Ragland bestowed the nickname “Flower” upon her daughter as a little girl — and from what we know of Markle, it seems to be quite fitting. Markle is passionate about giving back, she’s a proud feminist and from the sounds of it, she got it all from her mama.
Here are nine things you need to know about Prince Harry’s mother-in-law and Markle’s mom:
1. She Is Her Daughter’s Best Friend
In a 2017 article in Glamour magazine about the women she admires, Markle praised her “free spirit” mom who rocks “dread locks and a nose ring.” She wrote, “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.” Aww!
2. She Is The Descendant Of Slaves
According to the book “American Princess” by Leslie Carroll, Markle will be the first person in the British royal family who is a descendant of slaves.
An ancestor on Ragland’s side of the family was born into slavery in Georgia in 1830, and after emancipation, the Ragland family moved to Tennessee and then California. Doria Ragland was born in 1956 in Los Angeles, where Markle was also born and raised.
3. She Was Involved With The Wedding Planning Process
Despite the fact that this was a royal wedding, Markle wanted her mother to feel involved, as many a bride-to-be might. Royal contributor Omid Scobie told “Good Morning America” that Markle flew to Los Angeles to meet with her mom before the royal wedding. He said Markle was “equipped with sketches from the wedding and of theitself, so she could really give her mom some insight on how the big day will look.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 4, 2018
4. She’s A Social Worker
Ragland is a social worker focusing on mental health and geriatric care. Until recently, Ragland worked at a nonprofit mental health clinic, but she quit her job due to the media interest in her and her daughter. She reportedly plans to open up a private practice.
5. She And Her Husband Put Their Daughter First
Ragland met her daughter’s father, Thomas Markle, while working on the set of “General Hospital” in the late 1970s. She was temping as a makeup artist while he was the lighting director. The couple married and Meghan Markle was born in 1981, but the marriage did not last.
However, Ragland and her ex-husband crucially prioritized their daughter’s well-being after the divorce. According to the book “American Princess”:
“In Doria’s apartment, after Thomas brought Meghan home, the trio would watch ‘Jeopardy!’ together as they ate their dinner off TV trays in front of the set. Never once did little Meghan catch her parents arguing.”
Although divorce is never easy on a child, this loving mama really prioritized her daughter’s well-being to keep their family close.
6. She Teaches Yoga
Not only does Ragland promote the wellness of others through her social work, but she also puts an emphasis on self-care and helps others do the same through her yoga instruction. “She seems very serious about her yoga practice,” an employee at a yoga studio that Ragland attends told People.com.
7. She Taught Her Daughter The Importance Of Giving Back
Markle credits her parents for helping her develop an awareness of the world and the impact she could have, both large and small. As Markle once wrote on her now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig:
“I’m consistently asked how I keep a foot in two contrasting worlds — one in the entertainment industry, predicated on wealth and indulgence, and the other in humanitarian work. To me, it’s less of a question of how can you do this, and more a question of how can you not?”
“Buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, delivering meals to patients in hospice care, donating any spare change in their pocket to those asking for it, and performing quiet acts of grace — be it a hug, a smile, or a pat on the back to show ones in need that they would be alright … This is what I grew up seeing, so that is what I grew up being, a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could, and to, at the very least, speak up when I knew something was wrong.”
It looks like Ragland did an excellent job!
8. She Attended Graduate School With Her Daughter’s Help
Ragland earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California in 2015. According to US Weekly, Markle paid for her mom to go back to school and therefore enabled her to realize her “lifelong dream” of becoming a social worker.
9. She And Prince Harry Get Along
Of course, it’s important for Ragland to get along with her son-in-law, and they seem to have a great relationship. Prince Harry called Ragland “amazing” during their post-engagement interview with BBC. Markle also shared that Prince Harry had been able to “spend a lot of time” with her mom, including at the Invictus Games in Toronto, and “have so much fun” in the process. Ragland seems to get along with the rest of the British royal family, too, for that matter!
With such a solid upbringing and with a mom like this by her side, we have a feeling the Duchess of Sussex is going to be just fine adjusting to royal life!