Everything We Know About Meghan Markle’s Family and Their Relationship With the Royal Family

When Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, all eyes became fixed on her family. How will they get along with the royal family? people wondered. The same thing is happening now for Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018. How does the new royal’s family get along with The Firm? We take a look…

But first, let’s dispel this ‘cousin’ thing

Meghan Markle smiles as she brushes her hair away.

They are not closely related. | Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Business Insider reported recently that a genealogist for the Daily Mail claims Meghan and Harry are actually distant cousins. They are supposedly “related through a 15th Century English ancestor of the Queen Mother, the High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes, whose family seat was Streatlam Castle.” The connection would make them 15th cousins. However, there is no definitive proof that the report is completely accurate. Meghan is still an average gal who married into the royal family.

Next: Likely to be the family member that the royals will get along with the most.

Meghan’s mom: A big fan of Harry

Prince Harry is smiling and in a dark suit.

Who wouldn’t approve of this dreamy prince? | Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Most of Meghan’s family hasn’t met Prince Harry yet. But her mom, Doria Ragland, both met and approved of her daughter’s now-husband. Meghan and Doria are very close, and Meghan credits her mom for getting her into philanthropy. (Meghan was a UN Ambassador and plans to continue her charity work as a royal.)

Next: Did her mom attend the wedding?

Meghan’s mom at the wedding

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Doria Ragland, mother of the bride, depar after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

Ragland was seen chatting with her daughter’s father-in-law on the big day. | WPA Pool/Pool

Since Harry flew Doria to Toronto for the last Invictus Games, there was no doubt that she would be in attendance at her daughter’s wedding. Since Queen Elizabeth extends invitations to private gatherings to Kate Middleton’s family — more on the Middletons a little later! — there is a good chance she will do the same for Meghan’s mom as well.

Ragland was actually the only member of Meghan’s family to attend the ceremony, as seen here with Prince Charles on the big day.

Next: Where Meghan gets her Hollywood chops from.

Thomas Markle

Thomas Markle laying down with a baby Meghan Markle on his chest.

Meghan, as an infant, with her father. | MeghanMarkle_hd via Instagram

Meghan isn’t the only one in her family bit by the Hollywood bug. Her father, Tom Markle, is a cinematographer, and worked the cameras on Married With Children. He even won a Daytime Emmy for Lighting Direction on well-known soap General Hospital. Looks like both Meghan and Harry followed in their fathers’ career footsteps.

Next: But will he make the guest list?

Will Meghan’s dad be at the wedding?

Thomas Markle

He was not present. | Inside Edition via YouTube

Despite her parents getting divorced when she was six, Meghan reportedly still keeps in close contact with her dad. Prior to the wedding, he had reportedly expressed that he wants to walk his daughter down the aisle when she married Prince Harry, and all of this seemed to be in order.

However, due to health issues as well as a scandal surrounding staged photos, the senior Markle did not attend the wedding.

Next: Here’s a family member the royals are less likely to get along with.

The infamous half-sister

Samantha Grant sitting on a sofa.

She said some awful things about her famous sister.| Good Morning Britain via YouTube

The royal family has its fair share of squabbling relatives — something that Meghan knows plenty about because of her own family. Meghan has two half-siblings, from Tom Markle’s marriage before Doria Ragland. Her older step-sister, Samantha Grant, has emerged into the spotlight for badmouthing Meghan, saying that Hollywood changed her into a spotlight-seeker, and that: “I think her ambition is to become a princess.”

Next: It doesn’t stop at the mean words, either…

Sister’s tell-all

Samantha Grant sitting during a news interview.

She’s said a few strange things on more than one occasion. | Good Morning Britain via YouTube

Meghan’s relationship with her stepsister has deteriorated so much that Samantha is planning on writing her memoirs down in a tell-all book that will paint Meghan in a negative light. (This is certainly something the royal family is familiar with, after Princess Diana divulged scathing details about her husband and in-laws in a BBC interview back in 1995.)

