Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland addresses racism as she speaks for the first time

Doria Ragland
Doria Ragland

The Duchess of Sussex’s mother has spoken publicly about her daughter for the first time, revealing that she warned Meghan that race would be a problem.

Doria Ragland appears on screen several times during the second episode of Harry & Meghan, the couple’s new Netflix documentary.

“My name is Doria and I’m Meghan’s mum,” she says.

“The last five years have been challenging. I’m ready to have my voice heard, that’s for sure. A little bit of my experience as her mum.”

As the Duchess discusses her experience of identity and race as a child growing up in Los Angeles, she recalls a moment when she was in the car with her mother and another driver called her the n-word.

“She was just silent the rest of the drive home, we never talked about it,” she says.

“I’d never in my life heard someone say the n-word.”

Meghan and Doria
Meghan and Doria

She suggests race only became part of her life when she moved to the UK and “they made it such an issue”.

Ms Ragland says: “As a parent, in hindsight absolutely I would like to go back and have that real conversation about how the world sees you.”

In an apparent reference to the time her daughter’s relationship with Prince Harry became public, she adds: “I said to her - I remember this very clearly - that this is about race.

“Meg said, ‘Mummy, I don’t wanna hear that’. I said, ‘Well you may not wanna hear it but this is what’s coming down the pike’.”

Ms Ragland also recalls the moment Meghan told her she was dating Harry.

“We were on the phone and she says (whispering) ‘Mommy I’m going out with Prince Harry’,” she says.

“And I started whispering, ‘Oh my God’. She says, ‘You can’t tell anyone’.

“I remember when I first met him too. He was a 6’1” handsome man with red hair, really great manners. He was just really nice and they looked really happy together. He was the one.”

The Duchess and Ms Ragland are filmed driving around the neighbourhood in Los Angeles where Meghan was raised, reminiscing about the past as they see their former home and visit her school, Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse.

Meghan said her mother used to tell her stories about when she took her to the grocery store and women asking whose child she was.

She was like, it’s my child and they were like no, you must be the nanny, where’s her mom?”

Ms Ragland says: “We were close to my mom, her grandma, my sister was close by and my girlfriends were close by so we had a nice network of women who really helped me raise Meg.

“She was always so easy to get along with, very congenial, making friends. She was a very empathic child, very mature.

“I remember asking Meg, did I feel like her mom and she told me that I felt like her older, controlling sister. I never forgot that.”

The Duchess also addresses her fractured relationship with her elder half-sister, Samantha Markle.

Meghan and Thomas
Meghan and Thomas

“My half-sister, who I hadn’t seen for over a decade, and that was only for a day and a half, suddenly it felt like she was everywhere,” she says.

“I don’t know your middle name, I don’t know your birthday. You are telling these people that you raised me and you are calling me Princess Pushy?”

She insists she didn't have a “fall out” with Samantha, adding: “We didn't have a closeness to be able to have (one) - and I wanted a sister.”

Elsewhere, the Duke admits he felt responsible for the breakdown of Meghan’s relationship with her father, Thomas Markle.

“She had a father before this and now she doesn't have a father,” he says.

“And I shouldered that because if Meg wasn’t with me, then her dad would still be her dad.”