She’s the mum of one of the most famous women in the world but still manages to keep a relatively low profile. Here’s everything you need to know about Doria Ragland.
Who is Doria Ragland?
Doria Loyce Ragland is the mum of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and the grandma of Meghan’s son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. She was born on September 2, 1956, in Cleveland and moved to LA with her parents when she was a baby. She had Meghan — who was born Rachel Meghan Markle — when she was 25 years old.
Is Doria married?
No. She met ex-husband Thomas Markle in the late 1970s when she was a trainee makeup artist and he was a lighting director on US soap, General Hospital. They married in 1979 at Sunset Boulevard’s Self-Realization Fellowship, shrine of the Hindu guru Yogananda.
They divorced in 1988 when Meghan was six. The split was reportedly amicable. Thomas Markle said: "It went well for a while, but I wasn’t home enough. Doria had other interests as well. What was going on in that household at that time wasn’t making me happy.”
Does Doria have any other children?
No. Meghan has a step-brother Thomas Markle Jr, and a step-sister Samantha Markle, who are both children from her dad’s first marriage. Doria has no other children apart from Meghan.
What job does Doria do?
Doria started her career as a makeup artist in LA, which is where she met Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father. She also worked as a travel agent and ran a dress shop before completing a degree in psychology. She then went on to work as a social worker in a mental health clinic.
“She works specifically with the geriatric community,” Meghan has said, also calling her a “free-spirited clinical therapist.” Doria left her role at an LA mental health clinic in 2018 after Meghan and Harry announced their engagement. She is also a qualified yoga instructor and continues to teach classes in LA.
What is Doria and Meghan’s relationship like?
Doria and her daughter Meghan are close, and Doria reportedly calls her daughter “Flower.”
Meghan has previously said of her mum: “We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend."
Before Meghan closed down her website, The Tig, she wrote: “Dreadlocks. Nose ring. Yoga instructor. Social worker. Free spirit. Lover of potato chips and lemon tarts. And if the DJ cues Al Green’s soul classic 'Call Me,' just forget it. She will swivel her hips into the sweetest little dance you’ve ever seen, swaying her head and snapping her fingers to the beat like she’s been dancing since the womb. And you will smile. You won’t be able to help it. You will look at her and you will feel joy. I’m talking about my mom.”
Doria was in London when Meghan gave birth to Archie, and even got a mention in the official royal announcement about Archie’s birth. The announcement read: “The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.”
Does Harry like Doria?
Yes. When Harry and Meghan first got engaged, he talked about how much he liked Doria, saying: “Her Mum’s amazing.” He reportedly asked Doria’s permission before proposing to Meghan.
Does Doria get on with the royal family?
Yes. In the week before Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Doria met Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and had tea with the Queen.
Just days after Archie was born in 2019, Doria was in a photo with her new grandson and the Queen – a moment that was hailed as groundbreaking.
Where does Doria live?
Doria still lives in LA, where she has lived since she was a child. There are reports she is living with Meghan, Harry and Archie at their rented $18million home in a ‘granny annex’ in their temporary LA mansion. “Doria has her own quarters and whilst a few of Harry's chums have been ribbing him about living with his mother-in-law, he has a brilliant relationship with her,” said a source.
Does Doria look after Archie?
There are reports that Doria is acting as an “unofficial nanny” to Archie while they are all in LA.
What was Doria’s role at Meghan and Harry’s wedding?
When it was confirmed that Meghan’s father Thomas Markle was not going to attend her wedding, it was rumoured Doria would walk her daughter down the aisle. However, Meghan walked down the aisle alone and was met by Prince Charles just before meeting Harry at the altar. Doria rode with Meghan in the car to the chapel.
She then sat inside the church, opposite the Queen for the ceremony, where she was seen looking emotional throughout. At the end of the ceremony, she exited the chapel, arm in arm with Prince Charles. Doria was the only immediate member of Meghan’s family to attend the wedding. She wore a custom-made dress by the creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia, and Laura Kim, and a hat designed by British milliner Stephen Jones.