Doria Ragland

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Doria Ragland
Ragland in May 2018
Doria Loyce Ragland

(1956-09-02) September 2, 1956 (age 67)
EducationUniversity of Southern California (MSW)
  • Social worker
(m. 1979; div. 1987)
ChildrenMeghan, Duchess of Sussex

Doria Loyce Ragland (born September 2, 1956)[1][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.

Early life[edit]

Doria Ragland was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to nurse Jeanette Arnold (1929–2000) and her second husband Alvin Azell Ragland (1929–2011),[3] an antiques dealer who sold items at flea markets.[4] 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.[3][5][6] Her parents moved to Los Angeles when Ragland was a baby[3] and later divorced. In 1983, her father married kindergarten teacher Ava Burrow,[7] who is near to Ragland's age; the two remained close after that marriage also ended in divorce.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

Career and education[edit]

After leaving Fairfax High School,[4] 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.[11] She worked as a travel agent and owned a small business. [12] Ragland completed a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.[4] In 2011, she earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.[13] 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.[14][15][16][17] Ragland has also worked as a yoga instructor.[18] In 2020, it was reported that she would teach a jewelry making course at Santa Monica College.[19] In the same year, Ragland became CEO, CFO and secretary of a care home firm in Beverly Hills, called Loving Kindness Senior Care Management.[20]

Personal life[edit]

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.[21][13] Their daughter, Meghan, was born in 1981. The couple separated when their daughter was two years old.[22] They divorced in 1987.[18][23]

Ragland resides in View Park–Windsor Hills, California,[24][25] in a house inherited from her father in 2011.[4] She has accompanied Meghan to public events and attended her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry in Berkshire.[26][27] Ragland became a grandmother on May 6, 2019. She flew to the United Kingdom to see her grandson, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and his parents.[28] In July, she attended Mountbatten-Windsor's christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle.[28] Her granddaughter, Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, was born on June 4, 2021, in Santa Barbara, California.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A genealogical blog published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society contains an essay by a staff member that says she was born September 15, 1956.[2]


  1. ^ Morton, Andrew (April 17, 2018). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. Grand Central Publishing. p. PT19. ISBN 978-1-5387-4734-6. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Child, Christopher C. (May 18, 2018). "Meghan Markle's maternal family". Vita Brevis. New England Historic Genealogical Society. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Driscoll, Kara. "Meghan Markle has an extraordinary connection to Ohio". Dayton Daily News. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018. ...While Meghan Markle is headed across the pond for the royal wedding, her roots are deeply connected to Ohio.
  4. ^ a b c d Alexander, Harriet; Lockhart, Keely (May 8, 2019). "Meghan Markle's family: from her diplomat uncle to cannabis-growing nephew, who will meet the royal baby boy?". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on December 4, 2022. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
  5. ^ Morton, Andrew (2018). Meghan: Von Hollywood in den Buckingham-Palast. Ein modernes Märchen. Heyne Verlag. ISBN 978-3-641-23580-2. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  6. ^ DeMarco, Lauren (May 8, 2018). "Meghan Markle's surprising Cleveland connection: The Royal Wedding". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Freeman, Kasey (November 27, 2017). "Prince Harry's American fiancee has ties to Chattanooga". WRCB-TV. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Why most of Meghan Markle's family won't make it to the royal wedding -". April 13, 2018. Archived from the original on June 11, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Meghan: From actress to duchess". BBC News. October 15, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  10. ^ Wells, J.B. "The Ragland Family Of Meghan Markle". Readkong. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  11. ^ Ross, Martha (November 1, 2022). "Meghan Markle omits dad from new origin story about mom 'juggling' to raise her". The Mercury News. Retrieved December 13, 2022. 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.
  12. ^ Morton, A. (April 12, 2018). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess (304 pages). Michael O'Mara Books, 2018. p. Chapter 2 – Growing up Markle. ISBN 978-1782439653. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018. She (Doria) also worked as a travel agent....
  13. ^ a b Carroll, Leslie (2010). Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 468. ISBN 978-1-101-15977-4. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  14. ^ Dewan, Angela (May 19, 2018). "Doria Ragland: Meghan Markle's mother by her side on wedding day". CNN. Archived from the original on May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  15. ^ Smithers Peckham, Tina (April 30, 2018). "Doria Ragland: 7 Things to Know About Meghan Markle's Mother". Entertainment Tonight. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018 – via Yahoo News.
  16. ^ Williams, Janice (May 19, 2018). "Who is Doria Ragland?". Newsweek. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  17. ^ "Meghan Markle's mother has reportedly quit her job at a Los Angeles mental health clinic". New York Post. May 15, 2018. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018 – via Fox News.
  18. ^ a b Porter, Lauren (May 19, 2018). "Who Is Meghan Markle's Mom? 7 Things To Know About Doria Ragland". Essence. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Jackson, Dory (August 28, 2020). "Meghan Markle's Mom Doria Ragland Starts New Job Teaching Jewelry Design". Us Weekly. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  20. ^ Blackett, L'Oréal (September 28, 2020). "What We Know About Doria Ragland's New Job". Bustle. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  21. ^ Chhabra, Shivani (May 25, 2018). "Did you know Meghan Markle's parents got married at an Indian temple?". India Today. Archived from the original on May 26, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  22. ^ Tauber, Michelle (February 6, 2019). "The Truth About Meghan Markle's Dad — and the Letter She Wrote Him After the Wedding". People. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  23. ^ Jones, Richard (May 17, 2018). "Thomas Markle Snr: How Meghan Markle's reclusive father helped propel her into the spotlight". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Willgress, Lydia; Boyle, Danny (November 8, 2016). "Who is Meghan Markle? Everything we know about Prince Harry's girlfriend". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  25. ^ Morris, Regan (September 27, 2017). "'Meghan who?' LA shrugs over Harry's hometown girlfriend". BBC News. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017. But Markle's mother lives in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, one of the wealthiest primarily African-American areas in the US.
  26. ^ AOL Staff (May 16, 2018). "Meghan Markle's mom Doria Ragland seen headed to London amid drama around Meghan's father". Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  27. ^ "What You Need to Know About Meghan Markle's Mother Doria Ragland". Town and Country. May 19, 2018. Archived from the original on May 19, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  28. ^ a b 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.
  29. ^ Foster, Max; Said-Moorhouse, Lauren (June 6, 2021). "Meghan and Prince Harry welcome second child". CNN. Retrieved June 6, 2021.

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