Meghan Markle’s Mom Is 1 of the Reasons She and Prince Harry Moved to California, ‘Finding Freedom’ Author Says

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex are adjusting to their new lives in California after officially stepping down as senior royals at the end of March 2020.

According to Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Family, they chose to settle in California in large part because of Meghan’s mom. 

Meghan Markle is close with her mom, Doria Ragland

Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel
Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland at Cliveden House Hotel | Steve Parsons – Pool / Getty Images

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The Duchess of Sussex has always maintained a close relationship with her mother, Doria Ragland. As a kid, Meghan lived with her mom, a former social worker and yoga instructor, after her parents divorced.

Meghan’s tightknit relationship with her mom only continued when she started dating Harry. Ragland once showed up to the Invictus Games with Meghan. And Meghan’s mom was her only family member present at her 2018 royal wedding.

When Meghan joined the British royal family and moved to England, she and her mom remained close. Ragland traveled to England when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex became parents in 2019. She was there for the birth and christening of her grandson, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s California move has a lot to do with Doria Ragland, Omid Scobie says

Quietly, Harry and Meghan purchased a home in June 2020. They’ve reportedly been living in their Santa Barbara mansion since July 2020. But, according to Scobie, they didn’t move to the oceanside town to be closer to Oprah, who owns a sprawling property there. No, they chose to settle there to be near Meghan’s mom

“Doria is a big helpful hand in their lives and one of the reasons that they chose to be in California in the first place,” Scobie told ET.

Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry attend cookbook launch event
Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry attend cookbook launch event | Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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He went on to say the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had to make a choice about where to live; in the U.K. near the rest of the royal family or in the U.S. to be near Meghan’s family. 

“I think for them it was really only over a matter of the U.K. or the U.S. to be near one side of the family or the other,” he said. 

Scobie added that the Duchess of Sussex is familiar with her new home, saying, “ Santa Barbara is a place Meghan has visited many times.”

Doria Ragland will often stay with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at their new home, Omid Scobie says 

Before buying their Santa Barbara home, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed at Tyler Perry’s $18 million-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. Ragland moved in with the couple and her grandson.

And when Meghan and Harry started househunting for a place of their own, reports claimed they wanted to find a property with space for Ragland

Upon purchasing their new digs, Meghan and Harry now have a place for Ragland to stay when she visits. Scobie says she will be there “most of the time.” As for where she’ll be staying? The property’s guesthouse.

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