There is a good reason why Meghan Markle has become the most Googled name in the world — she’s the Californian beauty who is engaged to everyone’s favorite British royal, Prince Harry! From her incredible work as a humanitarian to her remarkable work as an actress, Meghan is one talented future princess. But before she creates a new life with Harry, we’re taking a closer look at the foundations that made her — including Meghan Markle’s mom, dad, and the rest of the family!
Doria Ragland (Meghan’s mom)
“My mom’s a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community,” Meghan has explained of her mom. Race was a huge part of Meghan’s childhood. Her mother is African-American, and the actress has spoken about the many hurdles she’s faced being biracial. In an open essay for Elle Magazine, she once mused, “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.”
“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.” On her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig, Meghan recalled her mom taking her to remote and often impoverished places when she was younger. The starlet has described Doria as a “free-spirited clinical therapist.”
“She’s got dreadlocks and a nose ring. She just ran the LA Marathon. We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend,” she said of her mom. Last year, Meghan celebrated her mom when she graduated with her masters in social work from the University of Southern California. “Always proud of this beautiful woman,” she penned on Instagram alongside a candid black and white snap of them. “This was when she graduated from USC with a masters in social work. Honoring my mom, Doria, and all the amazing mamas in our lives.”
Thomas Markle (Meghan’s dad)
The showbiz gene runs strong in the family. Meghan’s father, Thomas, now 72, was a lighting director on the ’80s sitcom Married… With Children. Describing him as the “most hardworking father you can imagine,” she has shared, “My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up.” He was also a voice of reason for Meghan. Recounting an identity crisis when she was asked to tick a box marking whether she was black or white, her dad told her, “If that happens again, you draw your own box.” Despite her parents not being a couple, they had an extremely amicable relationship.
“What’s so incredible, you know, is that my parents split up when I was two, [but] I never saw them fight. We would still take vacations together. My dad would come on Sundays to drop me off, and we’d watch Jeopardy! eating dinner on TV trays, the three of us… We were still so close-knit,” Meghan recently told Vanity Fair. Meghan recounted a sweet story of how her dad once customized two Barbie doll sets, so that she could have a mixed race doll-family. Writing for Elle she said, “On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family, a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each color. My dad had taken the sets apart and customized my family.”
Today, Meghan’s father still plays an important role in his daughter’s life. According to his son and Meghan’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., he has already met Harry. “My dad knew about [the relationship] from the start,” he told the Daily Mail. “He first met Prince Harry about six months ago out in Toronto. He goes once every couple of months — [Meghan and Thomas Markle Sr.] are very close and they stay in close contact.” Last year on Father’s Day, the actress penned a poignant note to her dad. “Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world. Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films and club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose.”
Thomas Markle Jr. (Meghan’s half-brother)
Meghan’s half-brother, Thomas Jr., is 15 years older than the star. The 50-year-old, along with Samantha Grant, are the kids from Thomas Sr.’s first marriage to his now-ex-wife Roslyn. Meghan is said to still be relatively close to Thomas despite his run in with the law, and the fact he regularly shares details of his sister’s romance. At the start of the year, Thomas Jr. was arrested in Oregon, after a drunken fight saw him allegedly threaten his girlfriend with a gun. In an emotional and exclusive chat with Woman’s Day just days after he was released on bail, Tom fought back tears as he explained he was desperately sorry for his actions and hoped Harry and Meghan would be able to forgive him.
“Meghan’s relationship with Harry has been going from strength to strength, and this drama is the last thing I wanted to happen,” Tom said at the time. “I want to tell my sister that I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart.” He also revealed, “She’s very much in love and she’s obviously happy because if she wasn’t happy, she wouldn’t be there. I think it is wonderful. As long as he takes care of and loves Meg, he doesn’t have to do anything else… he looks like a genuinely good man — and he was in the services as well. He looks happy, he looks like he’s stress-free and like he could be a good guy for Meg. They get along and that’s what matters… Harry is lucky.”
Samantha Grant (Meghan’s half-sister)
Samantha is a former actress and model. Now a 52-year-old mother-of-three who lives in Florida, Samantha is Thomas Sr.’s eldest child from his first marriage. Samantha — who is now wheelchair-bound after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008 — has publically criticized Meghan, alleging she was always ambitious to become a princess and had a “soft spot for gingers.” Describing her as a “social climber,” she has said, “I didn’t feel a separation from her until I was in the wheelchair.”
“The royal family would be appalled by what she’s done to her own family. The truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry. Her behavior is certainly not fitting of a royal family member,” Samantha has said. In a bizarre plot twist, Sam’s mom Roslyn has gone on the record to say, “Everything she has said about Meghan is a lie.” The former model is releasing an explosive memoir around her little sister, with the working title The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. Sources close to the family believe Samantha is trying to ride her famous sibling’s coattails. “Samantha doesn’t have a relationship with Meghan and she never has,” one source told E! News, adding Samantha was trying to “take advantage,” “As they are 17 years apart, they were never raised in the same house. Meghan was raised an only child by her loving parents. Meghan has never done anything to her and continues to take the high road.”
Guy and Bogart (Meghan’s dogs)
Harry may be her Prince Charming, but Meghan’s two best friends are her very cute pet pooches, Guy and Bogart. “Bogs is about three years old now and I started to see that he loves the company of people, but just like I love the company of dogs, I don’t want to be around solely dogs all day long so I realized he might like to have a companion,” the 36-year-old once told Ellen DeGeneres. “Guy is a Beagle and 17 pounds. He’s probably about four or five-years-old based on his teeth. They are thick as thieves those two.”
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This post was written by Chloe Lal. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.