Doria Ragland ‘encouraged Meghan Markle to take road less travelled’ before Oprah chat | Royal | News


Meghan Markle’s father discusses his split from Doria Ragland

Meghan and Harry sparked an international frenzy after they were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey this week, expressing intimate details of their struggles inside the Firm, and their new life away from the Royal Family. The Duchess of Sussex has lavished praise on her mother in the past, describing her as her “best friend”, while she was the only member of Meghan’s family to attend her marriage to Harry. Doria was also mentioned during her CBS talk with Oprah, where Meghan lauded her for not speaking out in public, despite the “obsession” surrounding her family.

She recalled “you’ve never heard [Doria] say a word”, adding that her mother “remained in silent dignity for four years” as she watched her daughter struggle with the pressures of royal life.

As a result of the bombshell interview, reports have resurfaced regarding Doria’s comments over Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from the Royal Family last year.

Citing a desire to lead a “financially independent” life, the couple moved away from their senior duties, and have since secured lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix.

During their chat with Oprah, the Sussexes detailed the pressures they felt, particularly with their mental health while members of the world’s most recognisable family.

Doria Ragland 'encouraged Meghan Markle to take road less travelled' before Oprah chat

Doria Ragland ‘encouraged Meghan Markle to take road less travelled’ before Oprah chat (Image: GETTY)

Doria Ragland alongside daughter Meghan Markle

Doria Ragland alongside daughter Meghan Markle (Image: GETTY)

And Doria herself was “really worried” about Meghan, an insider claimed, and was “relieved that her daughter is putting her mental health and well being first”.

The friend told the Daily Mail that Meghan’s “plan all along” was to “eventually leave the UK and build her own empire with Harry”.

They added just after the split last year: “Doria is very much about being true to oneself and so of course she will continue to encourage Meghan to take the road less travelled.”

The friend’s claims appeared to be backed up by royal commentator Omid Scobie, who co-authored last year’s pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom.

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Doria Ragland was the only member of Meghan's family at her wedding

Doria Ragland was the only member of Meghan’s family at her wedding (Image: GETTY)

He noted how Meghan’s “isolated experience” left Doria “worried”, especially as she was shocked to know that when visiting the UK, “neither she nor her daughter was able to go out into Windsor town to pick up coffees”.

Harper’s Bazaar reported that a source claimed Doria had told Meghan “you’re stuck in here”, while referencing her inability to live a somewhat normal life.

The source also revealed that Doria had been “delighted” that the couple had agreed to exit royal life.

Meghan’s struggles within the Royal Family had been made clear on a number of occasions, before her admissions to Oprah.

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Doria Ragland with Prince Charles at the royal wedding

Doria Ragland with Prince Charles at the royal wedding (Image: GETTY)

In 2019, Meghan told ITV’s Tom Bradby that she was “not OK” and said “it’s not enough to just survive something”.

She added while on tour in South Africa: “That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive. You’ve got to feel happy.”

Speaking to Oprah, Meghan also noted how she “couldn’t just go [out of the Palace grounds]”, and even claimed she wasn’t allowed access to her “passport, driver’s licence or keys”.

Doria Ragland is close to Prince Harry

Doria Ragland is close to Prince Harry (Image: GETTY)

Meghan concluded that “as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is… different than I think what people imagine it to be.

“It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and privilege in some ways to be able to say, yes, I mean, I’m ready to talk.”

Harry himself is known to share a close bond with Doria, and reports last year claimed he even called his mother-in-law “mom”.

According to The Sun, another insider described Doria as “an absolute tower of strength” – “not just for Meghan but for Harry too”.

Royal Family tree

Royal Family tree (Image: EXPRESS)

The source continued: “He obviously doesn’t have a mum whom he can turn to for advice but he has always been incredibly close to Doria and never more so than now.

“Harry has a huge amount of respect for her and for her judgement which is why he and Meghan have both spoken to her throughout about what they planned to do.”

They added: “She’s been the epitome of calmness throughout and both Meghan and Harry trust her and her judgement 100 percent.”

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