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Thomas Markle says his 'baby' daughter Meghan 'looks beautiful' - and that he wished he was at wedding

Harriet Alexander
Ms Markle's father pulled out of the wedding after it emerged he had staged photos with paparazzi - Pix supplied as a technical service by Tim Stewart News Limited 07932745508. No copyright inferred o

Meghan Markle’s father said his daughter looked "beautiful" and "very happy" on her wedding day to Prince Harry as he watched the ceremony from California - and made a plea to his relatives to stop commenting on the couple.

Thomas Markle, who was unable to attend the royal wedding after undergoing emergency heart surgery, was unperturbed by the 4am start.

The 73-year-old told US site TMZ he was "emotional and joyful" as he watched the ceremony on TV.

"My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy," he said.

"I wish I was there and I wish them all my love and happiness".

Royal wedding day pictures: Best photos from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ceremony and reception

Mr Markle said he deeply regretted not being there, but that he sent his daughter a text message saying he loved her.

"The service was beautiful and it's history,” he told TMZ.

“I will always regret not being able to be there and not being able to hold my daughter's hand.

"My baby girl is a duchess and I love her so much."

He said that watching the ceremony made him nostalgic, adding: "When you watch your child get married, every thought goes through your mind, every memory from the first day she was born, the first time I held her."

Thomas Markle with Meghan as a baby

He said he was yet to choose a wedding gift for the couple, but hoped to do so soon, when his health recovered.

And he made a plea for his raucous relatives to leave the newlyweds alone.

"Now I pray that Harry and Meghan can go on a nice honeymoon and rest and relax, and all of my relatives will just shut up about everything."

Ms Markle's half-sister

The ceremony began at a slightly more civilised 7am on the east coast, and Ms Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle, 53, was holding a party at her home in Florida.

Ms Markle once again cashed in on her relationship with her sister, inviting a television crew into her Florida home for the gathering.

Just after dawn there was no sign of celebration – and instead a television outside broadcast truck remained parked outside her single-story home.

Her boyfriend, Mark Phillips, 60, told DailyMail.com that she was taking part in a television appearance and suggested that it was earning her a five-figure sum.

Asked how many people the "party" involved, he said there were eight people – he, Ms Markle, and the six-strong crew.

Ms Markle has not commented, instead choosing to retweet a message from the Dalai Lama.

Ms Markle, who shares a father with the future Duchess, is 17 years her senior and, according to relatives, lived a very separate life from her actress sibling.

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008, she is in a wheelchair and is last believed to have spoken to her half sister several years ago.

Yet she has been in the headlines all week , demanding thousands of dollars to speak to newspapers, spinning ever-more outlandish yarns as the wedding approached.

Earlier this week she told gossip site TMZ she was ran off the road by paparazzi near her Florida home and likened herself to Diana, the Princess of Wales – despite police in the state telling The Telegraph they had no record of any crash being reported.

That was a few days after telling a British tabloid that Ms Markle had not spoken to their father after his heart attack, that Kensington Palace had offered no support, and that she had been forced to wire money to support the ailing pensioner.

Thomas Markle with his daughter Meghan

“I was worried as I hadn’t heard from him in a day and a half,” she said.

“And he called me crying and he said, ‘I had a heart attack’.

“He is badly in need of help. I’m dreadfully worried about him. He’s completely on his own.”

She added: “There was no actual contact from Meghan and she has not spoken with my father since the heart attack. I don’t know why, I’m not blaming her.”

She then took to Twitter to accuse the paper of making it all up.

Samantha Markle, on Loose Women this week

On the eve of the wedding she then told a British tabloid she was in talks with Hollywood executives to make a film or television series of her book, entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

“I have been approached to sell the rights,” she said.

“My book is more of a sociological journey.

“It’s paralleled my sister’s life being doubly marginalised as a biracial woman. It does talk about our family, but it has never been gossipy at all.”

Ms Markle's cousin

Ms Markle’s cousin, Noel Rasmussen, the 19-year-old daughter of Samantha Markle, was also not invited to the ceremony, but made a deal with a tabloid newspaper to travel from her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and be in London for the day.

“Meghan looked so beautiful. I’m thrilled by how popular she is here,” she said.

Miss Rasmussen, an anthropology student, lives with her grandmother Rosalyn Markle and is estranged from her mother.

She said she was embarrassed by her mother’s behaviour, and that of her uncle Thomas, Ms Markle’s half-brother.

“We’re just regular people – then all of a sudden Meghan began dating Prince Harry and it has been crazy ever since,” she told The Mirror.

“They’re just really feeling hurt and they don’t know how to deal with it. I’m OK with not having been invited, I just want her to be happy.

“She’ll be a great wife and a great ambassador for America.”

Ms Markle's half-brother

Like Miss Rasmussen, Thomas, 51, was in London, having been flown in by a British tabloid.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle  Credit: PA

So too was his ex-wife Tracy Dooley, arriving this week from her home in Oregon, accompanied by her son Thomas – soon to launch his own brand of “Markle Sparkle” cannabis.

Royal wedding day pictures: Best photos from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ceremony and reception

Ms Dooley, who has not seem Ms Markle in 20 years, said on social media she was “having a blast” – despite being dropped by ITV at the 11th hour from their royal wedding coverage.

Ms Markle's aunt and cousin

Her aunt and cousin watched the ceremony live at their home in Sandton, Florida – before leaving to celebrate with a Burger King breakfast, eaten while wearing the fast-food chain’s paper crowns.

Theresa Markle, 67, is married to Frederick, 76 – Ms Markle’s father’s older brother.

He is also known as Bishop Dismas, and leads the tiny Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church of America, close to the Florida home.

Mrs Markle was spotted leaving the house on Saturday morning with their son Nick, 38, who lives with them.

He told DailyMail.com that the family had watched the ceremony live on television.

The couple have another son, David, 35, who lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, with his wife Jackie, 43, and their three sons. He is believed to be a United Stated Air Force veteran who now works in a local school.

Ms Markle's father's first wife

Mr Markle’s first wife Roslyn, the mother of Meghan's older half-brother and sister, said that she got up at 3am to watch the royal wedding from her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She said the ceremony was “absolutely beautiful”, adding: “I wish them all the best. I hope they go on to have a long and happy union.”

She divorced Mr Markle in 1976, after he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood.

And she told the Mail Online that she imagined her former husband would have been emotional watching the scenes unfold.

“I'm sorry that her father missed out on this joyous occasion,” she said.

“I know he was watching and was a bit tearful – but he was very proud.”

And those who chose to sleep instead...

But some of Ms Markle’s extended family had decided that the time difference was simply too much.

Ava Burrows, her maternal step-grandmother, lives in Indio, California, and said it was too early for her.

Her uncle Michael, 78, a retired diplomat, said he was recording it to watch later.

“It's a little early for me. I usually wake up about 8am,” he said.

“So, I'll record the whole thing and I might watch some of it later. Those things can get boring after a while with the horses and all that stuff.

The most stylish guests from Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle

“If my wife were alive – she passed away six years ago – she'd be up at 4am.

“And my mom, Meghan's grandmother, would be very excited about this. She would be shocked.”