Meghan Markle: Expert discusses decision to not come to the UK
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, has often discussed how close she is to her mother and how much she admires her. She described Doria, who worked as a yoga instructor and social worker, as a “free spirit” with dreadlocks and a nose ring. Meghan explained that they continue to have “so much fun together” and she finds “so much solace in her support”.
Meghan felt that this “duality” of nurturer and close confidant “coexisted” in the same way that it would for “a best friend”.
In her former lifestyle blog The Tig, she wrote a touching tribute to her mother and her love for dancing to “Al Green’s soul classic Call Me”.
The royal wrote: “And you will smile. You won’t be able to help it. You will look at her and you will feel joy.”
Doria and Thomas split up when Meghan was six years old and later divorced after eight years of marriage.
In the Channel 5 documentary Thomas Markle: My Story, The Duchess Of Sussex’s Father, he admitted that he felt unhappy at home, which led to their breakup.
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Last year, Thomas said: “It went well for a while but I wasn’t home enough. Doria had other interests as well.
“What was going on in that household, at that time, wasn’t making me happy.”
He explained that Doria wanted to move back to the city and soon after they divorced.
Thomas said: “The whole family split up at that time.
“Doria moved with Meghan to a nice little house and I would see her on weekends and whenever I could.”
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Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland, in a mint green suit, en route to the royal wedding in 2018
Despite this, Meghan felt her parents encouraged her and were extremely supportive when she faced racial abuse.
In a 2016 column for Elle magazine, the former actress explained that it was difficult growing up as a “biracial” woman – Doria is black and Thomas is white.
She recalled longing for a doll family that reflected her own and one day Thomas made that dream come true.
Meghan wrote: “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 colour – my dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family.”
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But in the outside world, things were less easy.
At school, Meghan recalled being made the subject of a cruel joke from a teacher.
Her father was furious when she told him what happened and noted the “blotchiness of his skin crawling from pink to red”.
Meghan continued: “He said the words that have always stayed with me, ‘If that happens again, you draw your own box.’”
At university, she experienced further racist remarks, including when someone asked if her parents were still together.
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They asked Meghan: “You said your mom is black and your dad is white, right?”
Meghan said that she “smiled meekly” and thought: “What could possibly come out of her pursed lips?”
The woman said: “And they’re divorced?… Oh, well that makes sense.”
Meghan noted that she still didn’t “fully understand what she meant by that” but she “understood the implication”.
She continued: “I drew back, I was scared to open this Pandora’s box of discrimination, so I sat stifled, swallowing my voice.”
Meghan also recalled her mother abused while they tried to pull out of a parking space.
Meghan Markle starred in Suits from 2011 until months before the royal wedding to Prince Harry
She recalled: “My skin rushed with heat as I looked to my mum – her eyes welling with hateful tears.
“I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so hushed they were barely audible – ‘It’s ok, Mummy.’”
Meghan hoped to “temper the rage” her mother felt and while she “shared her heartache” she wanted them “to be safe”.
She continued: “We drove home in deafening silence, her chocolate knuckles pale from gripping the wheel so tightly.”
During her acting years, Meghan explained that she was considered “ethnically ambiguous”, which meant she could apply for a number of roles.
She said: “I could audition for virtually any role – morphing from Latina when I was dressed in red, to African American when in mustard yellow.”
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But Meghan still experienced difficulty as she believed she “wasn’t black enough for the black roles” and “wasn’t white enough for the white ones”.
She continued: “Leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”
Eventually, she found fame through the US legal drama Suits and said their casting description was not looking for anyone of a certain race.
Meghan said: “This is precisely why Suits stole my heart. It’s the Goldilocks of my acting career – where finally I was just right.”
Meghan appeared as Rachel Zane in Suits from 2011 until several months before the royal wedding in 2018.
She left acting and now alongside Prince Harry has bartered deals with Netflix and Spotify in a bid to become financially independent, away from the Royal Family.