See Prince Charles Walk Meghan Markle Down the Aisle After Heartbreak with Her Dad

Meghan Markle was escorted down the aisle by her future father-in-law, Prince Charles

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It wasn’t what she had originally planned, but on Saturday, Meghan Markle was escorted down the aisle by her future father-in-law, Prince Charles, instead of her own father.

The bride started out her walk down the aisle solo, before meeting Charles halfway to the altar. The two were all smiles as they walked down the rest of the aisle together.

As Charles greeted his son, Harry smiled and said, “Thank you, Pa.”

Meghan’s wedding dress was a long-sleeve boat neck Givenchy gown with a simple silhouette and statement train. She accessorized her gown with a cathedral-length veil and Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau tiara.

The prince wore his official British Army uniform for the occasion, to honor the 10 years he served.

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On Friday, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan, 36, had asked Charles, 69, to carry out the duty of escorting her down the aisle. Meghan had planned on having her father, Thomas Markle, by her side, but she “sadly” confirmed on Thursday that he would not be attending the royal wedding as originally planned.

The royal bride-to-be asked Charles to take over the duty less than 48 hours before the ceremony, since it was revealed that her father would not be able to attend.

“It was Meghan’s wish and she is grateful for the Prince of Wales to be doing it,” a royal source told PEOPLE.

The couple exchanged vows at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

For the earlier part of the procession through the Nave of St. George’s Chapel, Meghan was accompanied by her 10-strong squad of bridesmaids and page boys, meaning she walked down the greater part of the aisle without someone by her side.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle Asks Prince Charles to Walk Her Down Aisle in Absence of Her Dad: ‘It Was Her Wish’

Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, traveled with her daughter by car to Windsor Castle.

And while Harry’s brother Prince William acted as best man in the wedding, Meghan opted not to have a maid of honor.

Harry’s immediate family members, including Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton, were also in attendance, as well as his cousins, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

Friends from Harry’s military service were on hand, as well as longtime friends like Tom Inskip and Guy Pelly. Several of Meghan’s closest friends attended the ceremony.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a> and <a href="" data-inlink="true">Meghan Markle</a> official engagement photos, Frogmore House, Windsor, UK - 21 Dec 2017
Alexi Lubomirski/REX/Shutterstock

Harry and Meghan announced their engagement in November 2017 in an official statement by Clarence House.

“It was a cozy night,” Meghan said of the moment Harry popped the question at their cottage in Kensington Palace. “We were roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”

Following the ceremony, Harry and Meghan will spend the night of their wedding at Windsor Castle.

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