declined to comment on the interview. Royal members are careful not to comment on domestic or international affairs.)
After a whirlwind courtship and the aforementioned Markle family drama in the lead-up to the big day, Harry and Meghan have enjoyed a controversy-free first month of marriage. (The couple were spotted attending the wedding of Harry’s cousin Celia McCorquodale, the daughter of Princess Diana’s oldest sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, over the weekend.)
Thomas, like many royal watchers, is also keen to know when the couple are planning to start a family.
Her father believes Meghan, 36, and Harry, 33, will start a family soon.
He said, “When she met Harry, she spoke about how much she loved him, and so there has to be a child-making somewhere soon. I don’t think there is a stork in the air yet, but I think it will happen sooner or later.”
As for whether he plans to address his daughter by her new royal title, the Duchess of Sussex, he said, “I don’t think I’ll call her duchess. I don’t have to. That’s my daughter.”