Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mom, was all smiles as she accompanied her daughter in England on the eve of her wedding to Prince Harry. It was a big occasion: Doria was meeting the Queen of England and her husband, Prince Philip.
It was a long way from Los Angeles, Califoria, for the yoga instructor and social worker, who is playing a prominent role in the wedding of her daughter to Prince Harry. Photos captured the moment’s aftermath, showing Meghan and her mom as they left the tea, which appears to have gone well. You can see those pictures throughout this story.
Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, has been the focal point of drama. He was going to walk his daughter down the aisle until he wasn’t and then was and then wasn’t again. Through it all, her 61-year-old mom – who divorced Markle years ago – has been the picture of class, ignoring the press and keeping an implacable front even when accosted by photographers as she conducted mundane tasks at home, like getting the groceries. However, Doria seemed at ease in England as she was photographed following the meeting with Elizabeth II.
Here’s Doria at the wedding:
Here’s what you need to know:
Doria Ragland & Meghan Markle Met With Elizabeth & Her Husband
The meeting occurred on Friday, May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal Wedding. Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, and Meghan, both were photographed 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.
Meghan’s mom is black, and her dad is white; Meghan has embraced – and written about – her mixed race heritage.
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.” Meghan 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.”
Ragland Also Met With Senior Royals Before the Wedding
According to The Today Show, Doria Ragland has also met the other key members of Prince Harry’s family. “She had tea with Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at their Clarence House residence in London. She also met Prince William, his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their two oldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, during wedding rehearsals in Windsor,” Today reports.
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.
Doria Was Expected to Play a Prominent Role in the Royal Wedding
Kensington Palace previously confirmed that Doria will play a prominent role in the wedding, although it’s now been confirmed that Prince Charles will take her father’s place in walking Meghan down the aisle to meet her prince.
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.”
“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.”
That all changed with Meghan’s dad when he went through a drama involving staged photos and heart surgery. However, her mother is participating as intended.
Meghan’s Mom Is a Social Worker With a Master’s Degree
Meghan’s mom is a well-educated woman who has worked as a social worker in the Los Angeles-area, although she recently quit that job, possibly to start her own practice.
US Magazine reported that Doria was overwhelmed by the focus on her since her daughter became engaged to Prince Harry. “Doria made the very difficult decision to leave her job at the clinic because there had been a lot of calls from the media asking to speak with her because her daughter was marrying Prince Harry,” a source told US. “It just became overwhelming for Doria and she considered taking a leave of absence, but recognized that the interest was only going to continue after the wedding.”
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 worked 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).