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May 18, 2018 05:36 PM

Meghan Markle‘s dad, Thomas Markle, says he’s happy that Prince Charles will take his place and walk Meghan down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Harry.

The palace confirmed on Thursday that Thomas would not be attending the wedding and walking Meghan down the aisle as originally anticipated. Thomas told TMZ that he spoke to Meghan and Harry on Thursday, and they told him of their plan to ask Harry’s father, Prince Charles, to do the honors, before they released the official news on Friday.

Thomas said that he’s “honored and grateful” that Charles will walk Meghan down the aisle in his absence.

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Steve Parsons/PA Wire

During his phone call with Harry and Meghan, Thomas said that Meghan told him that she loved him and was worried about his health. He reassured her that he was recovering after he said he underwent heart surgery on Wednesday.

Though Thomas won’t be in Windsor for the big day, he said he’ll be “proudly” watching from home. He added that he hopes to watch the wedding on television “in a secluded place with friends, hopefully with no press.”

RELATED VIDEO: ‘Sad’ Meghan Markle Issues Statement: ‘My Father Will Not Be Attending Our Wedding’

Thomas first said that he wasn’t going to attend the wedding on Monday, a day after it was revealed he worked with a paparazzi agency to stage photographs ahead of the wedding. He said that he wouldn’t attend the wedding to avoid embarrassing Meghan or the royal family. On Tuesday, he said that he would attempt to attend the wedding, baring any health concerns. He said that he had suffered a heart attack the previous week, but had checked out of the hospital in hopes of flying to England to attend the wedding.

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Later on Tuesday, Thomas said that he would have to undergo heart surgery and would be forced to miss the wedding after all. Meghan confirmed that Thomas would not be attending in a statement released on Thursday.

Meghan Markle and Prince Charles
Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

“Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,” she said. “I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

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