Wendell Pierce knows just how mindful Meghan Markle had to be on the set of Suits as her budding romance with Prince Harry got more serious.
The actor, who played Meghan’s father Robert Zane on the legal drama for seven years, recently appeared on KTLA 5 Morning News, where he opened up about the precautionary measures Meghan, 38, and her team had to take on set to ensure her relationship remained under wraps.
Though he was initially skeptical of their romance, Pierce, 55, admitted that he soon realized it was serious when Meghan had security on set and was told to remove her character Rachel Zane’s engagement ring from her finger before filming scenes in public.
“I didn’t think it would happen. I was like, ‘Yeah, right,’ and then one day on the set there was the MI-5 guy,” he told the KTLA 5 hosts. “I was like, ‘Oh, this must be serious. They sent someone over.’”
“One time we were in a scene before got engaged where she was engaged to Mike on the show and they said, ‘Wait, don’t get out of the car,’” he recalled. “They said, ‘Give us the ring because there’s paparazzi down the street so you can’t go out with the ring.’”
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Despite being her father on television only, Pierce joked that he was prepared to lay down the law when Harry visited the Suits set one day.
“He came to set one time, the prince. I didn’t get a chance to see him but I was ready to tell him, as her TV dad, ‘You break her heart, I’ll break your jaw,’” he told the hosts with a laugh, before insisting: “I really was gonna say that!”
This isn’t the first time that Pierce has opened up about working with Meghan as she began a romance with Harry, 35.
Before her relationship was in an international spotlight, Pierce told Harry Connick Jr. on an episode of Harry that she talked about Prince Harry coyly.
“She met this nice guy and we always talked about him in code really. You know, ‘How you doing?’ ‘Oh, I’m going to London, coming from London, whatever,’ ” Pierce explained.
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Then in Sept. 2018, the actor discussed to Extra how he “didn’t believe was real” until security showed up on set, but noted how he knew Harry was the one for his on-screen daughter.
“The one thing that was clear, she was extremely happy… She had a glow,” the Jack Ryan star shared. “I knew she was in love… With the whirlwind of publicity and the world of being a royal now, the one thing that’s constant is the fact that I know she loves him.”
Before Meghan made her official exit from the Suits set last year, Pierce said they shared a quiet moment together that he’ll “cherish” forever.
“I had a really wonderful moment as we were coming to an end of her time on the show,” he said. “It was just she and I in the room and I said, ‘I know your life is going to change but always know, no matter where you are, I will always be your loving fake father.’”
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“It’s going to be amazing but I want you to know that I’m your friend, and no matter where you are or what’s going on — if the fishbowl that you’re in ever starts getting to you — you can call me,” he added.
Since then, Pierce has continuously been supportive of Meghan from her engagement news in Nov. 2017 to her big wedding in May 2018, to the recent arrival of her baby boy Archie.
“Congratulations to my TV daughter Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the news of their wedding engagement,” he proudly tweeted after the Duke of Sussex popped the question. “Harry you have her TV Father’s blessing. Robert Zane approves.”