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Meet the Markles: The other non-royal side of Baby Sussex’s family

We know all about the royals, but what about the other half of Baby Sussex's family?
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle remain notoriously private about all matters involving their children, Archie and Lilibet. On the rare occasion we receive footage of the little royals and stories about how they are growing.

And while we know plenty about the royal family, you may not know quite as much about Baby Sussex’s maternal family.

When Archie arrived in 2019, a statement from Buckingham Palace revealed Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland was “overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild”.

Meanwhile Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle also sent happy wishes from his home in Mexico, despite his strained relationship with his daughter.

“I’m delighted to hear that mother and child are doing well,” Thomas said, according to The Sun.

“I am proud that my new grandson is born into the British royal family and I am sure that he will grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity, and honour.

The pair were impatient to their own family from the moment they became engaged.

(Image: Getty)

This marked a change from 2018 when Doria Ragland and Thomas shared their joy over their daughter’s engagement news in a joint statement.

“We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents,” they said at the time.

“We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”

However, Meghan’s immediate family have found themselves consistently in hot water for their shocking and at times, brutal comments. But time and time again, Prince Harry has shown that no matter what, he supports his wife.

Speaking about the issues, he mused, “I think we’ve got one of the biggest families that I know of and every family is complex as well.”

WATCH: See Harry touch on his partner’s family dramas in the video below!

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Meghan’s father Thomas Markle famously did not attend his daughter’s big day after “staged paparazzi” photos were released online.

Thomas then told TMZ that he wouldn’t be attending the royal wedding, blaming the decision on him suffering a heart attack and that he’d be having serious heart surgery to clear a blockage, repair damage and have a stent put in.

We look back at the people who make up the former Meghan Markle’s foundation.

It’s time to get to know the forces behind Meghan Markle…

(Image: Getty/Instagram)

Meet Meghan Markle’s parents and family

Born on August 4, 1981, Meghan is the daughter of Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle.

Her parents divorced when she six years old but maintained a strong family unit despite their relationship breakdown. Or so we thought. In Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix documentary, Doria claimed Thomas capitalised on their daughter’s marriage.

“I was absolutely stunned that Tom would become part of this circus. I felt sad that the media would run with this. That he would capitalise [on this],” she said. “Certainly as a parent, that’s not what you do. It’s not parenting.”

Doria noted that she was offered money from the paparazzi to profit from her daughter’s into the royal family, but only her husband took the opportunity.

“This. Is. My. Child,” she said of rejecting the offer.

Obsessed with the royals? Like our Facebook page Now To Love Royals for the latest news on your favourite royal family members!

Welcome to the family, Harry! Doria and the prince got on famously at the Invictus Games closing ceremony.

(Image: Getty)

Being a product of a bi-racial relationship Meghan has said, “My dad is Caucasian and my mum is African-American. I have come to embrace [this and] say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident, mixed-race woman.”

Doria and Thomas also instilled strong values in their daughter.

“Both my parents came from little, so they made a choice to give a lot.”

WATCH: Meghan Markle is a fierce feminist. Post continues after video…

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Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mum

Meghan is unbelievably close with her mum but who exactly is Doria Ragland?

“My mum’s a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community,” Meghan has explained of her mum.

Race was a huge part of Meghan’s childhood.

Her mother is African-American, and the actress has spoken about the many hurdles she faced in light of being mixed race. In one interview, Meghan once confessed the moment her mother was mistaken for the nanny.

“I was home in LA on a college break when my mum was called the ‘N’ word. We were leaving a concert and she wasn’t pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver,” the former Suits beauty said.

Meghan describes her mum as one of her “best friends”.

(Image: Getty)

Speaking on her parents’ romance, Megs once remarked, “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.”

In an open essay for Elle Magazine, she mused, “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.”

“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”

WATCH: Doria Ragland: facts to know about Duchess Meghan’s mum. Post continues after video…

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On her now-closed lifestyle blog, Meghan reflected on her mum taking her to remote and often impoverished places when she was younger. The starlet has described Doria as a “free-spirited clinical therapist.”

“For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mum has always been a free spirit,” Meghan told Glamour.

“She’s got dread locks and a nose ring. She just ran the LA Marathon. We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support.”

“That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”

Doria is said to like Harry because he’s so down-to-earth.

(Image: Getty)

The doting daughter also celebrated when her mum graduated with her masters in social work from the University of Southern California.

“Always proud of this beautiful woman,” she penned on Instagram alongside a candid black and white snap of them.

“This was when she graduated from USC with a masters in social work. Honouring my mum, Doria, and all the amazing mamas in our lives.”

Doria is also a regular at Harry, Meghan and Baby Sussex’s new home, Frogmore Cottage and was reportedly by her daughter’s side during the birth after flying in a couple of weeks prior.

Back when the pregnancy was revealed, Kensington Palace said in a statement, “Ms. Ragland is very happy about this lovely news, and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.”

Meghan and Doria are incredibly close.

