A Look At Prince Harry's Bond With His Mother-In-Law Doria Ragland

They say that when you marry someone, you marry their entire family. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in 2018, the Duke of Sussex didn't just gain a wife, he welcomed her mother, Doria Ragland, into his extended family. A good thing, too, as a healthy familial connection is something Harry has apparently needed ever since he and Meghan married. Following their decision to step back from senior royal duties in 2020, a move that sparked a media frenzy dubbed "Megxit," the couple sought refuge far from the prying eyes of the British press. They initially relocated to Canada and later settled in Meghan's home state of California, where Ragland still resides.

The duke has publicly addressed his familial conflicts on numerous occasions. Besides the iconic sit-down with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, in which Harry levied accusations of colorism and dismissal of Meghan's mental health against the royals, he has also portrayed a continuously strained relationship with his father, King Charles, and his older brother, Prince William. During a January 2023 interview with Britain's ITV News, Harry further claimed that neither Charles nor William had attempted to reach out and mend fences – even after the deaths of his grandparents, Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth II.

Unlike his tension with his father and brother, Harry's bond with Meghan's mother appears cut from a much different cloth. Here, we delve into the special bond between the British royal and his American mother-in-law.

Doria Ragland is Prince Harry's trusted confidante

From the outset, Prince Harry and mother-in-law Doria Ragland have enjoyed a mutually respectful and supportive relationship. During their much-dissected 2017 engagement interview, Harry and Meghan revealed they had been bonding with Meghan's mom as a couple. "They had never seen me so happy," Meghan gushed. Harry chimed with, "Her mom's amazing." Ragland was equally enamored with her son-in-law. In the couple's 2022 Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Meghan," Ragland shared her first thoughts upon meeting the duke, saying, "He was this 6'1 handsome man with red hair, [he had] great manners. He was just really nice. They look really happy together. He was The One." 

Ragland also reportedly evolved into Harry's source of comfort and advice following the turmoil of Megxit. As a source told the Daily Mail in 2019, Ragland was supposedly crucial in the couple's decision to "Megxit," with her encouraging their choice to prioritize mental health and financial independence. "Meghan has always trusted her completely but she has become a rock to Harry who, of course, lost his own mother so young," the insider said at the time. The source also underscored Ragland's maternal warmth and discretion, which held significant importance for the couple. As another source told The Sun in 2020, the Duke of Sussex has "a huge amount of respect for her and for her judgment," with Ragland being the "epitome of calmness" Harry needed in such crises. 

Doria Ragland is now a dutiful grandmother to Harry and Meghan's kids

Living only two hours from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Montecito, California residence, Doria Ragland has kept herself busy playing grandmom to their two children, Archie and Lillibet Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have even reportedly carved out space for Ragland, affectionately dubbed "granny flat" at their mansion.) A source told Grazia that the couple has avoided hiring help since moving to America. "They don't yet have a nanny or a team of staff," the source explained, adding that Ragland's help had been crucial.

It seems Ragland was just the woman for the job. Owner of a small business providing care for the elderly, Ragland also boasts a master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California. She previously did social work at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Culver City, Calif.) Ragland put her nurturing background to work upon expecting her first grandchild, Archie. Spending nearly $5,500 in grandparenting classes before their arrival, Ragland moved to London in April 2019 for a month, readying herself to help care for grandson Archie's arrival that May. 

Ragland's devotion to her grandchildren is reflected on even the red carpet. Attending the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards in May 2023, Ragland paid glamorous tribute to Archie and Lillibet by donning a dainty gold charm necklace with their names engraved in cursive.