Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is a yoga instructor and social worker with whom Prince Harry’s flame seems very close. She will soon see her daughter marry a prince, and she is playing an important role in the wedding.
Meghan is the daughter of divorced parents: Ragland and Thomas Markle. She has written emotionally about her mother and about being a biracial person. Many sites give her mother’s name as Doria Radlan, but, on her Facebook page, Meghan’s mother calls herself Doria Ragland. Meghan’s mother is black, and her father is white.
On Friday, May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal Wedding, Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, was photographed (see above) after leaving tea with the Queen of England. Doria, 61 “joined Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, for afternoon tea,” NBC News reported. It was the first time that Meghan’s mom has met the English monarch. Earlier in the week, Doria was photographed leaving her Los Angeles-area home on the way to the airport.
This was the first glimpse of Meghan and her mom at the wedding.
Here’s her full outfit!
Here’s Meghan’s dress:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Meghan’s Mom has a Master’s Degree in Social Work & Her Parents Are Divorced
In 2016, Meghan wrote a tribute to her mom on Instagram, complete with a photo of her mother in a graduation cap and gown.
“Always proud of this beautiful woman,” she wrote on Mother’s Day. “This was when she graduated from USC with a masters in social work. Honoring my mom, Doria, and all the amazing mamas in our lives.”
Doria’s Facebook page says she works in social work at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in California. She says she went to Fairfax High School and lives in Los Angeles. She is friends on Facebook with “Meghan Markle Engelson,” which was Meghan’s married name (Meghan Markle is divorced from Trevor Engelson). Doria has now quit her job, reportedly because of the intense attention she was getting and possibly to start her own firm.
On another mother’s day, Meghan referred to her mother on Instagram as her “hot mama.”
Meghan’s mother and her father, Thomas Markle, divorced when she was six, according to UK Daily Mail. She is sometimes photographed with her mother on the red carpet.
According to UK Daily Mail, both Meghan’s parents have filed for bankruptcy; her mother in 2002 “over a $52,750 credit card bill.” Her father is a lighting director thought to be in Mexico, reports Daily Mail.
Markle has a half sister, Samantha, through her father’s first marriage, who has criticized her in the press, accusing Meghan of mistreating their father, UK Daily Mail reports. She also has a half-brother through her father named Thomas Markle Jr., who has defended Meghan and also trashed her.
Doria joined Meghan and Prince Harry in a private box to watch the Invictus Games, demonstrating the growing seriousness in her daughter’s relationship with the British prince.
Here are more photos from that moment:
Here are more videos and photos from the Royal Wedding:
Doria’s light green ensemble drew rave reviews on social media.
2. Doria Ragland Is a Yoga Instructor, a Passion She Shares With Her Daughter
According to Hello Magazine, “Meghan is a yoga devotee and began practising at the age of seven with her instructor mother Doria Radlan.”
In December 2016, Meghan and her mother were photographed walking together in Toronto with yoga mats.
UK Express reported that Suits star Meghan has described her mother as a “‘free-spirited clinical therapist’ who took her daughter travelling to remote – often impoverished – places around the world” and once said, “Both my parents came from little, so they made a choice to give a lot.”
“Harry also asked Meghan’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, who divorced when their daughter was six, for her hand in marriage before popping the question a few weeks ago,” Daily Mail reported, and Meghan’s parents said in a statement, “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”
However, controversy ensued shortly after Christmas when Prince Harry said that the Royal Family was the family that Meghan had never had. That led to Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Grant, who has repeatedly criticized Meghan, to do so again. Harry said of Meghan’s adaption to the Royal Family’s traditions, “She’s done an absolutely amazing job, she’s getting in there and it’s the family that I suppose she’s never had.” Grant wrote on Twitter: “She has a large family. She always did. Our dad is amazing and completely self sacrificing. We made it so that she had two houses. How fun it was!”
3. Meghan Opened Up About Her Bi-Racial Identity in a Magazine Interview
Meghan has written openly about what it is like being bi-racial, especially growing up. Her mother is black, and her father is white.
She penned a moving essay for Elle Magazine, which includes many anecdotes about her parents. The article discusses “creating her identity and finding her voice as a mixed race woman.”
In the article, Meghan explains how people repeatedly inquire “where she is from,” when she knows what they are really after: “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.”
She eloquently wrote, “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.” However, the essay is uplifting. She concludes, “While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”
You can read the full Elle essay here.
4. Meghan Described How Her Mother Has Been Taunted With Racial Slurs
Meghan described in detail in the Elle essay how difficult her mother has had it at times.
She wrote that her parents met in the late Seventies when her father “was a lighting director for a soap opera and my mom was a temp at the studio. I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques. Whatever it was, they married and had me.”
They moved to a non-diverse area of LA, where Meghan laments that her mother would be mistaken for the nanny. Then came the racial slur. “I was home in LA on a college break when my mom was called the ‘N’ word. We were leaving a concert and she wasn’t pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver,” she wrote.
Doria has reportedly met with Oprah Winfrey about the possibility of doing an interview with her, and they shared an interest in the topic of race. Ragland has not spoken to the press about her daughter.
5. Meghan’s Mother Will Accompany Her by Car to the Chapel
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wanted to make sure her parents played important roles in the wedding.
According to Prince Harry’s communications secretary, “On the morning of the wedding, Ms. Ragland will travel with Ms. Markle by car to Windsor Castle. Mr. Markle will walk his daughter down the aisle of St George’s Chapel. Ms. Markle is delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion.”
However, she has now confirmed her dad won’t be there.
“Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are very much looking forward to welcoming Ms. Markle’s parents to Windsor for the wedding,” Prince Harry’s Communications secretary revealed on May 4, 2018. “Mr. Thomas Markle and Ms. Doria Ragland will be arriving in the UK in the week of the wedding, allowing time for Prince Harry’s family, including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to spend time with them before the big day.”
However, that’s now changed – when it comes to Meghan’s dad, although not her mom. Thomas Markle, who lives in Mexico, was accused in a Daily Mail expose of setting up photos with a photographer that were sold worldwide. They showed him lifting weights, supposedly getting measured for a suit, and perusing photos of his daughter and Prince Harry at an Internet cafe.
Thomas Markle told TMZ “he meant no harm to Meghan or the Royal Family when he made a deal to allow a photo agency to take pics of him getting ready for the wedding. He says he had a reason and it was not principally about money.” He told the news site that photographers had taken unflattering photos of him, making him look badly in the past.
According to TMZ, Thomas Markle told the entertainment site that “he suffered a heart attack 6 days ago but checked himself out of the hospital so he could attend the wedding. He’s now decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.” After that report, TMZ posted another story stating that Thomas Markle had told the entertainment site that “he’s experiencing serious chest pains … this after his heart attack 6 days ago. He says the pains have been triggered by emotional upset. He specifically mentioned his oldest daughter, Samantha Grant, who has been shading Meghan in the weeks leading up to the wedding.”
Thomas told TMZ, “I’ve been popping Valium for the pain, especially when I hear about my oldest daughter.” According to TMZ, he said he hadn’t heard from Meghan and that his ex-wife Doria Ragland would be a good choice to accompany her down the aisle. By May 15, however, Markle was saying he wants to go to the wedding after all if his health permits, and he told TMZ that his daughter had texted him a loving message and tried to call him. On May 15, Thomas said he was going after all before saying he wasn’t due to heart surgery. Ragland was seen leaving her Los Angeles-area home for the airport.
However, Meghan ended up asking Prince Charles to walk her down the aisle instead.