The pair chose a Self-Realisation Fellowship Temple on Sunset Boulevard east of Hollywood for their ceremony. The Self-Realisation Fellowship is a worldwide spiritual organisation that spreads the word of Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda. According to 2018 book ‘Meghan: A Hollywood Princess’, the couple opted to get married there because Doria followed his teachings.
Royal biographer Andrew Morton said: “The venue was Doria’s choice, the bride adhering to the teachings of Yogananda, a Hindu yoga guru who arrived in Boston in 1920 and preached a philosophy of breathing and meditation as part of the yoga routine to help followers on their path to enlightenment.”
Famous followers of these teachings include Hollywood stars like Mariel Hemingway and Linda Evenas, Apple founder Steve Jobs and former Beatles guitarist George Harrison.
According to Mr Morton, the children of followers of the Self-Realisation Fellowship have a reputation for being open and inquisitive.
Meghan for her part certainly took on her mother’s love of yoga.
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Doria and Thomas got married at an unusual time, too – on December 23.
Just two days before Christmas, this date is not generally very popular for weddings, with spring and summer being the preferred seasons.
Thomas wore a sports coat and buttoned-down shirt and Doria wore a white, flowing dress with Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila) flowers in her hair.
They took their vows in the presence of Brother Bhaktananda who stressed that “the merging of the couple was for the highest common good and to achieve union with God”.
Doria and Thomas faced down many assumptions during their relationship.
For example, Doria has to endure the “petty humiliation” of people in their predominantly white area assuming she was Meghan’s nanny.
According to Mr Morton, people would see her dark skin and Meghan’s relatively light skin and ask her where the baby’s mother lived.
Even at the temple they apparently stood out, Mr Morton writing: “Even in such an enlightened setting, mixed marriage were still uncommon.”
Unfortunately, the marriage did not last – the pair separated when Meghan was very young, but put off actually getting divorced for five years.
The split was due to a variety of factors, including Thomas’ work that kept him on set up to 80-90 hours per week.
Friends told royal biographer Mr Morton that Thomas’ “constant criticism of Doria over matters small and large” also impacted their relationship.
After the break-up, Doria and Thomas shared custody of Meghan.