(Image: Instagram)

Want to know more about Meghan’s mum Doria?

-The fascinating story of Baby Sussex’s doting new Grandma: Doria Ragland

-Doria Ragland is staying with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan after the birth of the royal baby

– Doria Ragland was the ultimate Mother of the Bride for Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding

Thomas Markle, Meghan’s dad

Thomas is pictured with a newborn Meghan.

(Image: Instagram)

The showbiz gene runs strong in the family so could Baby Sussex follow suit?

Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, now 74, was a lighting director on the ’80s sitcom Married With Children.

Describing him as the “most hardworking father you can imagine”, she shared: “My father was the lighting director on two television shows as I was growing up.”

He was also a voice of reason for Meghan.

Recounting an identity crisis when she was asked to tick a box marking whether she was black or white, her dad told her: “If that happens again, you draw your own box.”

Despite her parents not being a couple, they had an extremely amicable relationship.

“What’s so incredible, you know, is that my parents split up when I was two, [but] I never saw them fight. We would still take vacations together. My dad would come on Sundays to drop me off, and we’d watch Jeopardy! eating dinner on TV trays, the three of us.. We were still so close-knit,” Meghan recently told Vanity Fair.

“I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.”

(Image: Instagram)

Meghan recounted a sweet story of how her dad once customised two Barbie doll sets, so that she could have a mixed race doll-family.

Writing for Elle she said, “On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mum doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each colour. My dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family.”

On Father’s Day in 2016, the actress penned a poignant note to her dad.

“Happy Father’s Day, daddy. I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.”

Adding, “Thanks for my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films & club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose.”

Before signing off, “I love you xo –Bean.”

Thomas Markle’s dramas

Meghan had hoped her dad would play an instrumental role during her nuptials.

(Image: Getty)

While Meghan has nothing but love for her dad, Thomas Markle has faced incredible challenges including financial burden, which saw him relocate to Mexico after filing for bankruptcy.

Thomas also decided to not attend his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry after he was spotted browsing pictures of his daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law Prince Harry in an internet cafe, reading up on British landmarks, lifting weights to get in shape for the wedding, and being fitted for a suit for the big day.

But surveillance footage obtained by Britain’s Mail alleges to show the photos were set up and they allegedly netted up to $180,000..

Meghan was reportedly devastated that her dad wasn’t part of her special day.

(Image: Getty)

Thomas later apologised for the photo scandal in a tell-all interview on British national television.

“I thought it would be a nice way of improving my look, but obviously that all went to hell,” he explained to Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.

“I feel bad about it, I apologised for it, it was a mistake. This was a presentation to me to change my image.”

WATCH: Thomas Markle says sorry for staging photos. Post continues…

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Despite being delighted to hear about the pregnancy, Thomas Markle was not mentioned on the official statement and says the reason why is because he has been “ghosted” by Meghan.

“Every day I try to text her. I just haven’t received any comment back. I just keep asking her to respond back to me. I haven’t got any response back. I’ve sent a letter as well,” Thomas told Good Morning Britain in another interview in 2018.

“I’m very disappointed by it. I’m not sure why it’s happening and I’m waiting, I’m reaching out,” the 74-year-old said, before making a personal plea for The Queen to help mend their rift.

“I would appreciate anything she could do. I would think she would want to resolve family problems.”

“All families, royal or otherwise, are the same and they should all be together – certainly around the holidays.”

In the tell-all Netflix documentary, Prince Harry felt that he “shouldered” some of the blame for the breakdown of Meghan’s relationship with her dad as she would still have a close relationship had she not married him.

Thomas Markle and his daughter have had their fair share of drama since Meghan became a royal.

(Image: Getty/Good Morning Britain)

Curious about recluse Thomas Markle? Read these articles…

– Meghan Markle’s father is no longer going to the royal wedding after suffering a heart attack

– Meghan Markle still wants dad Thomas Markle to walk her down the aisle

– “I am entirely the culprit:” Samantha Markle takes responsibility for the Thomas Markle photo scandal

– Who will walk Meghan down the aisle?

Thomas Markle Jr., Meghan’s half-brother

Thomas says he is still close to his little sister… Though his lack of wedding invite says otherwise.

(Image: Supplied)

Meghan’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is 15 years older than the star.

The 52-year-old, along with Samantha Grant, are the kids from Thomas Markle’s first marriage to his now-ex-wife Roslyn.

Thomas has had many the run-ins with the law, and the fact he regularly shares details of his sister’s romance could explain why he isn’t invited to the wedding of the year.

At the start of 2017, Thomas Jr. was arrested in Oregon after a drunken fight saw him allegedly threaten his girlfriend with a gun.

Meghan Markle and Tom Markle

Tom says his arrest at the start of the year was a misunderstanding with his girlfriend.

(Image: Getty/Supplied)

In an emotional and exclusive chat with Woman’s Day just days after he was released on bail, Tom fought back tears as he explained he was desperately sorry for his actions, and hoped Prince Harry and Meghan would be able to forgive him.

