Meghan Markle’s mother received the royal treatment today as she flew into Heathrow’s VIP Windsor suite and had a police escort as she made her way to an emotional reunion with the bride-to-be.
Doria Ragland, 61, landed in London on Wednesday afternoon following a nearly 11 hour flight from Los Angeles.
The yoga instructor and social worker was given every perk of being a royal, as she was picked up at the steps of the aircraft by a Jaguar, which is part of the royal fleet, and driven to the private Windsor Suite.
Meghan’s personal assistant Amy Pickerill greeted Doria with an immigration officer, who quickly stamped her passport, as a palace aide was seen collecting Doria’s baggage, including her Burberry wedding outfit.
Doria was quickly whisked away from the airport and taken to see Meghan and Prince Harry before she will meet the Queen and her future royal in-laws, including Prince Charles, William and Kate, for the first time.
Doria’s arrival comes as Meghan’s half-sister Samantha issued a ruthless attack on her, and her father Thomas Markle announced he was having his heart surgery today after he was exposed for staging photos for money.
Samantha astonishingly admitted this week that she was to blame for the paparazzi photos, as she insisted it was all for the benefit of the royal family – not to rake in cash before the wedding.
Thomas, 73, flip-flopped on his decision to pull out of the wedding on Tuesday, saying he didn’t want to miss being a part of history but said it depended on if doctors would clear his release from hospital.
Still, his family members are refusing to rule out that Thomas won’t be able to fly to the UK in time, as royal fans have taken to Twitter to call for Prince Charles to step in and walk Meghan down the aisle on Saturday.
Thomas’ nephew Tyler Dooley, 25, was seen in London today with his mother Tracey, after the two flew into the UK ahead of the wedding, although it isn’t believed they were invited.
Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland received the royal treatment today as she flew into Heathrow’s VIP Windsor suite before an emotional reunion with her daughter. Pictured: Doria leaving her California house for London on Tuesday (left) and a palace aide collected Doria’s Burberry wedding outfit on Wednesday (right)
After Doria got off the plane, she was driven to the VIP Windsor Suite, where Amy Pickerill was waiting with an immigration officer
Meghan’s personal assistant Amy Pickerill, who is believed to be holding Doria’s passport, greeted the future royal’s mother as a palace aide collected her baggage, including her Burberry wedding outfit
The immigration officer reportedly took one look at Meghan’s mother before stamping her passport and letting her go
Meanwhile, the Queen was honouring recipients of the Victoria and George Cross at a reception at Buckingham Palace. The monarch welcomed the servicemen and women and their families to her home for a drinks reception.
Prince Harry and Miss Markle draft in two experienced royal staff to help with the Big Day
To help with the arrival of Meghan Markle’s mother on Wednesday, two of the royals’ very best have been drafted in to assist in the run up to the Big Day.
Amy Pickerill, 32, Meghan’s ‘Girl Friday’ stood outside the Windsor Suite at Heathrow airport today waiting to greet Doria Ragland following her transatlantic journey.
While a Fijian-born corporal who was made William and Kate’s first orderly following their wedding has been working hard in the background fulfilling the flurry of crucial roles including logistics, driving and organisation.
Miss Pickerill, who grew up in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, is said to be ‘supporting Meghan on engagements and with her official work as part of her role’.
While the former Parachute Regiment corporal is constantly on hand to solve any problems that arise during the hectic final few days before Harry and Meghan say ‘I do’.
Her Majesty appeared to be in high spirits today with her smiling not leaving her face once during proceedings, despite claims she was furious with Meghan’s father over the fake photos row.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited Google Arts & Culture projects which are designed to share art, history and heritage across the world.
The pair were also set to meet vloggers, fashion designers and tech-savvy schoolgirls at the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group offices in west London during the whirlwind visit.
Doria is expected to meet the senior royals ahead of her daughter’s big day on Saturday.
She will stay with the bride at Cliveden House the night before the nuptials, and then travelling with her to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on the day.
The five star mansion, near the village of Teplow on the border of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire is roughly 15 minutes away by car to the wedding venue.
It has been chosen for its secluded location and privacy.
After Doria got off the plane, she was driven to the VIP Windsor Suite, where Miss Pickerill was waiting with an immigration officer.
The officer reportedly took one look at Meghan’s mother before stamping her passport and letting her go.
Miss Pickerill was seen getting into the Jaguar and driving away with Doria. Prince Harry and Meghan will see Doria first before she meets the rest of the royal brood.
She is expected to meet Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and his wife Kate before the big day.
