After playing Meghan Markle's onscreen dad for seven years, her departure from the legal drama Suits ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry was definitely bittersweet for Wendell Pierce.

In his upcoming appearance on Harry Connick Jr's chat show, the 54-year-old actor, who played Rachel Zane's father Robert Zane has opened up about the bond he shared with the actress. According to the TV star, the pair often spoke in code to avoid details of her romance with the ginger royal being leaked to the press.

"We always talked about him in code really," Pierce explained. "You know, 'How you doing?', 'Oh I'm going to London, coming from London,' whatever."

The LA-born actress will tie the knot with Prince Harry, who is currently fifth in line to the throne, on 19 May at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Markle shot her final scenes for Suits late 2017 and her alter ego is set to bow out of the series at the end of season seven on 25 April, following a dramatic double bill. Her final episodes will centre on Rachel's wedding to Mike Ross, played by Patrick J Adams, who is also departing the show.

Recalling her emotional last day on set, Pierce said it marked the end of an era and he felt compelled to share some parting words with her.

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."

Although invites have yet to be sent out for the spring nuptials, Pierce, who whose acting credits also include Waiting to Exhale and The Wire is hoping to be on Markle's guest list.

Back in January, Adams - who was forced to delete from his Instagram account an old photo of Markle playfully kissing him on the cheek on the show's set sparking a fan frenzy - opened up about his final scenes with Markle, commenting: "With Meghan, a lot went unsaid.

"Meghan has this whole crazy past of her life that's just beginning now. In some ways, Meghan and I were the closest because we were the youngest people in the cast and both came in with the least experience," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

He added: "We grew up together over the course of the show. There was this natural sense that we both knew that the time had come for both of us.

Meghan Markle and Wendell Pierce
Wendell Pierce and Meghan Markle in Suits. The actor who played her onscreen father in Suits admitted it was wrench to see her leave IMDB/USA Network