Culture

The Mother of Markle- Doria Ragland

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Can we just take a moment to honor this beautiful, strong woman (Meghan Markle’s Mother, Doria Ragland) who sat alone, wistfully alone, a million miles from home -in a situation so foreign to her own life- with grace, dignity, poise, honor and deep love for the child she raised? THAT, is royalty

– Lisa Cole

On May, 19th 2018, people all over the world tuned in to watch the Royal Wedding. Many questions kept the public astir, such as, Who designed Meghan’s wedding dress?  Who is on the guest list? and Is Meghan going to wear anything from the late Princess Diana? 

These may all seem like legitimate concerns; however, the person who really caught my eye was Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland. She was the sole attendee from the Markle family and I couldn’t help but wonder what this reality was like from her perspective.

If you didn’t know, Meghan’s mother is black, and unlike her daughter, she does not have the same cream colored skin-to pass for white. While Ragland’s life may have significantly upgraded since her daughter’s engagement to Prince Harry, it is important to recognize that she, herself did not sign up to be put in the public eye. She left her comfortable home in Culver City, California to watch her daughter get married to a Prince. Then she was asked to sit in the opposite, equivalent seat to Queen Elizabeth II in front of billions, while she witnessed this astronomical event.

While Meghan is able to blend in, while entering one of the oldest, whitest and most prestigious halls on earth with the flowers of former colonies sewn onto her veil, incontestably, her mother Ragland stands out.

This royal journey may be filled glitz and glamour but that doesn’t negate the fact that being in the limelight hasn’t been easy for Ms. Ragland. When the royal engagement was first announced to the public, British Journalist, Rachel Johnson said that, Ragland was a “dreadlocked African-American lady from the wrong side of the tracks.”

Given that the public scrutinization she received was on such a magnitudinal scale,  But that didn’t stop Doria Ragland from wearing her locks in a twist while attending her baby’s wedding. She even sported a nose ring as well! Ragland stepped into this role to  support her daughter and she stayed true to herself despite the haters. 

She’s empowered, she’s a women with substance, She’s Débonnaire. 

Kaci Gregory is a recent graduate from Muhlenberg College with a double major in Media & Communications and French & Francophone studies. Because of her interest in women's studies, diversity and her passion for cosmetics and fashion, she founded the blog "She's Debonnaire." Her objective is to facilitate dialogue among women on issues related to gender, race, culture, and sexuality and how they impact perceptions of beauty.

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