Cape Town - He’s never spoken publically about his daughter’s marriage into one of the most famous families in the world.
But now, a month after Meghan said “I do” to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle, the Duchess of Sussex’s father, Thomas Markle, gave his first televised interview on Monday, 18 June.
The former Hollywood lighting director, who underwent a heart surgery at the time of the royal wedding, appeared on Good Morning Britain and gave viewers several rare insights into the newlywed’s lives.
The 73-year-old spoke frankly about his health issues, his relationship with Meghan (36) and the controversy surrounding his staged paparazzi pictures.
Here are some of the most interesting things he revealed in the tell-all interview:
1. Meghan told her dad to call Harry ‘H’, so as not to reveal his identity
Thomas revealed that Meghan told him that she was dating the prince over a series of phone calls.
"The first phone calls were, 'Daddy, I have a new boyfriend,' and I said, 'Well, that's really nice,'" he says.
"And the next call was like, 'He's British,' and I said, 'That's really nice.'
"Eventually the third time around she was like, 'He's a prince.' At that point, she said, 'It's Harry.' And I said, 'Oh! Harry, okay.' Of course, we'll have to call him 'H' so no one knows that we're talking about Harry. It's 'H'.
"We talked about that and eventually I spoke to him as well, very nice man, gentleman."
2. Thomas thinks Harry is the lucky one
When asked whether he was impressed that the former Suits actress was dating Harry (33), he quickly replied: "Of course it comes out as a 'wow,' but this is my daughter.
"My daughter is certainly a prize for him as well. Yeah, he's great, he's an interesting guy, he's a prince, but my daughter's been a princess since the day she was born. I don't have a problem with that."
3. Thomas and Harry have spoken about politics
Thomas revealed that he has had "interesting conversations with Harry over the phone,", including hot topics such as Brexit and Donald Trump.
The father said he’s not a huge fan of Donald Trump but the Duke of Sussex urged him to give the current president "a chance" and that Harry was open to seeing how Brexit played out.
"He was asking me how I was feeling that day, and I was telling him how unhappy I was with the president. That's how it began," Thomas said.
4. The first thing Harry said to Thomas was pretty basic
When asked what their first words to each other were, Thomas revealed that they had a pretty straightforward call.
"Hello Thomas" and "Hi Harry," but "it became a conversation back and forth mostly about politics," he recalls.
5. Harry asked permission for Meghan’s hand in marriage – sort of
Thomas recalls how Harry asked for his daughter's hand in marriage just before the news of their engagement broke last year.
"Meghan told me first and then a few times after that, Harry got on the phone with Meghan.
"They called me together and Harry asked for her hand over the phone. And I said, 'You’re a gentleman. Promise me you’ll never raise your hand against my daughter, and, of course, I give you my permission,'" he said.
6. The couple wanted Thomas to walk Meghan down the aisle on the big day
"Absolutely, that was from the very start," Thomas said. "I absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle."
Two weeks before the wedding, news broke that the father of three had to undergo a heart surgery and wouldn’t make it to the wedding.
Thomas revealed that he was glad Prince Charles stepped in for him.
"I can't think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles. He looked very handsome and my daughter looked beautiful with him. I was jealous, I wish I had been there, I wish it had been me. But thank God he was there," he said.
7. Harry gave Thomas advice on how to deal with the paparazzi
"For the most part, it was always, 'Don’t speak to the press.' The rest of the things were, 'Just be careful'.
"But they were very emphatic about not giving information to the press because it just encourages them more," he said.
8. Thomas is really sorry for staging paparazzi photos
Thomas revealed that he received no money for the staged photos that were taken of him looking pictures of Harry and Meghan at an internet café in Mexico.
"I thought this would be a nice way of improving my look, but obviously that all went to hell. I feel bad about it," he said. "I apologise for it and that’s all I can do. I can’t do much about it. That was a mistake."
9. He cried watching his daughter getting married
"She was beautiful," he said lovingly.
"It was incredible watching her. I cried a little bit about it, but she was so beautiful walking down that aisle and so proud and so gorgeous. I was very proud. I couldn't have seen a better moment in my life," he said.
10. Thomas thinks we won’t have to wait long for the pitter-patter of little feet!
"She’s wanted children for a long time, yes," Thomas said of the duchess.
"And when she met Harry and she spoke about how much she loves him, there’s gotta be a child in the making soon."