Meghan Markle’s father has said he would ‘love’ to walk his daughter down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry next year.
Thomas Markle, a TV lighting engineer, was tracked down in Mexico and asked about Meghan’s romance.
He said he was ‘very pleased’ and ‘delighted’ about the engagement, but stressed he was ‘sorry’ because ‘you know I can’t talk’.
Thomas (left) said he was ‘very pleased’ and ‘delighted’ about the engagement, but stressed he was ‘sorry’ because he ‘you know I can’t talk’. Pictured right: Meghan and Harry
A reporter working for The Mirror also handed him a bottle of Champagne to toast the couple as well as a box of Twinings English Breakfast tea to prepare him for England, to which he replied: ‘Thank you. That’s very kind.’
The reclusive figure was found near Rosarito Beach, where he was buying cigarettes and beer.
His half-sister previously revealed his intention to walk Meghan down the aisle.
Thomas, who lives in Mexico, was said to be attending the May ceremony with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, who divorced when Meghan was five.
Kensington Palace would not say at the time if Mr Markle will give his daughter away at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle next year.
Ms Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle, 53, told US Weekly today: ‘I’m sure he wants to walk her down the aisle. I know he wants to do it’.
She added: ‘He’s a shy guy now, he’s a quiet man, but he’ll speak when he feels it’s appropriate. He gave me permission to say how happy he is, but he’ll talk when he’s ready’.
Thomas Markle (pictured with Meghan as a child) lives in Mexico and will be attending the May ceremony but it is not known if he will walk her down the aisle
Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle were seen together at the Invictus Games closing ceremonyInvictus Games in Toronto on September 30
Harry is said to be considering flying to Mexico with his fiancee to meet her father, who he hasn’t met yet.
But the prince did call him to ask for his permission to propose before they got engaged earlier this month.
Royal Engagement: Prince Harry has not met Meghan’s father and could fly to Mexico to meet him – but they have spoken on the phone
Her brother Thomas Jr said previously: ‘When Meggie was born, Dad was a completely changed man. Before then, Dad’s work took priority over everything but she became his whole world. She was her daddy’s princess’.
Palace aides would not say at the end of November whether Meghan’s reclusive father, who is an award-winning Hollywood lighting director, would walk her down the aisle.
When Meghan was five, her parents divorced. She lived with her mother during the week, and her father — who rented a plethora of rundown Hollywood apartments — at weekends.
Whether she will invite her siblings though remains to be seen.
Her half sister Samantha Grant, 52, has not spoken to Miss Markle in 10 years; while her half brother Thomas Markle Jnr, 50, was once arrested for allegedly holding a gun to his girlfriend’s head.
But her family appears willing to come to the UK even if they are not invited.
Meghan’s nephew TJ Dooley, 26, from Oregon, told The Sun: ‘I’d probably come to the UK for the wedding – even if I’m not invited. I am thrilled.’
Samantha Markle, half-sister to Meghan, pictured on Good Morning Britain their family was ‘elated’ at the Royal engagement and said their father wanted to give her away
This week Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland spoke of their delight at the news of the engage, saying: ‘We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry.
They added: ‘Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person.
‘To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.
‘We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.’
Though they divorced in 1987, when Meghan was almost six, Thomas and Doria remained friends.
Miss Markle has previously spoken of her love for her parents, describing her clinical therapist mother as ‘her inspiration’ after she went back to university as a mature student and earned a master’s degree in social work.
Low-key living: Meghan Markle’s mum Doria Ragland spent the weekend preparing for her daughter’s announcement in a decidedly low-key fashion outside her Los Angeles home
On Mother’s Day last year she posted a picture of Doria on Instagram, writing: ‘Always proud of this beautiful woman.’
Prince Harry has already met Doria, most recently at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September.
Miss Markle also described Hollywood lighting director Thomas, who now lives in Mexico, as the ‘most hardworking father you can imagine’.
Doria is the great-great-great granddaughter of a slave, who took the name Wisdom when it was abolished in America.
She was just 20 years old and temping in a TV studio when she met Thomas, then a 32-year-old divorced father of two.
The cinematographer was already well respected in his profession, where he worked on American soaps such as General Hospital and Married… With Children.
He also did the lighting for the 1984 LA Olympics and the 1986 Oscars, even winning an Emmy.
They married in 1979, and Meghan was born two years later. The family lived in a beautiful sea-front house before moving to an affluent small town in The Valley area of Los Angeles, where their neighbours included one of Bing Crosby’s twin sons.
Miss Markle attended the private Little Red Schoolhouse in Hollywood, which Elizabeth Taylor attended, followed by Immaculate Heart, an £11,500-ayear Catholic school.
Her half-brother, Thomas Junior, recalls how Thomas and Doria ‘doted’ on Meghan.
However, he said, Samantha envied the attention lavished on her half-sister, and tensions arose.
It was exacerbated by Thomas senior’s long working hours, and in 1986, when Meghan was a few months short of her sixth birthday, her parents divorced.
The couple were awarded shared legal custody of Meghan, and Doria took various jobs to supplement her maintenance, including working as an air-stewardess, the same job once done by the Duchess of Cambridge’s mother, Carole Middleton.
With her mother working, the teenage Meghan spent much of her with time with her father, in a Hollywood tenement block. Today, her mother works for a respected Los Angeles charity, specialising in helping people who had suffered brain injuries.
Her father, meanwhile, enjoys a quiet retirement in Mexico, close to the border with California.