Doria Ragland: 7 things to know about Meghan Markle’s mother

There’s nothing quite like a mother’s love, and that sentiment rings rather true for Meghan Markle and her mom, Doria Ragland.

As the beautiful bride-to-be prepares to wed Prince Harry on May 19, Doria and her ex-husband Thomas Markle issued a joint statement showcasing their support.

“We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry,” they shared. “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”

Doria, who dubbed Meghan with the precious nickname of “Flower” when she was a little girl, has long been the primary inspiration behind Meghan’s humanitarian and philanthropic work for several reasons.

Here are a few more things you probably didn’t know about the 61-year-old Ohio native.

Meghan Markle and Mom Doria Radlan
Getty Images

1. She’s already met Prince Harry!

During the 2017 Invictus Games closing ceremony in September, Doria and Meghan were all smiles as they stood side by side in the stands and cheered while Harry took the stage to congratulate the athletes on a job well done. The Toronto event also happened to mark Meghan and Harry’s first public appearance together.

2. Meghan is her only child.

Doria met Meghan’s dad Thomas, who is 12 years her senior, while working at a television studio in the late 1970s. “My dad was a lighting director for a soap opera, and my mom was a temp at the studio,” Meghan wrote in an editorial she penned for Elle UK. “I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques.” Doria and Thomas wed in 1979 and divorced in 1988, when Meghan was 6 years old. Following the split, Meghan reportedly lived with her mom but visited her father often. Doria never remarried or had any more children.

3. People would occasionally mistake her for Meghan’s nanny.

When opening up about her biracial parents in Elle UK, Meghan confessed that passersby would confuse her mother with her nanny. “[My parents] moved into a house in the Valley in L.A., to a neighborhood that was leafy and affordable,” the former actress shared. “What it was not, however, was diverse. And there was my mom, caramel in complexion with her light-skinned baby in tow, being asked where my mother was since they assumed she was the nanny.” (Doria is African-American and Meghan’s father is Caucasian.)

4. She’s a “free spirit.”

In an article she wrote for Glamour, Meghan credited her mom as one of the top 10 women who changed her life for the better, and stressed Doria’s admirable aversion to conformity. “My mom has always been a free spirit,” the bride-to-be shared. “She's got dreadlocks and a nose ring.”

5. She has a master’s degree in social work.

Meghan reportedly used a portion of her earnings from acting to send her mother back to school, which led her to receive her social work license in 2015. Doria now works as a clinical therapist specializing in mental health counseling for the elderly. “She works specifically with the geriatric community,” Meghan stated in her Glamour piece, stressing her mom’s “lifelong sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving.”

6. She remains active.

When she’s not working with patients, Doria dedicates her time as a yoga instructor, enjoys traveling and has also run the L.A. Marathon.

7. She and Meghan are incredibly close.

In early April, Meghan reunited with her mom in L.A. to talk wedding planning. A source told ET at the time that the bride-to-be was there to “share wedding plans and show her mom designs of her dress.” The former Suits star has also expressed how well the two get along. “We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support,” she wrote in Glamour. “That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”

RELATED: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Stephen Lawrence memorial

 

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Stephen Lawrence memorial
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Stephen Lawrence memorial
Britain's Prince Harry (R), his US fiancee Meghan Markle, and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attend a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square in London, on April 23, 2018, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. - Prince Harry will attended a memorial on Monday marking the 25th anniversary of the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in a killing that triggered far-reaching changes to British attitudes and policing. The prince and his fiancee Meghan Markle joined Stephen's mother Doreen Lawrence, who campaigned tirelessly for justice after her son was brutally stabbed to death at a bus stop on April 22, 1993. (Photo by David Parker / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DAVID PARKER/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (L) Prime Minister Theresa May (C), Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle (2nd,R) attend a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence on April 23, 2018 in London, England.. The 18-year-old murder victim was fatally stabbed by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993. (Photo by David Parker-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Baroness Lawrence with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk down the isle as they arrive for a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence on April 23, 2018 in London, England.. The 18-year-old murder victim was fatally stabbed by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993. (Photo by Victoria Jones WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prime Minister Theresa May (L), Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle (C) attend a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence on April 23, 2018 in London, England.. The 18-year-old murder victim was fatally stabbed by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993. (Photo by David Parker-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (R) and his US fiancee Meghan Markle leave after attending a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square in London, on April 23, 2018, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. - Prince Harry attended a memorial on Monday marking the 25th anniversary of the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in a killing that triggered far-reaching changes to British attitudes and policing. The prince and his fiancee Meghan Markle joined Stephen's mother Doreen Lawrence, who campaigned tirelessly for justice after her son was brutally stabbed to death at a bus stop on April 22, 1993. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are greeted by Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon as they attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of her son Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave after attending a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence on April 23, 2018 in London, England.. The 18-year-old murder victim was fatally stabbed by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993. (Photo by Victoria Jones WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Meghan Markle departs after attending the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (2R) and his US fiancee Meghan Markle (R) meet Doreen Lawrence (C) and her son Stuart (2L) as they arrive to attend a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square in London, on April 23, 2018, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence - Prince Harry will attended a memorial on Monday marking the 25th anniversary of the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in a killing that triggered far-reaching changes to British attitudes and policing. The prince and his fiancee Meghan Markle joined Stephen's mother Doreen Lawrence, who campaigned tirelessly for justice after her son was brutally stabbed to death at a bus stop on April 22, 1993. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (R) and his US fiancee Meghan Markle arrive to attend a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square in London, on April 23, 2018, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. - Prince Harry will attended a memorial on Monday marking the 25th anniversary of the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in a killing that triggered far-reaching changes to British attitudes and policing. The prince and his fiancee Meghan Markle joined Stephen's mother Doreen Lawrence, who campaigned tirelessly for justice after her son was brutally stabbed to death at a bus stop on April 22, 1993. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet Baroness Lawrence and her son Stuart at a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence on April 23, 2018 in London, England.. The 18-year-old murder victim was fatally stabbed by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993. (Photo by Victoria Jones WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the 25th Anniversary Memorial Service to celebrate the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
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