Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, is "honored and grateful" that Prince Charles will give her away and walk her down the aisle.
Thomas, as has been well-documented, will not be attending the royal wedding as he recovers from heart surgery. The 73-year-old tells TMZ that he spoke to Meghan and Prince Harry via telephone on May 17 about the wedding. He said he knew that Prince Charles would walk her down the aisle but kept it secret so that she could announce it.
During the phone call, Thomas told Meghan that he would "proudly" watch her tie the knot on TV "in a secluded place with friends, hopefully with no press."
Meg's dad told TMZ he hopes to travel to the United Kingdom "sometime in the near future" to see his daughter and to meet Harry for the first time.
As it stands now, Meghan will walk herself halfway down the aisle before meeting Harry's dad for the final stretch. No other royal bride in the United Kingdom has walked unescorted down the aisle at her wedding ceremony.
"Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day," Kensington Palace said in a statement. "The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way."
The subject of Meghan's walk down the aisle has been filled with drama all week. Initially, as per tradition, her father was going to walk her down the aisle. But, on May 14, he said he wasn't going to attend her wedding amid a paparazzi scandal (he admitted to collaborating with photographers who shot him prepping for the wedding). He said he didn't want to embarrass his daughter, and he also revealed that he had recently suffered a heart attack. Somewhere along the way, Meghan apparently texted her dad and said she wasn't mad about the paparazzi scandal and was concerned about his health.
Then on May 15, Thomas decided that he wanted to attend the wedding after all. "I hate the idea of missing one of the greatest moments in history and walking my daughter down the aisle," he told TMZ. "Of course I'd walk her down the aisle. This is a historic moment. I'd like to be a part of history."
A few hours later though, he said he couldn't attend the wedding because of a scheduled heart surgery, which repaired damage caused by his recent heart attack. Finally, on May 17, the Palace confirmed in a statement that Thomas would not be attending the wedding.