The truth about Meghan Markle's relationship with her mom

If you tuned in to watch the royal wedding on Saturday, May 19, 2018, you saw the blushing — and stunning — bride, Meghan Markle, arrive at Windsor Castle. Sitting beside Markle during the arguably most important car ride of her adult life was none other than her mother, Doria Ragland. While you've likely heard bits and pieces about Ragland over the course of Markle's engagement to Prince Harry, you might not know much, as she's been known to keep a relatively low profile. 

Although she didn't end up walking her daughter down the aisle of St. George's Chapel, as some had expected, Ragland was most certainly a pillar of support for her daughter during — and likely ahead of — her big day. During the ceremony, Ragland was even pictured fighting back tears as her only daughter wed Harry, thus becoming the Duchess of Sussex. But how close are Markle and her mama bear? Here's the truth.

Doria Ragland has a cutesy pet name for her daughter

Whether you're for or against pet naming when it comes to significant others, it's almost always adorable when parents give their children endearing monikers. "Baby talk is used really extensively, including cross-culturally, by mothers around the world," Florida State University neuroanthropologist Professor Dean Falk told Broadly. This "baby talk" often includes simple words like baby, sweetie, or buttercup, as these terms include letter sounds that are easiest for little mouths to pronounce. 

Ragland's pet name for her daughter was likely a bit harder for a tot to say, but, nevertheless, it stuck. In an archived post from Markle's since-deleted blog, The Tig, the duchess explained that her mother calls her "Flower." Markle didn't elaborate on the plant-based nickname's meaning, or even its origin. Even so, just knowing that Markle's mama has an endearing title for her baby girl is bordering on cuteness overload… and we just might steal that precious nickname.

An incredible role model

Markle didn't simply stop at sharing nicknames on The Tig — far from it. As it turns out, she shared quite a bit about her relationship with her mom, including what she learned from her.

In one of her posts (via People), Markle explained that both her mother and father came from poor backgrounds. This may have been what inspired them to make the conscious decision to give back to the community, whether that meant supplying homeless shelters with holiday turkeys or sparing change for the needy. Sometimes, Markle's parents gave intangible gifts, like pats on the backs, hugs, and smiles. Really, they did anything they could to help others.

"This is what I grew up seeing," Markle wrote, "so that is what I grew up being: a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could." It's clear that Ragland's good deeds had a powerful influence over her daughter and shaped Markle into the duchess we see before us today. 

Markle finds 'solace' in her mother's support

It's no surprise that Markle dubbed her mother one of "the 10 women who changed her life" when she penned an article for Glamour. Although Markle's mom can obviously be credited with giving her daughter life, that's not what makes her so life-changing and downright amazing.

"My mom's a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community," Markle explained. At the same time, Markle said her mom also spends her life as a "free spirit." She runs marathons on the reg, sports a nose ring — the royal wedding was no exception, mind you— and rocks gorgeous dreadlocks. Yes, Doria Ragland is essentially the definition of mom goals.

Markle added that, although she and her mother have lots of fun spending time together, she still finds "so much solace in her support." She compared their relationship to that of best friends, so, it's obvious these two amazing women have a pretty unbreakable bond.

The mother-daughter duo share a love of yoga

Meghan Markle is one of the 20.4 million people in the world who practice yoga. This ancient Hindu form of body-and-mind exercise may be a trend, but that's probably not why Markle loves it. In an interview with Women's Health UK, Markle explained that her mom was a yoga teacher. "That practice is in my blood," she elaborated. 

Although Ragland ultimately pursued a career in social work, as Markle highlighted in her article for Glamour, her love of yoga never seemed to falter. In fact, the mother-and-daughter pair were photographed with their yoga mats in tow back when Markle was still dating Prince Harry.

Ahead of the royal wedding, E! News confirmed that Ragland left her job at a mental health facility in Los Angeles, Calif. With Ragland's newly cleared schedule and with Markle no longer working as an actress, mom and daughter may just have to plan a yoga retreat soon.

