Thomas Markle has given his first interview since his daughter Meghan married Prince Harry last month. Picture: Screengrab

Thomas Markle has given his first interview since his daughter Meghan married Prince Harry last month.

The retired lighting director opted not to attend the nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex last month because he was recovering from heart surgery but he watched the ceremony on TV and "cried" when he saw his "beautiful" offspring exchange vows with Prince Harry.

READ: Meghan Markle gushes over her Prince Harry

He told 'Good Morning Britain': "It was incredible watching her.

"I was very proud. I was very upset that it wasn't me [walking her down the aisle] but the whole world was watching my daughter. I was very happy about that.

"The unfortunate thing for me now is I'm a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history rather than the dad walking her down the aisle. That upsets me somewhat."

After Thomas decided not to attend the wedding, Harry's father, Prince Charles, stepped in to accompany Meghan down the aisle at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and her dad felt "honoured" with the replacement.

He said: "I was honoured, I can't think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles."

Just weeks before the wedding, Thomas came under fire for staging paparazzi photographs that saw him getting measured for a suit and searching online for images of the former 'Suits' actress and her partner and he admitted he has apologised privately to them.

He added: "I accept full responsibility. I can say I'm sorry for those things for the rest of my life, but I'm paying for those things for the rest of my life...

"I realised it was a serious mistake. It's hard to take it back."

And when he broke the news he wouldn't be flying from California to the UK for their wedding, Meghan "cried".

He said: "They were disappointed. Meghan cried, I'm sure, and they both said 'Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you'."

Thomas also revealed he made Harry, 33, promise "not to raise a hand" to Meghan, 36, before he would give his permission for them to marry.

He recalled: "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'."