There’s nothing quite like a mother’s love, and that sentiment rings rather true for Meghan Markle and her mom, Doria Ragland.
“We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry,” they shared. “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”
Doria, who dubbed Meghan with the precious nickname of “Flower” when she was a little girl, has long been the primary inspiration behind Meghan’s humanitarian and philanthropic work for several reasons.
Here are a few more things you probably didn’t know about the 61-year-old Ohio native.
1. She’s already met Prince Harry!
During the 2017 Invictus Games closing ceremony in September, Doria and Meghan were all smiles as they stood side by side in the stands and cheered while Harry took the stage to congratulate the athletes on a job well done. The Toronto event also happened to mark Meghan and Harry’s first public appearance together.
2. Meghan is her only child.
Doria met Meghan’s dad Thomas, who is 12 years her senior, while working at a television studio in the late 1970s. “My dad was a lighting director for a soap opera, and my mom was a temp at the studio,” Meghan wrote in an editorial she penned for Elle UK. “I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her Afro, plus their shared love of antiques.” Doria and Thomas wed in 1979 and divorced in 1988, when Meghan was 6 years old. Following the split, Meghan reportedly lived with her mom but visited her father often. Doria never remarried or had any more children.
3. People would occasionally mistake her for Meghan’s nanny.
When opening up about her biracial parents in Elle UK, Meghan confessed that passersby would confuse her mother with her nanny. “[My parents] moved into a house in the Valley in L.A., to a neighborhood that was leafy and affordable,” the former actress shared. “What it was not, however, was diverse. And there was my mom, caramel in complexion with her light-skinned baby in tow, being asked where my mother was since they assumed she was the nanny.” (Doria is African-American and Meghan’s father is Caucasian.)
4. She’s a “free spirit.”
In an article she wrote for Glamour, Meghan credited her mom as one of the top 10 women who changed her life for the better, and stressed Doria’s admirable aversion to conformity. “My mom has always been a free spirit,” the bride-to-be shared. “She’s got dreadlocks and a nose ring.”
5. She has a master’s degree in social work.
Meghan reportedly used a portion of her earnings from acting to send her mother back to school, which led her to receive her social work license in 2015. Doria now works as a clinical therapist specializing in mental health counseling for the elderly. “She works specifically with the geriatric community,” Meghan stated in her Glamour piece, stressing her mom’s “lifelong sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving.”
6. She remains active.
When she’s not working with patients, Doria dedicates her time as a yoga instructor, enjoys traveling and has also run the L.A. Marathon.
7. She and Meghan are incredibly close.
In early April, Meghan reunited with her mom in L.A. to talk wedding planning. A source told ET at the time that the bride-to-be was there to “share wedding plans and show her mom designs of her dress.” The former Suits star has also expressed how well the two get along. “We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I’ll still find so much solace in her support,” she wrote in Glamour. “That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”
Watch the video below for more on Meghan’s family.