Sifting through royal news headlines is like dealing with a used car salesman: can you really believe anything they say? One minute the tabloids scream chaos behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace; the next, they’re sharing photos of “royal rivals” arm in arm at the latest gathering. With so many conflicting reports, who can we really trust?
Well, in the wake of the Sussexes’ recent split from the royal family, Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, has decided to clear the air once and for all. With eyes and ears on the inside, Ragland has finally revealed how the royal couple is handling the fallout from one of the biggest scandals in British history.
Meet Doria Ragland
Though this wouldn’t be the first time that Doria found herself smack dab in the middle of royal affairs. The 63-year-old L.A. native has been a fixture of royal news since early 2018, appearing alongside Meghan shortly after her engagement to Prince Harry.
Always There for Meghan
Questions surrounding the closeness of this mother-daughter relationship abounded, though during 2018’s royal wedding, all doubts were put to rest. Seated alone in the rear of St. George’s Chapel, Doria was the only member of Meghan’s family present to watch her walk down the aisle.
Living in Frogmore Cottage
Even after the couple welcomed Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019, Doria still remained an active part on Meghan’s life. In fact, the royal mother-in-law even lived with Harry and Meghan at their Frogmore Cottage home for several weeks following Archie’s birth.
A Maternal Figure
For Harry, Doria has also become a pillar of strength, a maternal figure to confide in much like he would’ve done with his own mother. Yet in early 2020, Doria’s loyalty to her daughter and son-in-law was put to the ultimate test.
Distancing From the Royal Family
On January 8, the Sussexes took to Instagram to share their intention to distance themselves from the rest of the royal family. Press outlets were driven into a frenzy, and royal watchers waited with bated breath for the crown to respond.
Shady Rumors Leaked
Though Buckingham’s official response to the statement was relatively lax, palace insiders began leaking rumors that the royal family was “blindsided” by the news. From Prince William to Prince Charles to even the Queen, no one seemed happy.
A Royal Stab in the Back
“The level of deceit has been staggering and everyone from the top of the royal household to the bottom feels like they have been stabbed in the back,” one royal aide told the Daily Mail.
“Incandescent With Rage”
In fact, one source even described both the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge as being “incandescent with rage” over the news. Given such a (supposedly) strong response from the rest of the family, many royal watchers expressed displeasure over how the Sussexes had chosen to break their news.
A Lingering Question
However, public opinion shifted once again when reports surfaced that Prince Harry had tried to discuss his decision with the Queen but was blocked by her couriers. Yet between all the he said, she said, one question still lingered: why were the Duke and Duchess walking away?
Singling Meghan Out
For the press, the answer lied in the angle they had been pushing since the couple first announced their engagement: “Meghan hates the U.K.!” After all, why else would Prince Harry leave the royal family unless Meghan was making him do so?
Tired of Tabloid Gossip
Unsurprisingly, the other side of speculation cited this very kind of tabloid gossip as the driving factor behind the Sussexes stepping out of the spotlight. For Harry, keeping his family from harm was the number-one priority.
Protection a Priority
“Any husband wants to protect their wife, and any father wants to protect their children,” Harry’s close friend JJ Chalmers told The One Show. “And ultimately, he grew up in the limelight, and he knows how this can end if it’s not handled correctly.”
Worried About her Daughter
However, there did appear to be some truth to Meghan’s struggles behind the scenes, as even Doria expressed that she was “really worried” about her daughter. One source even revealed that Meghan had begun to find life as a royal “soul-crushing.”
The Royal Exit
Fortunately, on January 18, Buckingham released a statement that the Sussexes and the crown had come to an agreement over the “royal exit.” In addition to becoming financially independent and dropping their royal titles, Harry and Meghan could no longer represent the Queen.
Living on Two Continents
But in exchange, the Sussexes received the very thing they’d been after from the start: freedom. Splitting their time between Canada and the U.K., the couple now resides in a $14-million mansion in Vancouver while also keeping their Frogmore Cottage residence.
More Quality Time
Harry and Meghan are also now free to spend more time together, as their social obligations only extend to causes of interest. According to one close friend, the couple now spends most of their time “doing yoga and taking long hikes.”
Making a Comeback
However, that hasn’t stopped Meghan from inching her way back toward Hollywood. According to one source, the former Suits star is actively searching for an agent in a bid to break back into the entertainment business.