Prince Harry’s aides were seen collecting her baggage, including her Burberry wedding outfit after she landed
Doria was picked up by a Jaguar, which is part of the royal fleet, at the steps of the aircraft and taken to the private Windsor Suite
Prince Harry and Meghan will see Doria first before she meets the rest of the royal brood, including Prince William and Kate
Miss Pickerill handled Doria’s arrival seemingly seamlessly. She was ‘hand-picked’ by Prince Harry for the role of Meghan’s Girl Friday.
The 32-year-old is an assistant private secretary, based in Prince Harry’s office, and it’s speculated she will be promoted to be Meghan’s private secretary after the Royal Wedding in May.
Miss Pickerill grew up on Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, with twin brother Ashley and is said to be ‘supporting Meghan on engagements and with her official work as part of her role’.
Also a part of the team handling Doria’s arrival was a Fijian-born corporal from the Parachute Regiment.
In January 2013 it was reported by the Daily Mail that he was the first orderly employed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
His role involves chauffeuring, logistics and even organising Prince William’s wardrobe. The Daily Mail was asked not to name him.
A royal aide at the time said: ‘I have to say he is a lovely guy – like all Army, a superb can-do attitude and great sense of humour.’
Despite the international attention focused on her trip, however, Doria cut a laidback figure as she made her way out of her Los Angeles home, carrying a Burberry garment bag, which likely contained an outfit she will wear during the wedding celebrations this weekend.
And should that indeed end up being her chosen designer for the main event, it will be a fitting option; not only is Burberry a British brand, it is also one that Doria has shown herself to be a fan of in the past.
The mother of the bride opted for a Burberry design when she made her first public outing with Meghan and Prince Harry, at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Canada in September 2017.
Meghan’s mother arrived at LAX’s brand new Private Suite, used by the rich and famous, which provides ultimate privacy and luxury facilities, at a cost of thousands of pounds.
Doria has been keeping a low profile over recent weeks in the run up to Saturday’s nuptials, and has been photographed out and about near her home in Los Angeles.
The yoga instructor and social worker has been described by Meghan as a ‘free spirited clinical therapist’ and she has been seen alongside Meghan at a number of public events.
Prince Harry, who has described her as ‘amazing’ flew Doria out to Toronto to join Meghan and himself at the Invictus Games last year.
Royal experts said at the time that Harry’s decision to invite Meghan’s mum to join them at the closing ceremony of his Invictus Games was ‘hugely significant.’
Doria was already expected to have an ‘important role’ during the ceremony. It is thought she will ride with Meghan in the car to the chapel in Windsor Castle.
On the go: The 61-year-old yoga instructor and social worker got picked up at her California home as she made her way to LAX on Tuesday
The former yoga instructor and social worker is expected to see Meghan and Prince Harry first, before meeting the Queen (pictured today) and other senior royals for the first time
Doria, (left, with her daughter) has been keeping a low profile ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding (the couple, pictured right)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding in numbers
0 – Maids of Honour – all the bridesmaids will be children
1 – Best man – Harry’s brother, the Duke of Cambridge
1 – Hour – the length of the wedding ceremony
2 – Diamonds from Diana, Princess of Wales’s collection used for Meghan’s engagement ring, plus one from Botswana
3 – Diana’s siblings at the service
6 – Harry’s position in line to the throne
6 – Windsor Grey horses taking part in the carriage ride
7 – Charities Harry and Meghan picked to receive public donations instead of wedding gifts
16 – The wedding will be the 16th royal wedding or blessing to take place in St George’s Chapel since 1863
200 – Guests invited to the Frogmore House evening reception
600 – Congregation in St George’s Chapel
2,640 – People specially invited into the grounds of the castle
5,000 – UK and international media accredited in Windsor
100,000 – Estimated number of visitors in Windsor on the day
Thomas Markle, 73, revealed that he is having major heart surgery today, coming just hours after it appeared Meghan had convinced her father to change his mind and attend the nuptials, when he announced he wouldn’t be coming on Monday.
He said he didn’t want to embarrass his daughter any further after the Mail on Sunday revealed he had staged paparazzi shots for money.
Before again changing his mind, Thomas said he believed his ex-wife Doria would be a ‘good choice’ to give their daughter away.
Doria is the clear favorite to walk her down the aisle if Thomas is not cleared by doctors to fly.
Prince Charles is 2/1 with the bookies to step in while Prince William is 5/1 to take Meghan into St George’s before starting his duties as Harry’s best man.
