Inside Meghan Markle’s Family Tree
Since she first began dating Prince Harry in 2016 — Duchess Meghan Markle has been the subject of both praise and ridicule. The former actress left behind her life as she knew it — and her hit drama series, Suits to marry into the British Royal Family. It has certainly been a whirlwind.
Though most people view the Duchess of Sussex as a bright and welcoming spot to the traditional (and somewhat stuffy) royal family — some Britons and the British press have not made it easy for Markle to adjust to her new role and level of fame. The duchess’ mix-raced heritage and her advocacy has been a subject of disdain and ridicule
Though Markle has her mother, Doria Ragland, and a close-knit group of friends — that include Serena Williams and Julia Mulroney — her estranged paternal side including her father, Thomas Markle and her half-siblings have been eager to drag the duchess down. Here’s a look at what we know about Markle’s family.
This is how Meghan Markle’s parents met
The Duchess of Sussex is the only child of Doria Ragland, a 63-year-old African-American woman who is a former social worker and yoga instructor and Thomas Markle, a white man who is a former television director of photography and lighting director.
The pair met in the 1980s when they both worked on the set of General Hospital — Ragland was working as a makeup artist. Thomas Markle already had two children from a previous relationship. The pair divorced when the duchess was just six years old.
Meghan Markle’s maternal side
Not much is known about Doria Ragland’s side of the family. Ragland was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Jeanette Arnold and Alvin Azell Ragland. Ragland’s parents divorced when she was young and her father remarried, Ava Burrow, a kindergarten teacher.
Though Burrow’s relationship to Ragland’s father ended in divorce, she remained close to Doria Ragland. Doria’s mother remarried Joseph Johnson and went on to have two children — Joshua Jr and Saundra Johnson. Ragland also has a paternal half-brother, Joffrey Ragland.
Meghan Markle’s paternal side
The duchess’ 75-year-old father, Thomas Markle, was born in Newport, Pennsylvania to Doris May Rita and Gordon Arnold Markle. Prior to marrying Ragland — he wed student and secretary Roslyn Loveless in 1964. The pair had the duchess half-siblings, Samantha and Thomas Markle Jr. before divorcing in 1975.
Markle has never been close to her older siblings and in their frenzy to grab checks by speaking about her in the media — that’s become quite clear. They’ve called the duchess everything from “callous”, a “disgrace” and “shameful.”
Unfortunately, it looks like Markle has had to cut ties with her paternal side forever. Her father published a very person letter that the duchess wrote to him in Daily Mail. It read, “If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop,” she wrote. “Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband. I realize you are so far down this rabbit hole that you feel (or may feel) there’s no way out, but if you take a moment to pause I think you’ll see that being able to live with a clear conscience is more valuable than any payment in the world.”