Meghan Markle: expert discusses decision not to come to UK
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, has often spoken about how close she is to her mother and how much she admires her. She described Doria, who worked as a yoga teacher and social worker, as a “free spirit” with dreadlocks and a nose ring. Meghan explained that they continued to have ‘so much fun together’ and that she found ‘so much comfort in his support’.
Meghan felt that this “duality” of nurturer and close confidant “coexisted” in the same way she would for “a best friend”.
In her old lifestyle blog The Tig, she wrote a touching tribute to her mother and her love for dance on “Call Me, Al Green’s soul classic”.
The royal wrote: “And you will smile. You will not be able to help yourself. You will look at her and you will feel joy.”
Doria and Thomas separated when Meghan was six and later divorced after eight years of marriage.
In Channel 5 documentary Thomas Markle: My Story, The Duchess Of Sussex’s Father, he admitted he felt unhappy at home, which led to their breakup.
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Last year Thomas said: “It went well for a while but I wasn’t home enough. Doria also had other interests.
“What was going on in that home at the time was not making me happy.”
He explained that Doria wanted to come back to town and soon after, they divorced.
Thomas said: “The whole family broke up at that point.
“Doria moved in with Meghan to a cute little house and I saw her on weekends and whenever I could.”
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Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland, in mint green suits, on their way to the royal wedding in 2018
Despite this, Meghan felt her parents were extremely encouraging and supportive of her when she faced racist abuse.
In an Elle magazine column in 2016, the former actress explained that it was difficult to grow up as a “biracial” woman – Doria is black and Thomas is white.
She remembered her desire to have a doll family that mirrored hers and one day Thomas made that dream come true.
Meghan wrote: ‘On Christmas morning, wrapped in glittery wrapping paper, I found my Heart Family there
“A black mom doll, a white dad doll and a child of each color – my dad took down the sets and personalized my family.”
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But in the outside world, things were less easy.
At school, Meghan recalled being the subject of a cruel joke by a teacher.
Her father was furious when she told him what had happened and noted the “patch on her skin that turned from pink to red”.
Meghan continued: “He said the words that have always stayed with me: ‘If it happens again, you draw your own box. “”
In college, she suffered other racist remarks, including when someone asked her if her parents were still together.
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They asked Meghan: ‘You said your mom was black and your dad was white, didn’t you? “
Meghan said she was’ smiling obediently ‘and thought,’ What could possibly come out of her pursed lips?
The woman said, “And are they divorced? … Oh, that makes sense.”
Meghan noted that she still did not “fully understand what she meant by that” but she “understood the implication”.
She continued, “I withdrew, I was afraid to open this Pandora’s box of discrimination, so I sat up, choked, swallowing my voice.”
Meghan also recalled that her mother was abused as they tried to get out of a parking space.
Meghan Markle starred in Suits from 2011 until months before the royal wedding to Prince Harry
She recalled: “My skin was heated with heat as I looked at my mother – her eyes filling with hateful tears.
“I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so quiet they were barely audible – ‘It’s okay, mom.'”
Meghan hoped to “temper the rage” felt by her mother and while she “shared her grief”, she wanted them “to be safe”.
She continued, “We walked home in deafening silence, her chocolate knuckles pale from squeezing the steering wheel so tight.”
During her years as an actress, Meghan explained that she was considered “ethnically ambiguous” which meant she could apply for a number of roles.
She said, “I could audition for virtually any role – go from Latina when I was dressed in red, to African American when I was in mustard yellow.”
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But Meghan always struggled because she believed she “wasn’t black enough for black roles” and “wasn’t white enough for whites”.
She continued, “leaving me somewhere in the middle as an ethnic chameleon who couldn’t find a job. “
Eventually, she rose to prominence thanks to American legal drama Suits and said their casting description didn’t look for anyone of a certain race.
Meghan said: “This is precisely why Suits stole my heart. It’s the golden loop of my acting career – where I was ultimately just. “
Meghan appeared as Rachel Zane in Suits from 2011 until several months before the royal wedding in 2018.
She left comedy and now, alongside Prince Harry, has negotiated deals with Netflix and Spotify in an effort to become financially independent, away from the royal family.