There have also been a flurry of bets on Meghan walking down the aisle alone.
Doria made her way to LAX just one day after it was reported that she quit her job at a mental health clinic.
According to Us Weekly, the 61-year-old social worker she left her role at the Los Angeles clinic she had been working at to pursue her goal of starting her own private practice following her daughter’s nuptials.
‘Doria is no longer working at the mental health clinic in the Los Angeles area. It was Doria’s decision to leave,’ a source told the outlet. ‘She has talked about starting her own private practice, focusing on working with elderly patients.’
The reports about Doria’s decision to quit her job come just one week after it was revealed that she had met with TV legend Oprah Winfrey at her $88 million Los Angeles home in order to discuss ideas for a tell-all interview.
According to the Mirror Online, the duo spent six hours together going over potential topics that could be covered during a sit-down, with a source saying that they focused particularly on race and the role that it has played in Harry and Meghan’s relationship.
‘Oprah and Doria spent a long time chatting and they got on really well,’ the source said.
‘The most important and significant issue they spoke about was race and how badly some people had reacted to Meghan and Harry.
‘What happened to Meghan and Harry was disgusting and they and all of their families were horrified. It’s an issue close to both Doria and Oprah, who have both suffered racism.’
However, the interview reportedly needs to be approved by Meghan, Harry, and Buckingham Palace before it is recorded.
Growing up, Meghan lived with her mother in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles.
The Suits star’s mother, Doria, and her father, Thomas, divorced when she was six years old.
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, has once again pulled out of his daughter’s big day, revealing that he needs to have major heart surgery this morning
Megan Markle’s family members Tracey and Tyler Dooley leave their hotel in Waterloo, Central London, ahead of Megan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry, although they thought to be invited to the big day
Extended family: Meghan’s nephews Tyler and Thomas Dooley and their mother, Tracy Dooley (pictured together right), are in London for the wedding but they aren’t thought to be attending the ceremony
Harry and Meghan’s very modern wedding: Couple break with royal tradition to choose their FRIENDS’ children to be bridesmaids and page boys alongside Prince George and Princess Charlotte
By: Mark Duell for MailOnline
Most of the bridesmaids and page boys at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be their best friends’ children, it was revealed today.
The wedding at Windsor Castle will have an unconventional feel after the couple looked outside of the royal family for the ten boys and girls to take part.
Just two of the youngsters involved in the wedding party are royals – Harry’s niece, Princess Charlotte, three, and his nephew, four-year-old Prince George.
The three children of Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney – twins Brian and John, seven, and daughter Ivy, four – will also walk down the aisle on Saturday. Their father is Ben Mulroney, the son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.
The bridesmaids for the service at St George’s Chapel in the castle grounds include Harry’s goddaughters, Zalie Warren, two, and Florence van Cutsem, three.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured on the way to meet their new baby brother who was named Prince Louis, at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, on April 27
The three children of Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney – twins Brian and John, seven, and daughter Ivy, four – are pictured with their mother arriving at London Heathrow Airport today
Also involved are 36-year-old Meghan’s goddaughters, sisters Remi and Rylan Litt, aged six and seven respectively, and four-year-old Ivy Mulroney.
The other pageboys are 33-year-old Harry’s godson, Jasper Dyer, aged six, and seven-year-old twin brothers Brian and John Mulroney.
Florence’s cousin Grace van Cutsem famously stole the show in 2011 at William and Kate’s wedding when she covered her ears on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Kensington Palace announced this morning that Harry’s niece and nephew would be among Meghan’s young helpers at the nuptials in Windsor this weekend.
Remi, six and Rylan Litt, seven, (left) will be among the six bridesmaids at this Saturday’s wedding. Six-year-old Jasper Dyer, pictured with his father Mark Dyer, (right) will be a page boy at the wedding
Meghan is godmother to her friend Benita Litt’s two daughters Remi, six and Rylan, seven, and she is thought to have spent Christmas with the family in 2016 (pictured)
Charlotte and George are already skilled in the role, having performed the duty for the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Matthews, last year.
Harry has paid tribute to former mentor and close friend Mark Dyer by requesting his son Jasper as a pageboy.
Meanwhile Meghan has publicly recognised one of her best friends, stylist Mrs Mulroney, by choosing her twin sons to take part in the wedding.
Mr Dyer, a redhead like the prince, was a supportive big brother figure for Harry during the 1990s and early 2000s.
It was during that period that the teenager was coming to terms with the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris in 1997.
Mrs Mulroney and her family were seen arriving at London Heathrow Airport today.