Next: Did this affect the big event?

Did her sister attend?

Samantha Grant Markle

Grant did not show up at the ceremony. | Inside Edition via YouTube

Yes, Grant is reportedly in the process of writing a book called The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. And yes, she has made it well know that she and Meghan rarely speak. All that being said, The Sun reported that Samantha is just one family member that says they will be at Meghan’s wedding — even if though she wasn’t invited.

Next: Samantha isn’t the only sibling Meghan and the royals have to worry about.

What about her brother?

Thomas Markle Jr standing with his girlfriend.

He’s got a dark past. | Celebrity New via YouTube

Very little is known about Meghan’s other half-sibling — brother Tom Markle, Jr. Although, according to The Sun, he was arrested for allegedly holding a gun to his girlfriend’s head. There isn’t much insight as to how close he was to Meghan before her relationship with Prince Harry became public. But Tom Jr. reportedly begged for an invite to the wedding.

Next: How Meghan can survive her U.S. family meeting her in-laws.

What she can learn from Kate

Kate Middleton smiles as her hair blows in the wind.

Kate Middleton will take her under her wing. | Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Bringing an everyday family into the fold with the royals is no doubt a stressful situation. (Especially since Meghan doesn’t appear to be on the best terms with all of her kin.) Luckily, she has a confidante and sister in Kate Middleton. Since the Duchess of Cambridge integrated her family into the royal family, she is the perfect mentor for Meghan at this time.

Next: She already has approval from the most important part of the royal family.

How the queen’s approval factors in

Queen Elizabeth signing a letter.

We’re so glad she approved of Meghan. | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth has been more lenient over the last few years when it comes to following royal protocol. At least, she has been when it comes to her grandsons, Princes William and Harry. Since she was so willing to dismiss royal standards for Harry to propose to Meghan, the queen is more likely to be welcoming to her family.

Next: One of the many signs the queen will get along with Meghan’s family.

The divorcee thing

Meghan Markle smiling while standing in front of Prince Harry.

Divorce is becoming much less taboo. | Adrian Dennis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The monarchy has loosened up its view of divorce in past years. (It used to be that the crowned rejected the idea of divorcees marrying into the royal family.) But Meghan having been married before didn’t sway the queen from granting Harry permission to marry her. And she likely doesn’t care that Meghan is a child of divorce either, given that her own children have been through their share of splits as well.

Next: A four-legged family member that both parties can agree on.

And how the family dogs play a part

Queen Elizabeth smiling as she walks in front of a corgi.

The Queen just loves her Corgis. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Anyone who follows the royal family knows that they have long been dog owners. And supposedly, Meghan comes from a line of canine fans herself. (Queen Elizabeth’s corgis liked Meghan right off the bat!) Meghan reportedly left one of her dogs in Canada with friends, while the other came along to live the royal life with her and Harry.

Next: Speaking of other family members…

Does Meghan have to worry about the other royals?

Meghan Markle posing in a black dress.

She will be under scrutiny from the royal family. | Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Here is another area where Meghan can learn a thing or two from Duchess Catherine. Even though the queen is welcoming to the Middletons, other members of the royal family turn their noses up because Kate’s kin are not born royal. This is something that, obviously, Kate doesn’t dwell on. And Meghan shouldn’t worry about what the extended — and gossipy! — royal family thinks of her immediate family either.

Next: So there’s really one question left to ask…

What if Meghan’s and Harry’s families don’t get along?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk closely together as they greet the public.

We’re glad Prince Harry will be there to diffuse any awkward situations that may arise. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Outside of the royals getting along with Meghan’s mom Doria, there is likely not going to be much hoopla if her family doesn’t get along with Harry’s family. As Meghan becomes immersed in the royal family, it’s likely that her duties will help to push animosity between her and her family members — particularly her stepsister — out of the spotlight.

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