“My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy. I wish I were there and I wish them all my love and all happiness,” the Mexico-based Thomas Markle, who was due to walk Meghan down the aisle at Windsor Castle before he pulled out due to health issues on Thursday, told TMZ.
Meghan, now known as the Duchess of Sussex, made a striking feminist statement during the ceremony on Saturday, choosing not to be chaperoned for much of the procession down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
It was an unprecedented step for a royal bride in the UK. Meghan walked unescorted down the aisle of the chapel nave, accompanied in this first part of the wedding procession only by her bridesmaids and page boys.
Harry’s father, Prince Charles, joined Meghan as she reached the Quire, where the main royal guests were seated, then walking her to the foot of the altar.
Her elegant white dress with an open bateau neckline was by British designer Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s first female artistic director. Her 16-foot-long veil was held in place by a diamond bandeau tiara lent to her by the Queen.
Speculation over the health of 73-year-old Thomas Markle, and a controversy over whether he staged a series of paparazzi-style photographs, had caused a stir in the lead up to the ceremony earlier this week.
Kensington Palace has faced criticism for not doing enough to protect Thomas Markle from the inevitable glare of publicity that would come with the build up to the wedding.
In a statement provided by Kensington Palace Thursday, Meghan said that she has “always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.”
CNN’s Max Foster and Angela Dewan contributed to this report.