Who is Meghan Markle’s mother? Everything to know about Doria Ragland
Over the years, Meghan Markle has been very vocal about her close relationship with her mother, Doria Ragland.
On Tuesday, 16 May, the pair were accompanied by Prince Harry as they made their way to Manhattan to attend a charity awards ceremony by the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work. The royal couple have now claimed that when they left the event, they were followed by the paparazzi for more than two hours.
“Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement released on 17 May.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD [New York Police Department] officers.”
The car chase involved six blacked-out vehicles, with unidentified people driving recklessly and endangering the convoy around them. Pictures that have appeared on social media show Harry, Meghan and Ragland sitting in the back of a New York taxi.
Prior to the car chase, Ragland has criticised the paparazzi for how they previously approached her, following her daughter’s marriage. “I felt unsafe a lot,” she explained in the Harry Meghan docuseries.
“I can’t just go walk my dogs, I can’t just go to work. There was always someone there waiting for me, following me to work. I was being stalked by the paparazzi.”
From her career to her relationship with Harry and Meghan, who stepped back from the royal family in 2020, here’s everything to know about Doria Ragland.
Ragland was born in Ohio on 2 September 1956, before she later moved to California. According to an essay published by Meghan in Elle in 2015, Ragland met Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, in California in the seventies. Before the couple got divorce in 1981, they welcomed Meghan and moved to a house in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Currently, Ragland still lives in California, and it appears that she isn’t too far away from Harry and Meghan’s home in Montecito.
Throughout her daughter’s childhood, Ragaland also gave her a special nickname. In an article for Tig that Meghan wrote 2014, she reflected on some of the rules that her mother put in place, as she called her only child a “flower”.
“The curfews that were prefaced with ‘I want you home by that time, Flower, not because I’m worried about what you’ll do, but because I’m worried about what everyone else out there is up to,’” the duchess wrote.
Along with being a parent, Ragland has had a fairly diverse career path. In the Tig article, Meghan referred to her mother as a “yoga instructor and social worker”.
In 2018, Ragland also attended a yoga session with Oprah Winfrey, who praised her for being “great” at yoga. “I said, ‘Bring your yoga mat and your sneaks in case we just want to do yoga on the lawn,’” Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight, at the time.
As the DailyMail also reported in 2020, Ragland was appointed the Chief Executive Officer for Loving Kindness Senior Care Management, based in Beverly Hills. However, it is unclear if she’s still working this job.
Ragland has continued to show her support for her daughter, as she attended Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding in 2018. At the time, she travelled to Windsor Castle for the occasion, during which she had the opportunity to meet the late Queen Elizabeth II and the late Prince Philip.
While she was photographed with Meghan on the big day, she didn’t walk her daughter down the aisle. After it was confirmed that Meghan’s father wouldn’t be attending the ceremony, she walked halfway down the aisle alone, before she was joined by her father-in-law, now King Charles III.
Ragland celebrated a new milestone in 2019: becoming a grandmother. Harry and Meghan welcomed their first child, Archie, on 6 May that year. In a statement shared by the Royal Family at the time, they said that Ragland was “overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild”. In 2021, Meghan and Harry had their second chhild, a dauughter named Lilibet.
In her daughter and son-in-law’s December 2022 Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, Ragland also made an appearance. As she acknowledged how “difficult” the past five years had been, she explained: “I’m ready to have my voice heard, that’s for sure. A little bit of my experience as her mom.”
From there, she opened up about her reaction to Meghan telling her that she was dating Harry. “We were on the phone and she says, ‘Mommy, I’m going out with Prince Harry,’ and I started whispering, ‘Oh my god!’” she explained. “She says, ‘You can’t tell anyone.’ So from the beginning, it was very sort of, ‘Oh my god, nobody can [know].’”
She also pointed out how she was impressed by Harry when she first met him, adding: “He was just really nice and they looked really happy together. Like he was ‘the one’’.”
However, once the relationship went public, Ragland said that she struggled a bit too, as it felt “unsafe” for her to even leave her home because of the paparazzi surrounding her.
“I can’t just go walk my dogs, I can’t just go to work. There was always someone there waiting for me, following me to work. I was being stalked by the paparazzi,” she said. “Once, I pulled over. And so [a photographer] pulled next to me, and he said, ‘You know, I just was trying to get a story. You know you could get a lot of money for this.’ And I just looked at him and said, ‘This is my child. I have nothing to say.’”
Along with attending the Ms. Foundation for Women’s awards ceremony on 16 May, Ragland has accompanied the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to a handful of events. As Meghan and Harry received the President’s Award at the NAACP Image Awards in February 2022, Ragland also went to this ceremony.
At the end of her speech, Meghan gave a shout out to her mother, saying: “My mom’s here with us tonight, and we all feel very proud.”