Zalie Warren is the daughter of Jake Warren, son of the Queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser John Warren, and his wife Zoe.
‘We’ll have to wait and see’: Meghan Markle’s nephew says family still hope her father can make royal wedding despite him saying he will undergo major heart surgery later today
BySarah Whiteand Mark Duelland Cheyenne Roundtreeand Alex Robertson For Mailonlineand Rebecca English for the Daily Mail
The nephew of Meghan Markle has said his family are still hopeful that her father can make the royal wedding despite him saying he will undergo major heart surgery today.
Tyler Dooley refused to rule out that Thomas Markle would fly to the UK before the big day in Windsor on Saturday.
He told MailOnline: ‘We all hope [that he’ll make it]. But we’ll just have to wait and see.’
When asked if he was excited about the Royal Wedding, he said: ‘I’m excited, yeah.’
Thomas, 73, who lives in Mexico, revealed that doctors will ‘go in and clear blockage, repair damage, and put a stent where it is needed’ during the operation, which will take place at 3.30pm UK time (7.30pm local time).
Tyler Dooley (pictured in London) refused to rule out that Thomas Markle (right, in Mexico) would fly to the UK before the big day in Windsor on Saturday
‘She’s NOT going to tell me I can’t speak about my life’: Meghan’s half-sister faces backlash after launching an astonishing attack on royal bride-to-be
Ed Riley For Mailonline
Royal fans have hit out at Meghan Markle‘s half-sister after she launched a stinging attack on the bride-to-be saying that she has no right to try and censor her.
Samantha Markle has given a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had ‘freedom of speech’ and has every right to speak out.
The mother-of-three, who has given a series of meddling media interviews in recent weeks laid into Meghan amid claims she is upset about her airing her views.
She tore into the future princess just days after wading into the fake paparazzi row when her father staged fake paparazzi shots for money.
Samantha Markle has given a bombshell interview to US media where she insisted she had ‘freedom of speech’
In the explosive rant the 53-year-old said: ‘She’s not going to tell me that I can’t speak about my life’
And she fumed: ‘I’m not going to take it. She’s way out of her league to tell me that I can’t speak.’
After the astonishing clip emerged royal well-wishers blasted the 53-year-old telling her: ‘The world can’t wait for you to go away.’
The verbal attack came as Meghan’s mother Doria touched down in the UK for an emotional reunion with her daughter as she prepares to meet the royal family for the first time, and preparations continued in Windsor for the big day on Saturday.
Meanwhile Meghan’s father Thomas Markle, who appeared to confirm today that he wasn’t coming to the wedding, prepared to have a heart operation at 3.30pm UK time.
Royal fans swerve Windsor tent ban by camping in sleeping bags in the street as wedding fever ramps up with just three days to go until the big day
By Mark Duell for MailOnline
With just three days to go until the wedding of the year, anticipation is mounting around the world.
But it would be tough to find anyone more dedicated than these four royal fans who are already sleeping out overnight in Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage on Saturday.
The fans, who are kitted out in Union Jack flags and clothing bearing the couple’s faces, have set up camp behind the barriers on the route that the royal procession will take through the Berkshire town.
Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the big day for security reasons, forcing people to sleep in the open air or on fold up chairs, with some using sleeping bags on the pavement.
These royal fans are already sleeping overnight in Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on Saturday
The fans have set up camp behind the barriers on the route that the royal procession will take through the Berkshire town
The fans are kitted out in Union Jack flags and clothing bearing the couple’s faces, ahead of the big day on Saturday
Thames Valley Police are enforcing a no tent rule in the run-up to the wedding on Saturday for security reasons
Royalists are now a major fixture at wedding and funerals, with hundreds trying to bag key spots along procession routes days in advance, but some have criticised the ban on camping as ‘really sad’.
Carl Martin, 33, a royal fan from Felixstowe, Suffolk, said he received an email from the council telling him that ‘camping will not be allowed… but folding chairs and some form of cover will be allowed’.
It comes after police were seen clearing away sleeping bags and other possessions belonging to homeless people ahead of the royal wedding.
Windsor Council leader Simon Dudley had called for homeless people to be removed from the streets because they would show the borough in an ‘unfavourable light’.
The bishop uncle, an outspoken half-sister and a cannabis farmer nephew: How Meghan Markle’s estranged family have turned the royal wedding into a VERY colourful affair
By Ed Riley For Mailonline
Meghan Markle’s family have done their best to steal the spotlight off the royal bride-to-be ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry this weekend.
