The Weekly

Carole Middleton and Doria Raglad: Meet the royal mothers-in-law

Meet the women behind two of the world's most famous royals.

By Alex Lilly
Duchess Catherine of Cambridge and Duchess Meghan of Sussex are two of the most watched women in the world right now.
And though both exude confidence, grace all while looking fabulous, both have famously close relationships with their mothers, Carole Middleton and Doria Ragland. But who made two our favourite royals the women they are today? Get to know the modern day royal mothers-in-law and see that they actually have a lot in common.
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Carole and Doria may be from different sides of the world, but they have a few things in common.

From humble beginnings

While the royals were born with silver spoons in their mouths, both Carole and Doria come from working class backgrounds, far away from the world of tiaras and polo matches.
While some of her ancestors were laborers and miners hailing from the north of England, London-born Carole initially lived in a council flat in Southall and attended local state schools during her childhood. And it was when she worked for British Airways as a flight attendant when she met a steward who was later promoted to be a flight dispatcher. That man was Michael Middleton, her future husband. The couple continue to run their business, Party Pieces, a mail order party supplies company which they started in 1987.
Across the pond in the United States, it was Doria's job as a make-up artist that led her to meet her future husband, Thomas Markle on the set of soap opera, General Hospital. After Meghan was born and she and Thomas divorced, Doria went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and in 2015, she became a licensed social worker after receiving a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California. Doria continues to work as a mental health social worker and also teaches yoga.
Doria and an adorable baby Meghan.

Health fanatics

Duchess Catherine and Duchess Meghan may be genetically blessed with good looks, but their passion for health and fitness is also shared by their respective mothers.
"Yoga is my thing. My mom is a yoga instructor, and I started doing mommy-and-me yoga with her when I was seven. I was very resistant as a kid, but she said, 'Flower, you will find your practice – just give it time,'" the Duchess of Sussex told Best Health magazine in 2015.
Meanwhile Carole Middleton's brother, Gary Goldsmith, says that a healthy lifestyle has always been a top priority for Mrs Middleton.
"Carole has always looked after herself and eaten healthily, and she has a stunning figure. That mentality of considering your diet and exercise is evident in the girls also," he revealed on his personal blog.
Before her 2011 wedding to Prince William, Duchess Catherine reportedly followed the high-protein Dukan Diet to maintain her svelte figure of which Carole is also a fan.
The Middleton ladies are also big fans of tennis, whether that's grabbing a racket and playing or dressing up to watch a match at Wimbledon.
Catherine and Carole at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park in 2005.

A special bond

There's no doubt that both Catherine and Meghan are mummies girls at heart and both Carole and Doria are always there for their respective daughters.
Duchess Catherine's cool and calm demeanor if often compared to her mother's and has often relied on Carole as a pillar of support. When Catherine became a mother herself, she frequented her old family home in Bucklebury- in fact, the first official photograph of the Cambridge family when Prince George was born was taken at the Middleton family home.
A royal source told The Sun that after the birth of Prince Louis, Carole was popping in and out of Kensington Palace, helping with George and Charlotte.
"Kate already has nanny Maria, who is fantastic, but Carole's been an amazing second pair of hands."
And while her relationship with her father is fraught, Duchess Meghan and Doria Ragland are two peas in a pod. In an essay for Glamour magazine in 2017, the Duchess of Sussex cited her mother as one of the top 10 women who changed her life.
"My mom's a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community. For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mom has always been a free spirit. 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," she wrote.
In a royal wedding first, Meghan was accompanied by her mother on the way to her wedding.

Stunning style

One thing's for sure, both Mrs Middleton and Ms Ragland have fabulous taste when it comes to their clothing, and they've passed it on to their girls.
Free-spirited Doria and her daughter Meghan share that easygoing and relaxed attitude with their clothes whilst also managing to look perfectly polished.
Back when she was still Meghan Markle, the Duchess told Glamour magazine that she loves that classic but casual style that we've seen with Doria.
"I think as you get older you feel more confident and you don't need to put that much effort in - to be able to throw your hair up in that very French way doing things. If your outfit is on point, one thing has to be off for you to look perfect."
They may be from different generations when it comes to age, but Catherine has inherited her mother's feminine and chic fashion sense. With their love of classic dresses and dress coats, it's easy to tell that these two are related.
Catherine and Carole were perfectly coordinated on the night before the 2011 royal wedding.

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