Prince Charles gallantly stepped in to replace Meghan Markle’s father and walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.
And now Prince Harry has revealed exactly how that came about, after Meghan’s dad Thomas Markle, pulled out of his duties at the last minute due to a reported heart attack.
In a new BBC documentary called Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, the 34-year-old Duke of Sussex said he was the one to approach his dad about taking the job.
“I asked him to and I think he knew it was coming and he immediately said, ‘Yes, of course, I’ll do whatever Meghan needs and I’m here to support you’,” Harry said in the documentary.
“For him that’s a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support, and you know he’s our father so of course he’s gonna be there for us.
“Just because he’s my father that doesn’t mean I can just sort of go, ‘Okay, that’s all, I’ll take it from here.'”
During the ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Harry – who is expecting his first child with the former actress – could be heard saying, “thank you pa”, as his father handed over the bride.
Camilla was proud
Charles’ wife, Duchess Camilla, admitted it was a ‘touching’ moment, which she only witnessed when she watched the wedding back on television.
“I think that was very touching. Sitting where I was, you couldn’t hear what he said. But afterwards watching it on the television, I think it was a very, it was a lovely gesture,” she said in the documentary.
The 71-year-old royal also praised her husband – who turns 70 on November 14 – for making sure Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, was involved by taking her with him to sign the registry, and admitted she feels people don’t realise just ‘how kind’ Charles is.
“Seeing my husband actually take the bride’s mother by the hand to sign the registry, is something that moved everybody,” she said.
“It’s the things he does behind the scenes that people don’t know about.I don’t think people realise quite how kind he is.”
What happened to Meghan’s dad?
Charles stepped up to the important job of walking Meghan down the aisle, after her father was forced to pull out of the wedding completely just days before, after suffering a heart attack.
The 74-year-old was snapped in the weeks leading up to Meghan’s May 19th wedding sitting in an internet café, browsing through images of Meghan and her then-fiancé, Harry.
He was even snapped being sized up for a suit so he could walk his daughter up the aisle in style.
However, just days later Kensington Palace released a statement Prince Charles would be taking on the role instead, and sources told The Sun that Meghan had been ‘left in tears’ by her dad’s actions.
“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding,” Meghan said in the statement, which was released two days before she walked up the aisle at Windsor Castle.
“I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.”
Since then, Meghan and her father have reportedly had little to no contact, with Thomas fearing she’ll never talk to him again.
“I want to say good luck and God bless to my daughter. I don’t expect to see her or hear back from her — and that’s OK,” he told The Sun.
“All I was doing was saying things I wanted to say. I just want to re-establish the relationship with my daughter.”
Meghan’s new father-in-law
Since the wedding, it’s been reported that the former Suits actress and her father-in-law have formed a remarkable bond.
In the midst of Meghan’s family members speaking out to the tabloids – which has been dubbed the ‘Markle Debacle’ – Charles has been very sympathetic towards the Duchess of Sussex.
“Because there’s been bad behaviour that’s caused problems in his family, Charles understands how difficult it must be for Meghan,” a source told The Mail on Sunday.
“And it has endeared her to him even more.”
Just like his daughter-in-law, Charles and the House of Windsor have gone through “so many traumas and crises… and many divorces of its own”.
In the face of criticism and family drama, both Charles and Meghan have been able to put their best foot forward.
With extra reporting by Bang Showbiz
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