Meghan Markle Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Meghan Markle and her mom and dad

Meghan Markle’s family has taken England on quite the roller coaster ride. There’s her classy and regal-acting mom, Doria Ragland, who’s kept away from the press.

And then there’s her dad’s side; Thomas Markle, her father, was going to walk Meghan down the aisle, until he wasn’t, and his two children from his first marriage – Meghan’s half-siblings – have bashed her in the press.

Prince Harry is about to marry into a typical family. After all, whose family, if we are all honest, is not without some element of dysfunction (the Royal Family has had its own scandals). All of this, though, has increased interest in Meghan’s family as she marries Prince Harry on May 19, 2018. Meghan’s mom is black, and her dad is white; she has spoken openly and with pride about her mixed race heritage.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Meghan’s Mom, Doria Ragland, Is a Social Worker Who Had Tea With the Queen

doria ragland

GettyDoria Ragland with her daughter Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is a yoga instructor and social worker with whom Prince Harry’s soon-to-be wife seems very close. Doria Ragland met with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the day before the Royal Wedding. She has also met with other members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles and Prince William. Judging from photos that emerged after the tea, the meeting with Elizabeth II went swimmingly:

doria ragland

Getty Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England.

It was widely believed an engagement was imminent after 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:

In 2016, Meghan wrote a tribute to her mom on Instagram, complete with a photo of her mother in a graduation cap and gown. She has spoken about their close relationship. “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.”

meghan markle mother, doria radal, doria ragland

Meghan Marke and her mother, Doria Ragland. (Instagram)

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). On another mother’s day, Meghan referred to her mother on Instagram as her “hot mama.” However, she has since quit the job.

2. Meghan’s Parents Divorced When She Was a Young Child

meghan markle father, thomas markle

Thomas Markle, Meghan Markle’s father. (Instagram/Meghan Markle)

Meghan is the daughter of divorced parents: Meghan’s parents divorced when she was six, according to UK Daily Mail.

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.”

tom markle, meghan markle father, meghan markle dad

Instagram/Meghan MarkleTom Markle and daughter, Meghan.

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.

3. Meghan Has Referred to Her Mother as ‘This Beautiful Woman

doria ragland

Instagram/Meghan MarkleDoria Ragland and her daughter Meghan Markle

In 2016, Meghan wrote a tribute to her mom on Instagram, complete with a photo of her mother in a graduation cap and gown. She has spoken about their close relationship. “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.”

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.

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,” UK Express reports.

4. Meghan’s Dad Worked on Soap Operas in Hollywood

According to the Sun, Tom Markle, Meghan’s dad, “is of Dutch-Irish origin, and was born in 1945. Thomas is a former television lighting director working on iconic US shows including Married with Children and General Hospital.” The Sun adds, “In 2011 he won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series for his work on General Hospital, a long-running US soap. He was married to Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, in 1979 – but they divorced in 1988.”

Meghan wrote about her childhood in an essay in Elle Magazine. In it, she says 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, according to Elle Magazine. Meghan “spent time on film sets as a child because her father Thomas was a lighting director on the series Married with Children and General Hospital,” reports UK Express.

She has described her father as the “most hardworking father you can imagine” and said, “My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up,” UK Express reports.

According to UK Daily Mail, both of 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.

The situation with Tom Markle certainly turned into a soap opera. Meghan’s father admitted that he staged photos of himself doing things like looking at photos of Meghan and Harry in an Internet cafe in Mexico, where he lives. Then, when a furor erupted, he said he’d had a heart attack and wouldn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family, so he wasn’t walking Meghan down the aisle. Then he told TMZ that he wanted to walk her down the aisle. Finally, he told the entertainment site that he was undergoing heart surgery and couldn’t walk her down the aisle at all, at which time Prince Charles said he was stepping in to do the honor.

5. Meghan’s Half Siblings Have Criticized Her in the Press

Thomas Markle Jr, Meghan Markle Brother


Markle has a half sister, Samantha, through her father’s first marriage, who has criticized her relentlessly in the press, accusing Meghan of mistreating their father, UK Daily Mail reports. The half-sister, Samantha Grant, is the product of Thomas Markle’s first marriage to Roslyn Markle, and, at age 52, is considerably older than Meghan.

Samantha Grant called Meghan “narcissistic and selfish,” UK Daily Mail reports. According to The Sun, Grant is planning a tell-all book on the family. “Mum-of-three Samantha Grant, also known as Samantha Markle, is a 52-year-old former actress and model, who lives in Florida, US,” the site reports. She is in a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis, the site reports.

Grant accused Meghan of not supporting her family and being overly ambitious, supposedly changing once she found success in Hollywood. “Samantha Grant doesn’t have a relationship with Meghan Markle and she never has. As they were 17 years apart, they were never raised in the same house. Meghan was raised an only child by her loving parents,” a source told E! News in April. It is widely believed that Markle Grant is coming out of the woodwork in an effort to capitalize on her sister’s fame.

Meghan also has a half brother, Thomas Markle Jr., who has defended Meghan, and then trashed her, according to UK Daily Mail. Grant’s mother, Rosyln, also defended Meghan and told The Daily Mail that Grant once referred to Meghan’s mother as the “maid” because she was black. Tom Markle Jr. wrote a nasty letter to Harry urging him not to marry his sister and sharply criticizing her.

Neither half-sibling appears to be invited to the Royal Wedding.

Daily Mail reports that Thomas Markle Jr. remains close to Meghan even though he was arrested after he was accused of a “drunken altercation with his girlfriend.”

UK Express reported in January 2017 that “Thomas Markle Jr, 50, has been charged with menacing, pointing a firearm at someone and unlawful use of a weapon, according to police.” The site notes, “Thomas Jr is a window fitter who lives in Grants Pass with his girlfriend Darlene Blout, 36. His sons – Tyler, 27, and Thomas Dooley, 25, also live nearby.”

The ex-wife of Meghan’s half brother, Tracy Dooley, said in an interview that Thomas Jr. was “happy and proud” of Meghan, adding, “They used to be very close but there has been some separation over the years. The last thing he would want to do is hurt her.”

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