Doria Loyce Ragland
September 2, 1956
|Education||University of Southern California (MSW)|
(m. 1979; div. 1987)
|Children||Meghan, Duchess of Sussex|
Doria Loyce Ragland (born September 2, 1956)[a] is the American mother of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and the ex-wife of American retired television lighting director and director of photography Thomas Markle. Ragland holds a degree in social work and is a former makeup artist and yoga instructor.
Doria Ragland was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to nurse Jeanette Arnold (1929–2000) and her second husband Alvin Azell Ragland (1929–2011), an antiques dealer who sold items at flea markets. Ragland's maternal grandparents, James and Nettie Arnold, respectively worked as a bellhop and an elevator operator at the Hotel St. Regis on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. Her parents moved to Los Angeles when Ragland was a baby and later divorced. In 1983, her father married kindergarten teacher Ava Burrow, who is near to Ragland's age; the two remained close after that marriage also ended in divorce. Ragland has two older maternal half-siblings, Joseph (known as "JJ"; 1949–2021) and Saundra Johnson (born 1952), and a younger paternal half-brother, Alvin Joffrey Ragland. According to inferred conclusions and information passed down (much of it verbally) from earlier generations, the Ragland family descend from Richard Ragland, born into slavery c.1792 in Chatham County, North Carolina; his son, Stephen Ragland (1848-1926) of Jonesboro in Georgia, lived long enough to experience the abolition of slavery in 1865. Ragland's surname came from slave-owner William Ragland, a Methodist planter and land speculator who had emigrated during the eighteenth century from Cornwall, England, to North America.
Career and education
After leaving Fairfax High School, Ragland worked as a temp assistant makeup artist and met her future husband, Thomas Markle, while employed on the set of the television show General Hospital. Later on, their daughter Meghan lived full-time with Thomas Markle as Ragland pursued a career. She worked as a travel agent and owned a small business.  Ragland completed a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. In 2011, she earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California. After passing California's licensing exam in 2015, she was a social worker for three years at the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services clinic in Culver City. Ragland has also worked as a yoga instructor. In 2020, it was reported that she would teach a jewelry making course at Santa Monica College. In the same year, Ragland became CEO, CFO and secretary of a care home firm in Beverly Hills, called Loving Kindness Senior Care Management.
Ragland married lighting director Thomas Markle on December 23, 1979, at Hollywood's Paramahansa Yogananda Self-Realization Fellowship Temple in a ceremony performed by Brother Bhaktananda. Their daughter, Meghan, was born in 1981. The couple separated when their daughter was two years old. They divorced in 1987.
Ragland resides in View Park–Windsor Hills, California, in a house inherited from her father in 2011. She has accompanied Meghan to public events and attended her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry in Berkshire. Ragland became a grandmother on May 6, 2019. She flew to the United Kingdom to see her grandson, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and his parents. In July, she attended Mountbatten-Windsor's christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle. Her granddaughter, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on June 4, 2021, in Santa Barbara, California.
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...While Meghan Markle is headed across the pond for the royal wedding, her roots are deeply connected to Ohio.
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From around the age of 9 and until Meghan left for college, the future Duchess of Sussex lived "full-time" with her father, a lighting designer for "General Hospital," "Married With Children" and other shows, according to Vanity Fair and the book, "Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War Between the Windsors" by author Tom Bower.
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She (Doria) also worked as a travel agent....
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But Markle's mother lives in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, one of the wealthiest primarily African-American areas in the US.
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- Furness, Hannah (July 7, 2019). "Modernity meets tradition as Prince Harry and Meghan show first official pictures of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor's christening". The Telegraph. UK. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- Foster, Max; Said-Moorhouse, Lauren (June 6, 2021). "Meghan and Prince Harry welcome second child". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2021.