Thomas Markle today finally broke his silence on missing the royal wedding in an extraordinary TV interview where he opened up about his relationship with Meghan and his new son-in-law Prince Harry.

Giving his first ever TV interview, the 73-year-old described his sorrow at being unable to walk his daughter down the aisle and his jealousy and gratitude that Prince Charles stepped in at the last minute, the Daily Mail reported.

He also revealed that Meghan sobbed when he pulled out days before the wedding at Windsor Castle because of heart surgery and how he cried as he watched his "beautiful" daughter marry from the sofa of a Californian B&B.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony. Photo / AP

And he said that when Harry called him to ask permission to marry Meghan he replied he was 'lucky' to have his daughter - and warned him to 'never raise his hand' towards her.

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Speaking to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain he said: "Harry asked for her hand on the phone and I said: 'You are a gentleman, promise me you will never raise your hand against my daughter and of course I will grant you my permission'."

Seeminlgy unfazed by his daughter marrying into the royal family, Mr Markle said his daughter had "been a princess since the day she was born", adding: "He made a good pick, didn't he?"

Mr Markle's operation came shortly after allegations surfaced that he had staged photographs with the paparazzi.

He told GMB he had apologised to both Harry and Meghan, adding: "I realised it was a serious mistake. It's hard to take it back."

Thomas also revealed that Prince Harry told him he is "open to the experiment of Brexit" and thinks President Donald Trump should be "given a chance".

Markle said he was jealous but thankful that 'handsome' Prince Charles stepped in. Photo / AP
Markle said he was jealous but thankful that 'handsome' Prince Charles stepped in. Photo / AP

Mr Markle said that he was "on the mend" following heart surgery and hoped to come to London "soon" to finally meet his son-in-law and the rest of the royal family, including the Queen.

"I look forward to it. I would certainly love to meet the Queen. I've had respect for that woman since I was a child. I think she's one of the most incredible women in the world and I'd love to meet her."

In an extraordinary world exclusive interview Mr Markle revealed:

• Father-of-three said he was upset to have missed his daughter's wedding and watched in tears from "the couch" of a B&B after being discharged from hospital;
• Said he was now a "footnote on one of the greatest moments in history" - and he was jealous but thankful that "handsome" Prince Charles stepped in;
• He has apologised to the couple for his staged paparazzi photos calling it a "serious mistake" that Harry and Meghan were "very forgiving about";
• Thomas says he is looking forward to coming to London to meet Harry soon, calls Queen an "incredible woman" and would love to see her during visit;
• Meghan has always wanted children - and says although she is not pregnant there will be a child soon;
• He is recovering well from heart surgery but couldn't have physically walked down the aisle a month ago;
• Harry told him he was "open" to Brexit and said that Trump should be "given a chance"

Today's TV interview marks the first time Mr Markle has opened up about his daughter, the tumultuous build up to her wedding and his future relationship with Meghan and Harry.

His absence from the wedding shocked Meghan and was so last minute his name was still in the Order of Service.

Evening Standard headlines with news of Meghan Markle's father not attending the royal wedding. Photo / AP
Evening Standard headlines with news of Meghan Markle's father not attending the royal wedding. Photo / AP

Mr Markle thanked "handsome" Prince Charles for stepping in on the day and giving his daughter away, but added that he was "jealous" as he watched from the US.

He said: "She was beautiful. I cried a little watching her. 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.

"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."

He added: "I can't think of a better replacement than Mr Charles. He looked very handsome. I was jealous, I wish it was me but thank god he was there and I thank him for that."

Mr Markle pulled out on the Monday before the wedding in May saying he didn't want to further embarrass his daughter after The Mail On Sunday revealed he had staged paparazzi photos for money.

Within 24 hours it seemed he had backtracked on his decision after the bride-to-be reportedly pleaded with him to come to England for the big day.

But then he said he suffered a heart attack and went to hospital, forcing him to admit he would stay in Mexico.

With Mr Markle, a former Hollywood lighting director, recovering from surgery to fit a heart stent, Kensington Palace announced that Prince Charles would walk Meghan to the altar.

Sources close to the prince said he was "deeply touched" to have been asked.

The retired TV lighting director confessed he had cried as he watched the royal ceremony on television, describing his daughter as "beautiful".

Asked about her choice of husband, Mr Markle told the programme he thought Harry was "great" and "an interesting guy".

He also revealed the pair had spoken about politics, and said he had held conversations with the Duke of Sussex about Donald Trump and Brexit.

He said: "Our conversation was I was complaining about not liking Donald Trump, he said 'give Donald Trump a chance'.

"I sort of disagreed with that."

When asked about details of the Brexit conversation, he said: "It was just a loose conversation... I think he (the Duke of Sussex) was open to the experiment."