Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mom, was a unifying figure at the Royal Wedding. Onlookers praised her regal demeanor, her beauty (she doesn’t look 61!), and the seamless way in which she (and her daughter) have integrated the Royal Family. Her obvious emotion during the ceremony also moved people around the world.
Doria, a former social worker and yoga instructor from Los Angeles, California, appeared close to tearing up during the wedding service, in which she saw her only child marry Prince Harry. She was dressed in fashion from both British and American designers. The care with which Prince Charles showed Meghan’s mother also touched a lot of people.
Here are 6 of the most touching moments in photos of Doria at the royal wedding (and the day before it):
Doria Ragland Holds Prince Charles’ Arm
What a wonderful statement Prince Charles made when he 1) Walked Meghan partially down the aisle in lieu of her missing dad, Thomas Markle and 2) Took such great care with her mother Doria Ragland, even holding hands with her outside the chapel. Charles, with all of his scandals over the years, most notably how he treated Princess Diana, has suffered his share of bad press. The wedding of his youngest son, though, saw Prince Charles at his best.
Here’s another photo that shows the affection that Prince Charles showed Doria Ragland.
Charles also seemed to make sure Doria Ragland was attended to inside the chapel.
Doria was the only family member of Meghan’s who was at the wedding.
Doria Arrives With Her Daughter to the Chapel
The first glimpse the public had of the bride came through the window of the car she was riding in to St. George’s Chapel with her mother. Doria Ragland was brimming with pride.
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.”
The Light Green Dress
Doria received positive reviews for the light green jacket, dress, and hat that she wore to her daughter’s wedding. People were moved that Doria mixed British and American brands for her garb at the wedding. “For the ceremony she wore a custom dress and pistachio-colored day coat designed by creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim. Her shoes were Aquazurra, and her hat was designed by milliner Stephen Jones,” Bazaar reports.
Doria is said to have looked equally beautiful at the evening reception, although no photos of Doria Ragland’s reception dress have emerged. “Ragland wore a scarlet long-sleeved dress in silk cady, nude alter suede sandals and a brass gold box clutch,” Bazaar reports.
Tea With the Queen
Meghan’s mom was beaming after the two had tea with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Here’s another photo from that occasion, which by all accounts, went quite well.
Ragland also met other senior members of the Royal Family before the wedding, including Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, and Prince William and his wife, Kate. Doria “joined Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, for afternoon tea,” NBC News reported.
A Lone Representative
Some thought it was sad that Doria Ragland was sitting by herself during the ceremony, although she was clearly placed in line view of many cameras. However, others thought it was poignant, since mother and daughter are very close, and she was the only member of Meghan Markle’s family to be invited (other than her dad, who bowed out after a staged photo controversy and heart surgery.)
Another person did sit next to her as the ceremony was underway, but she did not have another guest with her at the wedding. Some tried to make a big deal that Doria was sitting in the second row during the ceremony. However, the Queen was too, just further down.
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 has since quit her job, though. 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. Meghan once 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.”
Emotion During the Ceremony
Doria Ragland appeared to be near tears for much of the ceremony, which was a very moving thing to see as it demonstrated her deep love for her daughter. Here are some other photos and videos that showed Doria’s emotion:
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.”