Who is Doria Ragland? Meghan Markle's mum joins her on red carpet at awards ceremony

The yoga instructor supported her daughter as she accepted the Women of Vision Award in New York City last night.

Doria Ragland accompanied her daughter Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards. (Getty Images)
Doria Ragland accompanied her daughter Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards. (Getty Images)

Since Meghan Markle entered the Royal Family, her mother Doria Ragland has supported her behind the scenes. But on the a few occasions, she's physically accompanied her daughter to landmark occasions and and last night was on such event. Ragland accompanied her daughter - along with Prince Harry - as the Duchess of Sussex accepted a prestigious award in New York.

The event, where Meghan received the Women of Vision Award for her life-long advocacy for women and girls, marked her first public appearance after missing the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Read more: Meghan’s strapless gold dress shows how much her style has changed post-Royal Family

It's one of the first times Ragland has been seen publicly since speaking out in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell Netflix series, Harry & Meghan.

The mother/daughter duo were photographed entering the event together. (Getty Images)
The mother/daughter duo were photographed entering the event together. (Getty Images)

The proud mother was previously on hand to support Meghan in September 2018, which celebrated the publication of Together: Our Community Cookbook with a palace luncheon.

In 2022, Ragland also joined Meghan and Prince Harry at the 53rd annual NAACP Image Awards where the Duke and Duchess received the President's Award.

Read more: 'Meghan was lovely, respectful' and 'kind': Restaurant worker shares Duchess of Sussex experience

Who is Meghan Markle's mum Doria Ragland?

Doria Loyce Ragland, 66, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, before her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a baby.

On leaving high school, Ragland temporarily worked as a make-up artist's assistant on the set of General Hospital, where she met her future husband Thomas Markle. Ragland married the lighting director on 23 December, 1979, and had Meghan two years later on 4 August, 1981.

However, when Meghan was two the couple went their separate ways, ultimately divorcing in 1987 when Meghan was six years old.

Ragland has been a social worker, at a Mental Health Services clinic in Culver City, as well as a yoga instructor and later, CEO, CFO and secretary of a care home firm in Beverly Hills.

She reportedly still lives in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles, a two-hour drive south of where Meghan and Harry have settled state-side in Montecito, Santa Barbara.

Read more: What's next for Harry and Meghan?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry pictured with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland in 2018. (Getty Images)
Mehan Markle's mother Doria Ragland has spoken out for the first time in Harry and Meghan's new Netflix documentary. (Getty Images)

Ragland speaks out

Despite some public appearances alongside her daughter and son-in-law, Ragland has preferred to stay back from the public eye, but that changed with her appearance in the couple's Netflix series.

On finally having her voice heard

"The last five years have been challenging," Ragland, said after introducing herself on camera in the second episode of the six-part series. "I'm ready to have my voice heard, that's for sure. A little bit of my experience as her mom."

On finding out her daughter was dating a royal

When asked if she remembered when her daughter told her that she was dating the royal, Ragland replied: "I do. When she told me, we were on the phone and she says, 'Mommy, I'm going out with Prince Harry,' and I started whispering, 'Oh my god!' She says, 'You can't tell anyone.' So from the beginning, it was very sort of, 'Oh my god, nobody can know.'

Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship timeline, as their Netflix documentary arrives

Prince Harry pictured with Meghan Markle's mother Doria Ragland. (Getty Images)
Doria Ragland has recalled meeting Prince Harry for the first time, describing him as 'handsome' and 'really nice'. (Getty Images)

On meeting Prince Harry

Ragland also recalled the first time she ever met her now son-in-law, describing him as "handsome" and "really nice".

"He was just like, [this] 6ft 1, handsome man with red hair. Really great manners. He was just really nice. And they looked really happy together. Yeah, like he was the one."

Read more: How fans and critics have reacted to Harry attending Charles's coronation without Meghan

On Meghan as a child

Ragland recalled what Meghan was like as a child, describing her as "easy to get along with" and "empathic".

"She was always so easy to get along with," she explained. "Very congenial, making friends. You know, she was a very empathic child. Very mature."

Doria Ragland pictured with her daughter Meghan Markle. (Getty Images)
Doria Ragland has revealed what her relationship was like with daughter Meghan Markle growing up. (Getty Images)

She went on to offer a hint of the relationship the mother/daughter duo had while Meghan was growing up.

"I remember asking Meg did I feel like her mom, and she told me that I felt like her older, controlling sister. I never forgot that," she adds.

On the impact of the attention

Later in the series, Ragland reflected on the impact the interest in her daughter's relationship had on her own life, explaining she felt like she was being "stalked" by paparazzi, which made her feel "unsafe".

"I felt unsafe a lot," she said. "I can't just go walk my dogs, I can't just go to work. There was always someone there waiting for me, following me to work. I was being stalked by the paparazzi."

Read more: Take our Harry and Meghan relationship quiz

Doria Ragland and the Prince of Wales leave St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle following the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. : Saturday May 19, 2018.  Brian Lawless/Pool via REUTERS
Doria Ragland with King Charles after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Reuters)

On Meghan's father

Ragland also shared her thoughts on allegations that Meghan's father Thomas Markle had been involved in the staging of paparazzi shots shortly before the couple got married in 2018, in a ceremony that he did not attend.

"I was absolutely stunned that Tom would become part of this circus," Ragland said. "I felt sad that the media would run with this. That he would capitalise... certainly as a parent, it's not... that's not what you do.

"That's not parenting," she added.