The Truth About Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Meghan Markle's Mother

It wasn't too long ago that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey revealed just how complicated and strained the couple's relationship with the royal family is. From feeling devastatingly isolated, silenced, and plain unsupported, Markle laid bare her struggles adapting to life in the palace (via ET). 

In spite of this, she's adamant that her relationship with Queen Elizabeth has always been positive. During the infamous tell-all, Meghan Markle opened up about Queen Elizabeth's warm and nurturing nature, in comparison to her experience with the royal institution (via Independent). "The Queen has always been wonderful to me," she said. "I just really loved being in her company ... she's always been warm and inviting and really welcoming."

While the dust is still settling from everything revealed in the interview, followers of the royal family are understandably curious about where the queen's relationship stands with Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, whom the Duchess has described as her closest confidante and a strong support system (via Page Six).

Queen Elizabeth deeply respects Meghan Markle's mom, Doria Ragland

Queen Elizabeth appears to have had a very positive relationship with Doria Ragland. A day before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were wed, the queen invited Ragland to an afternoon of tea with her and her late husband Prince Phillip (via CNN). As far as first meetings ago, drinking tea with the queen is a very intimate and disarming affair, considering Ragland also met other members of the royal family leading up to the wedding. Clearly, the queen had a deep respect for Ragland and was actively welcoming her into the family in a way that would feel less formal and intense.

In 2018, Queen Elizabeth even broke royal protocol and allegedly invited Ragland to celebrate Christmas at her Sandringham estate (via Elle). This invite is a big deal — especially since Kate Middleton's parents apparently have never gotten the same offer and only attend Christmas services with the royals — and is proof of the queen's special bond with Meghan Markle, who was pregnant with baby Archie at the time (via Vanity Fair). 

A royal source revealed that Ragland left a good impression on the queen during their first meeting. "The Queen knows that Meghan's family situation [with her father] is complicated and that the easiest way for Meghan and Harry to be together and with Doria, which is what they want, is for them all to join her at Sandringham where there is plenty of space," the source explained (via Vanity Fair).