While much of the world waited with bated breath last Saturday to see the wedding ceremony unfold between Prince Harry Windsor and Meghan Markle, my attention was focused on Doria Raglund, Meghan’s mother.
From my first view of her months ago, complete with dreadlocks, my initial reaction was that I could hardly wait to see if she were going to remove her locks for her daughter’s walk down the aisle. After all, it is not every day that one’s biracial American daughter marries into one of the most traditional royal monarchies in the world. Having the bride’s mother show up in dreadlocks would certainly add another dimension to this already historic event. More than her skin color, Doria’s hairstyle choice reflected her racial pride. On her daughter’s wedding day, she didn’t compromise her African American identity. I can imagine how proud black women all over the world felt upon seeing Doria, elegantly dressed in the western tradition but sporting a decidedly non-western hairstyle.
I was sorry to see that Doria was alone at her daughter’s wedding. Such a momentous occasion was meant to be shared with other family members. I can’t recall hearing of any other society wedding in which the bride’s mother was the only family member in attendance. While the tabloids and social media used far too much ink detailing Meghan’s paternal crass and trashy relatives, Doria remained above the fray. Seated alone at the wedding, she exuded a strong, quiet dignity. It was most touching when Prince Charles extended his hand to Doria, assisting her from the church pew so she could sign the wedding registry. Known for being a sensitive person, it seemed as if he was determined to make certain Doria felt supported.
The wedding of the year is now history and the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex have begun married life. With her daughter’s marriage, Doria is beginning a new life also. Due to the paparazzi, she is not able to comfortably return to her career as a mental health counselor in Culver City, California. Reportedly, she is considering a position in private practice away from glaring media attention.
Whatever the future holds for Doria, I am wishing her the best. It could not have been easy carrying the burden of being Meghan’s sole family support on her wedding day. For a person unaccustomed to the limelight, Doria’s composure demonstrated that classy behavior is not indicative of one’s race or wealth. Meghan is rightfully proud of her mother.