Royal expert: Doria Ragland should walk Meghan down the aisle
Meghan and her husband Prince Harry fled to North America after announcing their decision to step down from the royal frontline a year ago. Although they were expected to settle in Canada, they hightailed it across to Meghan’s home country, the US, just before the pandemic meant international borders shut down. They chose to settle in the Duchess of Sussex’s childhood state of California, where she grew up with her mother Doria Ragland.
The couple are said to be so content in that part of the world they are not intending to pursue the 12-month review of their royal exit, which was originally part of their departure deal with the Royal Family.
Royal correspondent Katie Nicholl said: “My understanding from the Sussex camp is that there has been communication with the Queen, Prince Charles and with Prince William as well.
“The general feeling isn’t to say that people are not watching closely what these deals are, what the couple are doing and what these projects are going to be.
“But there is not this need to have this review one year on.”
Even though the couple had intended to split their time equally between the UK and North America, the finalised version of Megxit — as their royal departure has become known — stated they had to spend the majority of their time across the Atlantic instead.
Ms Ragland, the only member of Meghan’s family who attended the Sussexes’ 2018 wedding, lives in Los Angeles and helped the couple care for their son Archie Harrison during the first few months of their new life.
Doria Ragland and her daughter Meghan Markle
Doria with the Royal Family after Archie’s birth in 2019
She was even said to be considering moving to the UK to be closer to Meghan when she was still a working royal.
Speaking in 2018, a close friend in LA said: “She [Doria] is getting ready to move to London.
“I think she will be going as soon as possible.
“I know that she was eager to live closer to her daughter.
“She hasn’t been staying at her house for a while now.
“She has only visited the house very occasionally and when she is there she has had a security guard with her.
“He has been with her since about November.
“She is fiercely loyal to Meghan and would never betray her like the rest of them. They are so close.”
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Doria is said to be helping to care for her grandson in California
The source was referring to Meghan’s rocky relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, and her half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Markle, who have all spoken publicly about her.
The insider even claimed Ms Ragland “fell in love with England” during her previous visits, and that she “misses her Megs so much she would do anything to be closer to her”.
Another neighbour told Daily Express reporter Mike Parker: “Doria and Meghan have always been inseparable.
“Doria is beside herself with excitement at the thought of moving to London.”
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Doria was the only member of Meghan’s family to attend her wedding
Meghan has previously described her mother as her best friend
Mr Parker also claimed that Ms Ragland had already quit her job as a social worker for the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services clinic in LA.
They added that Meghan is likely to have been just as excited, as her mother is reportedly “a real live-wire, full of enthusiasm”, and exceptionally close to her only child.
Indeed, the Duchess of Sussex previously referred to her mother as her “best friend”.
Yet, Ms Ragland evidently did not need to consider such a move now the Sussexes have relocated closer to her.
They recently bought a sprawling mansion in Montecito, which is approximately an hour and a half away from LA.
Doria took the photograph the Sussexes used for their Christmas card
Meghan has previously said how she is a “California girl”, and has claimed that on any given day, “I was in jeans, cut-offs and flip-flops”, showing her appreciation for the relaxed way of life.
Interviews from her life before royalty show Meghan explaining how she misses the “palm trees, the heat of the sun and the ocean breeze” that come with living on the Western coast — making it seem inevitable in hindsight that the Sussexes would reside in California.
There has been some speculation that Ms Ragland has also moved into the couple’s new mansion.
Ms Ragland took the photograph the two decided to use for their Christmas card this year, an informal shot of the Sussex family in a playhouse.
Some insiders even claimed she had been caring for her grandson since the Sussexes moved over to the US.