It hasn't always been a fairy tale for these two

Ragland and Markle may both love a good vinyasa class, but that's not the only thing they have in common. In an article she wrote for Elle, Markle opened up about her struggles growing up with a white father and an African American mother in a neighborhood of Los Angeles that was not exactly known for its diversity.

Markle wrote of how once an angry driver called her mom "the 'N' word." Markle wrote, "My skin rushed with heat as I looked to my mom. Her eyes welling with hateful tears, I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so hushed they were barely audible: 'It's OK, Mommy.'" Markle wrote that this was her attempt to bring calm back to the situation. "I shared my mom's heartache, but I wanted us to be safe," she explained. Clearly, these encounters left an impression. Nevertheless, Markle has "healed" and feels pride "in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman." No doubt her mother is proud of who she has become.

The pictures tell the full story

Before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship was made public, Markle shared aspects of her life with friends and fans on Instagram. Although she has since deleted her account, many of the pictures remain. The internet is forever, after all.

While many people would certainly dread having their old photos circulate all over the web, Markle's social media posts are far from embarrassing. In actuality, they only continue to prove the fabulousness of the newest duchess and member of the royal family.

In some of the photos from Markle's now-extinct Instagram account published on Express, you can even tell just how close Markle is with her mom. From a kissy-faced selfie to a beyond sweet picture of Markle posing beside her mom at her graduation from the University of Southern California in 2016 — complete with cap and gown, it's obvious Markle and her mom have a super close and comfortable relationship. 

Always in her daughter's corner

The week of her wedding to Prince Harry, the then-bride-to-be released a statement saying her father, Thomas Markle, would not be attending her wedding. Although he and Markle's mother are divorced, and have been since Meghan was young, it was an amicable split. Markle once told Vanity Fair, "I never saw them fight. We would still take vacations together." She added, "We were still so close-knit."

This obviously meant Markle was without someone to walk her down the aisle. Without much delay, Markle asked her groom's father, Prince Charles, to do the honors. Markle's father's absence at the royal wedding also meant there was only one person from Meghan's side of the family by her side: Doria Ragland. She sat alone, holding back tears, in a pew at St. George's Chapel as she watched her daughter marry her very own Prince Charming. With a mom like Ragland, you likely don't need many others in your corner.

A source of joy

While Meghan Markle and her mom have seemingly always shared a remarkably deep bond, one that was sometimes full of heartache, they've also experienced a lot of joy together — and that joy may just radiate from her mother.

In a post from 2014 entitled "Love Letter" on The Tig (via E! News), Markle described her fun-loving mom as a "lover of potato chips and lemon tarts." She went on to explain that her mom will break into the "sweetest little dance you've ever seen" if you play "Call Me" by Al Green. 

"And you will smile," Markle wrote. "You won't be able to help it. You will look at her and you will feel joy." Yes, it seems like Ragland definitely has an infectious personality. And with the way the world has responded to her after the royal wedding, it seems we've all caught the Ragland bug. No cure necessary.

Meghan's mom will likely be an "amazing" mother-in-law

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for an exclusive interview with BBC after announcing their engagement, they both got the chance to dish about each other's parents. Naturally, the couple had only great things to say. 

While discussing the meeting one another's parents, Markle told the interviewer that she and her then-fiancé were able to "spend a lot of time" with Ragland, especially when the two were dating on the down-low. Markle also mentioned how her mom is "so much fun." Harry agreed, smiling and piping in enthusiastically, saying, "Her mum's amazing!" Amazing, indeed.

Since Harry has already spent a decent amount of time with Markle's mom, it's pretty likely that she'll continue to be a spectacular parent to Markle, and, of course, to Harry now too. Of course, there's no replacing Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, but having a mother-in-law as cool as Doria Ragland is probably all kinds of awesome in its own right.