Yet all along, Meghan’s biggest priority had been Archie. “[Meghan] felt like she couldn’t be the best mother to Archie if she wasn’t being her true, authentic self… something she felt she couldn’t be in the royal family confines,” the couple’s friend told the Daily Mail.
To that end, the Sussexes are now building a team to help them carry out their vision for their new life, which also includes Doria as a special advisor. And according to the royal mother-in-law, her daughter definitely made the right choice.
A Strong Woman
“Meghan is strong and will always be okay,” Doria told one source, though she “is relieved that her daughter is putting her [health] and well being first.” After the couple’s big announcement, however, one major consideration kept resurfacing…
Mainting That Cash Flow
Money. Sure, the two have plenty of funds to blow through, but they’ll need a source of income to maintain that cash flow. Yet by no means are the two strapped for cash.
Boatloads of Moola
Princess Diana left Harry tens of millions after her death, and Meghan was earning about $450,000 a year for her role on Suits. But they have one additional place to turn to for some quick cash.
The Duchy of Cornwall
Prince Charles has reportedly considered transferring some money from the Duchy of Cornwall to help with the couple’s expenses during the transition. But it might be chump change compared to what they’re used to.
A Change in Cash Earnings
Up until now, the royal couple was receiving $6 million a year from Prince Charles. He hasn’t finalized how much he’ll be giving them now, but bet on it being much less than that. The Queen had other words for the couple, though.
The Queen has an Announcement
See, once Harry and Meghan made their announcement, the Queen called Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Prince William in for a surprise meeting. And once she heard them out, she had a public announcement of her own to make.
Declaring Her Support
The Queen stated clearly that she supported Harry and Meghan’s choice to step down as public members of the Royal Family. But she, too, had some words about their financial situation.
Not Everyone was Thrilled
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” read the Queen’s statement. But one Royal Family member was less than thrilled by the decision.
Charles was Livid
According to some sources, Charles was “livid” when he learned about the couple’s decision. Apparently, Charles blamed Meghan for pushing the move, and he had some concerns about the costs of their new life.
When Harry and Meghan move to Canada, they’ll need a new home and private security — all of which will cost millions. But their decision to be financially independent from the Crown has caused some controversy.
Negative Public Opinion
See, their big move has left some members of the public irked. To them, “leaving” the Crown but continuing to reap some of the benefits felt hypocritical. Still, Harry and Meghan have big plans for their financial future.
Starting Their Own Foundation
In 2019, Harry and Meghan left William and Kate’s organization, The Royal Foundation, to start their own: Sussex Royal. And now the couple has some big plans in store for their brand.
A Deal With Disney
Under the umbrella of their Sussex Royal brand, Meghan Markle has already signed a voice over deal with Disney, they’ve launched their official website, and there are rumors floating around about a Netflix deal. But Charles had one warning for the couple.
A source close to the Royal Family reported that Charles warned Harry and Meghan not to be so freewheeling with their trademark, especially with the Sussex name attached to it.
“There will be strict instructions on branding,” claimed one source. “For example, no one wants to see the Sussexes’ name on a tub of margarine.” Specifically, they want to prevent one key thing that happened after Diana’s death.
Straying From Margarine
See, after Diana passed away, her memorial foundation started making some deals that didn’t reflect well on the Royal Family — like Diana-branded tubs of Flora margarine. Charles wanted to make sure something like that didn’t happen again.
A Brotherly Quarrel
Some people have believed up until now that Harry’s fraught relationship with William might have been the cause of his and Meghan’s departure, but this new information suggests it might have been something else entirely.
According to some sources, Harry and Charles got into an argument about the couple’s departure; Charles worried that Harry hadn’t thought his plans through fully. So Harry took things one step further.
He Had No Choice
When Harry tried to secure a meeting with the Queen, Charles’ advisers prevented it. That was when Harry knew he had no choice but to take their decision public on his own. But some members of the public aren’t wild about their future endeavors.
Back in June of 2019, Harry and Meghan officially filed the trademark for “Sussex Royal,” but in January of 2020, they received a “notice of threatened opposition.” Even their personal brand might be in jeopardy.
Setbacks are No Match
Although it likely won’t affect any of Meghan’s upcoming projects, this complaint is just another in a long string of setbacks for the Duchess of Sussex. Fortunately, strength and perseverence are defining characteristics of Meghan — a befitting grace, royalty or not.