Historian Dishes On Meghan Markle’s Maternal Family Tree

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Since becoming engaged to Prince Harry last year, Meghan Markle has been plagued by public family drama.

All of that drama, though, has come from her father Thomas Markle’s side of the clan. What about her mother, Doria Ragland?

Doria’s side of the family agreed to share their family history with Inside Edition. Their family’s story is profound, and it’s a uniquely African American tale.

Meghan’s relatives are known as the Raglands of Georgia. They can trace their ancestry back to Meghan’s fourth great-grandfather, Stephen Ragland. He was born into slavery in 1848.

He couldn’t possibly have imagined that his fourth great-granddaughter would become British royalty.

“I look at her as a fairy-tale princess,” Meghan’s cousin, Bill Evans, said. “My wife, during the wedding, she just kept saying, ‘I just want to go give [Meghan’s mother Doria] a hug. She was all by herself, so reserved, and so proud.”

Stephen’s daughter, Texas Ann Ragland, was the first to migrate from Georgia to Los Angeles, where Meghan was born and raised a century later. Meanwhile, many of the Raglands still remain in Georgia.

However, Meghan’s relatives in Georgia only discovered their connection to Meghan before her wedding in May. Unlike the Markles, the Raglands are content to remain out of the spotlight — but they’re quietly rooting for Meghan.

The Raglands of Georgia passed a message along to the Duchess of Sussex.

“We would love to have you at our family reunion. And Harry. And the Queen,” they said.

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