15 Little-Known Facts About Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle's Mom

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15 Little-Known Facts About Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle's Mom

It wasn't all that long ago that Meghan Markle was an American actress largely raised by her single mom. She was an everyday, fairly average person. And then she met, fell in love with and married one of the world's most eligible bachelors, Prince Harry, and became the Duchess of Sussex. Her love story with Prince Henry is a real-life fairy tale that feels like it was scripted by Netflix. Ever since the public found out about her romance with Prince Harry, the world has been scrutinizing every single aspect of Meghan's life. One of those aspects is her family. With her father Thomas Markle and half siblings mouthing off to every tabloid that will give them five minutes of fame, it is Meghan's mother Doria Ragland who stands out. Especially during the last few days leading up to the wedding, her calm demeanor impressed us. In fact, she impressed us so much (and continues to) that we decided to dig a bit into her life. Here are 15 little known facts about Meghan Markle's mom Doria Ragland. 


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1. Her early life

Doria Ragland was born September 22, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a baby. Doria attended Fairfax High School. After high school, Doria worked as a makeup artist.  Over the years she worked as a travel agent and owned a small business. She got her bachelor's degree and then went on to attend the University of Southern California where she earned her Masters in Social Work in 2011. She worked as a social worker for a mental health clinic in Culver City, California for three years. 


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2. Crenshaw district

Doria lives in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles in a modest home with her two dogs. 

3. She met Meghan's dad at work

Doria met Thomas Markle when she was working as a makeup artist after high school. They both worked on the soap opera General Hospital. In 2015 Meghan told Elle, "My dad 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.”

4. Meghan is her only child

Doria's marriage to Thomas Markle, Meghan's father, ended when Meghan was six years old. She never remarried.

5. The divorce was amicable

Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle had an amicable divorce. After the split, Meghan lived with her mom but saw her dad regularly. Doria and Thomas had dinner together with Meghan and would watch their favorite TV shows together. Jeopardy was a Ragland-Markle family favorite.

6. From social worker to yoga instructor

Doria Ragland is a licensed social worker who most recently worked with geriatric patients at a mental health clinic. There have been reports that she may be considering opening her own practice. When she isn't working with patients, she teaches yoga and makes jewelry. 


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7. She has style

One thing is for sure, Meghan's mom has style. Her famous daughter has described her as a "free spirit." Doria's favorite accessories are her dreadlocks and nose ring, both of which she wore to the royal wedding.

8. Prince Harry is a fan

During Prince Harry and Meghan's post engagement interview with the BBC, Harry said, "Her mom's amazing." He spent time with Doria when he was dating Meghan, including inviting her to join them at the Invictus Games in Canada when the couple made their first public appearance. 

9. Her nickname for Meghan

She calls her daughter Flower. Meghan discussed this on her blog when she talked about how her mom influenced her to give back and be a global citizen. "I must have been about 10 years old when we visited the slums of Jamaica. I had never seen poverty at that level and it registered in my glazed brown eyes. 'Don't look scared, Flower, be aware, but don't be afraid.'" 

10. She knows how to keep a secret

While Thomas Markle and other members of the Markle family were selling their stories to the press, Doria kept her daughter's romance a secret. 

11. The wedding

Doria Ragland was Meghan's only family member invited to her wedding to Prince Harry. 

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12. She and Meghan are BFFs

Meghan once wrote on her now defunct lifestyle blog, “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.” The mother-daughter team have attended charitable events together such as the 2015 United Nations Women's Day. They also go yoga classes together.

13. She's met the Queen

The day before her daughter's wedding, Doria had tea with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Camilla. By all reports, the meeting went well and Prince Charles and Doria got along very well. 

14. She inherited her house

Doria Ragland inherited the house she lives in in Los Angeles' Crenshaw District from her father in 2011. 

15. She is friends with Oprah

Did you notice that Oprah Winfrey was a guest at Meghan and Prince Harry's wedding? That's because Doria and Oprah are friends. During an interview on Entertainment Tonight, Oprah said that Doria had come to her house to discuss doing yoga together. Oprah gifted Doria with a basket of kumquats. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.