Meghan Markle’s father has apologized for staging photos in the days leading up to his daughter's wedding to Prince Harry, who was made to promise he would never hurt his daughter before he granted permission for them to marry.
Thomas Markle said he regretted not being able to walk his daughter down the aisle himself, but tuned in as she married into the royal family on May 19, he told "Good Morning Britain."
"I was very proud and I couldn't see a better moment in my life," Markle said. "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."
Markle said he was grateful Prince Charles stepped in to walk Meghan down the aisle instead.
The news of Markle’s absence from the royal wedding came several days after he initially withdrew when reports surfaced that he had participated in staged photos in a bid to help his image.
"For the last year, photographs of me were always derogatory," he said. “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.
"I realized it was a serious mistake," Markle said. "It’s hard to take it back."
Though he changed his mind after speaking with Meghan and Prince Harry, Markle said his medical condition ultimately prevented him from traveling.
"Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," Meghan, 36, said in a 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.”
Markle shared that Prince Harry asked for his daughter's hand in marriage during a phone call.
“You are a gentleman; promise me you will never raise your hand against my daughter and of course I will grant you my permission," Markle said he told his future son-in-law.
He noted his daughter has wanted children for a long time, adding, "There’s got to be a child in the making somewhat soon."
"My daughter is very intelligent," he said. "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."
Markle's comments came after his daughter and Prince Harry were seen Sunday as they attended the wedding of Princess Diana’s niece, Celia McCorquodale, who wore the same tiara as her aunt at her own royal fête in 1981.
The Duchess of Sussex wore an Oscar de la Renta wrap dress that retails for more than $5,000. The floaty blue and white frock received mixed reviews, but Harper’s Bazaar noted it was "the perfect outfit for the summer nuptials."