Royal wedding countdown: The plan so far for Harry and Meghan

Doria Ragland: Meghan Markle's mother favourite to walk her down the aisle

Markle's mother is now the frontrunner to walk her down the aisle on Saturday

Olivia Petter@oliviapetter1
Thursday 17 May 2018 16:45
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No wedding would be complete without a healthy dose of family dramatics - and the royal wedding is no exception.

The family politics surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials have been nothing if not soap opera-worthy, with speculations rife as to who will walk the bride-to-be down the aisle, after it was revealed that Markle’s father, Thomas, would not be attending due to major heart surgery, TMZ reports.

The most likely candidate to take on the coveted duty is now Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, who was recently spotted leaving her LA home with luggage and a Burberry garment bag, leading fans to believe she is on her way to London to begin preparations for the big day.

The 61-year-old social worker is thought to be the only close relative of Markle to be in attendance at the wedding, which will take place on Saturday May 19 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Ragland will spend the night before the ceremony with her daughter at Cliveden House Hotel, a 376 acre National Trust estate in Berkshire.

The luxury hotel boasts a tennis club, two outdoor hot tubs and a spa and was once the home of the Prince Frederick of Wales.

Doria Ragland and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games closing ceremony 30 Sep 2017

The mother and daughter duo have a close relationship, with Markle likening Ragland to a “best friend” in an interview with Glamour in 2017.

Ragland is originally from Ohio and also works as a yoga instructor in addition to her social work, which is specifically with the geriatric community.

She met Markle’s father, who is now 73, while the two were working on the set for the American TV series General Hospital in the late 1970s.

“My dad was a lighting director for a soap opera and my mom was a temp at the studio," Markle told Elle in 2015.

"I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her afro, plus their shared love of antiques. Whatever it was, they married and had me.”

The couple divorced in 1988 when Markle was just six years old.

Markle has written about her close relationship with her mother in the past, penning a “Love Letter” on her blog The Tig in 2014 describing her as follows:

"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."

Ragland certainly has Prince Harry’s seal of approval too, with the 33-year-old telling the BBC: “Her mum’s amazing!” in the couple’s first sit-down interview following the announcement of their engagement.

Given that Ragland was spotted heading to the airport holding a Burberry garment bag, it’s presumed she will wear the British heritage brand on the day itself.

As for which designer her daughter has chosen… stay tuned.

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