All About Meghan Markle's Mother Doria Ragland

Doria Ragland was by her daughter's side for her royal wedding and the birth of Archie — and she's now a hands-on grandmother in California

Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland
Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland. Photo: Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty

Meghan Markle and her mom Doria Ragland have a strong daughter-mother bond.

Ragland has been by her daughter's side through it all, from Meghan's early career as an actress to falling in love with Prince Harry.

When Meghan and Prince Harry were still living in the U.K., Ragland often traveled from her home state of California to visit her daughter and son-in-law during milestone moments like their 2018 royal wedding and the birth of their son Archie in 2019. Now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have moved stateside, Ragland is closer than ever to her daughter and two grandchildren.

"Meghan draws a lot of strength from her mother. Doria is classy, chic and confident, but not unapproachable," Meghan's longtime friend and makeup artist Daniel Martin told PEOPLE in 2018. "I definitely feel Meghan gets a lot of that from her mother."

For more on the Royals, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

Ragland spoke about her daughter's relationship with Harry for the first time in the 2022 Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, admitting "the last five years have been challenging." Still, she couldn't be happier that Meghan found "the one" and seems to be quite the proud grandmother, too.

On May 16, 2023, Doria joined Meghan and Harry in New York City for the Ms. Foundation 2023 Women of Vision Awards: Celebrating Generations of Progress & Power. Meghan was named one of the year's Woman of Vision Award honorees, and posed with her mother and husband on the red carpet.

Following the event, Meghan, Doria and Harry were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi," a spokesperson for the couple confirmed to PEOPLE. The trio were making their way back to a friend's private residence, where they were staying, when half a dozen blacked-out vehicles pursued their car in an attempt to take photos of the couple and Doria.

Here is everything to know about Meghan Markle's mom, Doria Ragland.

She lives in California

Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland attend UN Women's 20th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing at Manhattan Centre at Hammerstein Ballroom on March 10, 2015 in New York City.
Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland. Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Ragland was born in Ohio on Sept. 2, 1956. She eventually moved to California, where she met her ex-husband Thomas Markle in the late '70s, according to a 2015 essay Meghan wrote for Elle. After Ragland and Markle wed, they welcomed Meghan in 1981 and moved to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

Though Ragland and Markle split when Meghan was young, Ragland has remained in California and lives not far from Meghan and Prince Harry's Montecito home.

She is a yoga instructor

It is no secret that Meghan is a fan of yoga — and she seems to have inherited her love for the exercise from her mother. Ragland is a yoga instructor and former social worker and has been seen attending yoga classes both solo and with Meghan.

Ahead of the royal wedding in 2018, Ragland even joined Oprah Winfrey for yoga at the media mogul's home. "She's great at yoga, so I said, 'Bring your yoga mat and your sneaks in case we just want to do yoga on the lawn,' " Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight.

And yoga isn't the only way Ragland stays active — she has also shown an interest in running. She participated in the 21st Annual Alive and Running 5k for Suicide Prevention run in Los Angeles in 2019.

She calls Meghan "Flower"


When Meghan was young, Ragland gave her the nickname "Flower." The Duchess of Sussex revealed the sweet moniker on her now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig, listing her many nicknames as "Meg, MM, M&M, and Flower (which my mom has called me since I was little)."

The name of Meghan and Harry's daughter, Lilibet, also seems to be a nod to Ragland's endearing term for Meghan. While the couple paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth when naming their baby girl in 2021 (the late Queen's family nickname was Lilibet), they call her Lili for short.

She faced challenges during Meghan's early relationship with Prince Harry

Harry & Meghan Netflix Documentary
Doria Ragland. Netflix

In the 2022 Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, Ragland opened up about the early days of her daughter's relationship with the royal. "We were on the phone, and she says, 'Mommy, I'm going out with Prince Harry,' and I start whispering, 'Oh my God,' " she recalled.

"And so it was from the beginning, it was very sort of, 'Oh my God, nobody can know,' " she added.

According to Ragland, Prince Harry was "handsome," "really nice" and had "great manners" when she first met him. "And they looked really happy together," she said of Meghan and Harry. "Once it was announced that they were together, it seemed kind of like a novelty."

After Meghan and Harry's relationship was made public in 2017, Ragland noted that she felt "stalked by the paparazzi." She explained, "I felt unsafe a lot. I can't just go walk my dogs. I can't just go to work. There was always someone there waiting for me."

She escorted Meghan to her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland
Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle. OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

After meeting Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for the first time at Windsor Castle the day before Meghan's royal wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, Ragland spent the evening with her daughter at Cliveden House Hotel.

The following morning, Ragland traveled with Meghan to St. George's Chapel in a red Rolls-Royce. However, despite speculation that Ragland would walk her daughter down the aisle after it was revealed that Meghan's father wouldn't attend the wedding, the bride chose to walk solo before being joined by Prince Charles halfway to the altar.

For her role as mother-of-the-bride, Ragland wore a bespoke pale green dress and day coat designed by the creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim. She accessorized with a custom Stephen Jones hat and Aquazzara heels.

She is a doting grandmother

Ragland became a first-time grandmother in 2019 when Meghan and Prince Harry welcomed their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duchess of Sussex's mother was in London for the baby's birth on May 4, 2019, with a statement from the royal family saying Ragland was "overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild."

She was also present when Meghan and Harry introduced the newborn to the Queen and Prince Philip — a moment that made royal history as it marked the first time a British monarch was pictured next to a royal baby's Black grandmother.

Ragland became a grandmother for a second time with the arrival of Meghan and Harry's daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, in June 2021.

She has joined Meghan and Prince Harry at many events


The proud mom was on hand to support Meghan at her first royal hosting event in September 2018, which celebrated the publication of Together: Our Community Cookbook with a palace luncheon.

In 2022, Ragland also joined Meghan and Prince Harry at the 53rd annual NAACP Image Awards where the Duke and Duchess received the President's Award.

"My mom's here with us tonight, and we all feel very proud," Meghan said at the end of her acceptance speech.

She made a surprise cameo on Meghan's podcast Archetypes

Doria Ragland leaves St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle after the wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England
Brian Lawless - WPA Pool/Getty

Even though Ragland wasn't a guest on Meghan's Archetypes podcast, the yoga instructor did FaceTime her daughter while Meghan was recording an episode.

"Oh sugar, my mom's FaceTiming me," Meghan told her guest before answering the call. "Hey, how's my girl?" asked Ragland over the phone before telling her daughter she had on a "smiley face."

Once the brief call ended, Meghan narrated, "But my mom did this thing … you may have heard this clicking sound that she was doing."

"My mom literally just pulled out a reference of what I came up with as a cool handshake to do with her when I was about 8, which was snap, scissors, cut, chicken wing. I'm 41 years old and she's like, okay — that's great."

She continued, "And it just put me right back into the past. Thinking about my childhood, our little quirks together … and then, with this episode on my brain, it got me thinking about all the ways my mom supported me, how she took care of me and the house and herself … and how she just juggled so much."

Related Articles