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Meghan and Doria© Getty

Doria Ragland's birth story with her royal daughter Meghan Markle

Duchess Meghan lives near her mother Doria in California

Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
June 7, 2024
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex live in sunny California with their two children, Prince Archie, age five, and Princess Lilibet, three.

The royal couple are lucky to have one of their children's grandparents living nearby to help them with childcare, Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, with their sprawling Montecito mansion having guest accommodation for her visits.

Doria, 67, lives in the View Park-Windsor Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles, approximately an hour and half away by car.

WATCH: Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland revisit childhood home

Meghan lived in Canada during her time filming the TV show Suits and in London and Windsor following her marriage to Prince Harry. 

It's now rather fitting that the actress and mum-of-two is living back in the very state she was born in, California, with her mum close by.

A young Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland at a dinner© Netflix
A young Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland at a dinner

Doria and Thomas Markle meet

Doria met her former husband and Meghan's father Thomas Markle in California during the seventies.

It was marriage number two for Thomas, who had divorced his first wife Roslyn, with whom he shares his son, Thomas Junior, and his daughter, Samantha.

Author Halima Sadat wrote in Harry & Meghan: A Royal Engagement: "Doria was working as a temp at the television studios where Thomas was the lighting director for a popular soap opera. They fell in love and were married in 1979, with Meghan being born two years later."

A teenage Meghan Markle with dad Thomas Markle© Netflix
A teenage Meghan Markle with dad Thomas Markle

Doria's birth of Meghan

Born Rachel Meghan Markle, Meghan entered the world on 4 August 1981, at West Park Hospital in Canoga Park, located in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.

Doria Ragland holding a baby Meghan Markle© Netflix
Doria Ragland holding a baby Meghan Markle

Interestingly, Meghan's birth came just six days after the royal wedding of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana to the now King Charles. Prince Harry was born three years later, on 15 September 1984.

Doria and Meghan split in 1987 when Meghan was six years old, and they shared joint custody of their daughter.

Meghan Markle as baby being cradled by her maternal grandmother Jeanette©
Meghan Markle as baby being cradled by her maternal grandmother Jeanette

Doria and Meghan's relationship

Duchess Meghan and her mother are known to have a close bond.

Doria famously accompanied her daughter at her wedding to Prince Harry and the doting grandmother was on hand to help Meghan when she became a mum herself, temporarily moving into their Windsor home Frogmore Cottage to help with baby Archie.

Frogmore Cottage© Netflix
Doria with Harry, Meghan and baby Archie

Doria teaches yoga and Meghan is also a fan, joining her mother at classes. We also saw Doria in Harry and Meghan's Netflix docuseries, where she revisited Meghan's childhood home.

Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle arriving for the royal wedding© Samir Hussein
Doria and Meghan have a close bond

Meghan once wrote about her mother on her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig: "Dreadlocks. Nose ring. Yoga instructor. Social worker. Free spirit. Lover of potato chips & lemon tarts. And if the DJ cues Al Green’s soul classic 'Call Me,' just forget it. 

"She will swivel her hips into the sweetest little dance you’ve ever seen, swaying her head and snapping her fingers to the beat like she’s been dancing since the womb. 

"And you will smile. You won’t be able to help it. You will look at her and you will feel joy. I’m talking about my mom."

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