[“Meghan’s relationship with Harry] has been going from strength to strength, and this drama is the last thing I wanted to happen,” Tom said at the time.

“I want to tell my sister that I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart.”

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He has since changed his tune and been far from brotherly when talking about Meghan.

In 2018, he told In Touch that he’d recently reached out to his sister for help and mailed her a letter congratulating her on her wedding news, apologising for any embarrassment he may have caused.

Meghan never responded to the letter.

Assuming it must have been case of lost post, Thomas attempted to get in contact with Harry’s future wife by getting his lawyer to call Buckingham Palace.

He was hoping she’d help him deal with all the extra press that now approach him.

“My lawyer had a phone meeting with her lawyer, and he emailed me some of her direct words. She said, ‘That’s distant family and I don’t know those people.'”

“That’s pretty harsh,” he relayed.

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The 52-year-old has since tried to soil her name in many open letters.

Just weeks before his sister’s wedding, Thomas wrote to Prince Harry saying it’s not “too late” to pull the pin on their May 19th nuptials.

“As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history,” Tom cautioned.

“Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you.”

Throughout everything, Meghan has handled herself with absolute grace.

(Image: Alexi Lubomirski)

3 times Thomas Markle Jr. proved to be a very bad big brother

– A new low: Meghan Markle’s half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. pens scathing letter to the Royal bride-to-be

– Oh brother! Meghan Markle just rejected Thomas Markle Jr.

– Meghan Markle’s brother slams the royal-to-be in an explosive interview ahead of the royal wedding

Samantha Grant, Meghan’s half-sister

Where do we begin with Samantha Grant?

(Image: ITV Studios)

Samantha Grant, nee Samantha Markle, is Thomas’ Markle’s eldest child and a former actress and model who lives in Florida.

The mother-of-three regularly hits out at her little sister, claiming she raised her for 12 years. The soon-to-be author is wheel-chair bound after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008.

WATCH: Meghan’s niece Noelle defends the star. Post continues below…

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She has publicly criticised Meghan, alleging she was always ambitious to become a prince and had a “soft spot for gingers.”

Describing her as a “social climber”, she has said, “I didn’t feel a separation from her until I was in the wheelchair.”

“The royal family would be appalled by what she’s done to her own family.”

“The truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry,” adding, “Her behaviour is certainly not fitting of a Royal Family member.”

Meghan Markle and Samantha Grant

Samantha (inset) has been very vocal about her sister, ever since news she was dating Prince Harry broke back in 2016.

(Images: Getty Images/Instagram)

In bizarre plot twist, Sam’s mum Roslyn has gone on the record to say, “Everything she has said about Meghan is a lie.”

The former model has also released explosive memoir around her little sister, entitled A Tale Of Two Sisters but was previously known as The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

Sources close to the family believe Samantha is trying to ride her famous sibling’s coat tails.

“Samantha Grant doesn’t have a relationship with Meghan Markle and she never has,” one source told E! News, adding Samantha was trying to “take advantage”.

“As they were 17 years apart, they were never raised in the same house. Meghan was raised an only child by her loving parents.”

“Meghan has never done anything to her and continues to take the high road.”

Following the explosive Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021, Samantha has filed a defamation lawsuit against her sister.

Harry has indirectly spoken out about the Markle drama, saying, “I think we’ve got one of the biggest families that I know of and every family is complex as well.”

(Image: Getty)

However, The Sun reported back in October that Samantha is hoping the new baby will bring the family back together, as well as repair Meghan’s relationship with her dad.

“It just makes everything that happened over the last year disappear. I want Meghan to be happy and calm and have peace. Everybody needs to be positive.

“I hope my dad is included and at a proper time. If he is excluded, I won’t be happy. It is in the best interests of the baby for my dad to be included.”

3 times Samantha Grant made us shake our heads

– “I am entirely the culprit:” Samantha Markle takes responsibility for the Thomas Markle photo scandal

– Meghan Markle’s half-sister isn’t impressed by Prince Harry’s comments about her family

– Meghan Markle’s half-sister unleashes after failing to receive an invite to the royal wedding

Honourable mentions: Her pets Guy and Bogart

Meghan with Bogart and Guy.

(Image: Instagram)

Meghan’s rescue pup Bogart was too old for the move to London.

(Image: Instagram)

Harry may be her Prince Charming, but Meghan’s two love are her very cute pet pooches Guy and Bogart.

“Bogs is about three years old now and I started to see that he loves the company of people, but just like I love the company of dogs, I don’t want to be around solely dogs all day long so I realised he might like to have a companion,” the 3-year-old told Ellen DeGeneres.

“Guy is a Beagle and 17 pounds. He’s probably about four or five-years-old based on his teeth. They are thick as thieves those two.”

Sadly, Bogart had to remain in the States when Meghan made her move to the UK but Guy made the move to Britain and since their wedding, Harry and Meghan have adopted another dog, but this one is a girl.

Welcome to the family Baby Sussex!

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