Never far from controversy, the extended Markle clan have hit the headlines over the past few months, using their new found fame to exploit the family name.
The future princess’ family are a mix of colourful characters that include a reformed alcoholic, a bishop, and even a cannabis farmer.
Some have even started arriving in the UK ahead of the nuptials this Saturday, as they prepare to give a round of media interviews about the marriage.
Here we look at some of Prince Harry’s future in laws that will soon be forever linked with the royal family:
Tracey Dooley, 52
The recovering alcoholic, who sells advertising was once married to Meghan’s half brother, Thomas Markle Jr.
She was pictured arriving at Heathrow with her sons Tyler and Thomas, and are in the UK to conduct a round of interviews – even though she hasn’t seen Meghan for around 20 years.
She is documenting her stay in London on a Facebook page ‘Royal Wedding with the Dooley Markles’ where she has uploaded a selection of pictures of famous landmarks.
The recovering alcoholic (left, and right, with her son Tyler) sells advertising and was once married to Meghan’s half brother, Thomas Markle Jr
The Dooleys arriving at London’s Heathrow. From left to right: Tyler, his girlfriend Sandra Bazan, Tracy, and far right Thomas
Tyler Dooley, 25
Tracey’s son Tyler is developing a strain of cannabis called ‘Markle’s Sparkle’ in the US state of Oregon, known for its relaxed drug laws.
He considers himself a ‘pioneer’ in the legal production of the drug in California.
He claims to have last spoken to Meghan three years ago – and remembers her babysitting them when they were younger.
Tracey’s son Tyler is developing a strain of cannabis called ‘Markle’s Sparkle’ in the US state of Oregon, known for its relaxed drug laws
Thomas Markle Jr, 50 (Meghan’s half brother)
Mr Markle Jr – Meghan’s estranged half brother – works as a jobbing glass fitter in Grants Pass, Oregon, and along with his girlfriend Darlene Blount, 37, spent time in prison recently.
She allegedly assaulted her boyfriend on New Year’s Day, and a year earlier he allegedly held a gun to her head. Both charges were dropped.
He wrote a letter to Prince Harry describing Meghan as a ‘jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage.’
Thomas Jnr then grew up in the same household as his father, sister Samantha, step-mother Doria and half sister Meghan.
Thomas Markle Jr (pictured) works as a jobbing glass fitter in Grants Pass, Oregon
Roslyn Markle, 71 (Meghan’s stepmother)
Meghan’s stepmother, was once married to Meghan’s father. She is the mother of Meghan’s two half siblings, Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Grant.
Thomas Markle, 73
Meghan’s father was a workaholic who already had two children from his first marriage to Rosyln Loveless when he met Doria, Meghan’s mother.
He worked in showbusiness, winning awards for lighting direction, and won £560,000 on the lottery which allowed Meghan to be privately educated.
But he split with his wife and left LA for Mexico after declaring himself bankrupt with credit card debts of £24,180.
He now lives as a recluse in Rosarito in Mexico.
Samantha Markle, 53
Meghan’s half sister admits she hasn’t spoken to Meghan in almost a decade, but plans to release a book called The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.
She has launched a number of verbal attacks at Meghan, and hit out when it she wasn’t invited. She hasn’t seen her half sister for ten years.
Samantha, a writer and counsellor who is based in Florida and sometimes uses the surname Grant, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008.
Samantha, a writer and counsellor who is based in Florida, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008
Meghan’s teenage niece Noel Rasmussen, 19, is estranged from her mother Samantha
Noel Rasmussen, 19
Meghan’s teenage niece is estranged from her mother Samantha, and lives with her grandmother Roslyn Markle, Thomas’s first wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She has defended Meghan from attacks by her own mother, saying she has spent ‘years’ telling her how much she hates the future princess.
‘She wanted to be nice, to say how much she loves her sister – but after years of telling me and the rest of the family how much she hates Meghan and what a horrible woman Meghan is, which isn’t true.’
Michael Markle, 78
Meghan’s uncle, retired diplomat Michael Markle, worked for the US Air Force and lives in Florida, and is Thomas Markle’s brother.
During his career he worked in Ottawa, Bucharest, Berlin and Guam, and used his connections to help Meghan get a job at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Thomas Markle’s other brother Fred, is a bishop. He is the leader at the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church in the US, in Florida, where he goes under the name Bishop Dismas.
He is said to be a recluse and is rarely seen outside of the church, which used to have a congregation of around 40, but is now only attended by the Bishop himself.