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Everything We Know About Meghan Markle's Family
The American actress is officially engaged to Prince Harry.
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It's official! The world’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Harry, is engaged to American actress Meghan Markle.


Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games closing ceremony.

Her parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, issued a statement this morning via Kensington Palace:


With engagement rumors finally a reality, her family finds itself in the spotlight too—some are even giving interviews to and sharing childhood photos with the British and American press.

So who are these (for the most part) chatty relatives and what are their relationships to Markle? Here’s everything we know about the potential princess-to-be’s family life.


HER DAD WORKED IN SHOWBIZ

Markle is not the first one in her family to get a Hollywood gig. Meghan’s father Thomas W. Markle, 72, was a camera operator on the ‘80s sitcom Married With Children, and, according to Markle's half brother, she and her dad “are very close and they stay in close contact.”

However, during her first sit-down interview with Prince Harry, Markle revealed her father has yet to meet her beau. "He’s talked to my dad a few times, hasn’t been able to meet him just yet," she shared.

Thomas still lives in L.A, in an apartment in Hollywood, but often travels to Mexico.

And recently Markle's half-brother Tom divulged that their father once won the lottery, winning an estimated $750,000.


Meghan Markle at age 10 with her grandmother Doris, her father (top right) and her uncle (top left).

"If Meg marries Harry she'll have won the lottery of life but dad winning the lottery helped us all," the 51-year-old told the Daily Mail. "That money allowed Meg to go to the best schools and get the best training. Meg is someone who has always had laser focus. She knows what she wants and she doesn't stop until she gets it."

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SHE'S CLOSE TO HER MOTHER

Markle describes Ragland as the biggest influence on her life. Though Markle lives in Toronto and her mother is in L.A., the two spend plenty of time with one another. They attend events together (such as the United Nations Women's Day in March 2015), grab yoga classes together (Doria is an instructor), and Markle even took her mom to London to meet Prince Harry. Just a few months ago, at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Markle brought along her mother to hang out with the Prince as well.

"Her mom’s amazing," Prince Harry said during that sit-down with the BBC following their engagement announcement.

"I’m sure at the onset, both my parents and my close friends were concerned because we got very quickly swept up in a media storm that was not part of my life before that, but they also had never seen me so happy," Markle said.

"And I think also once my friends were able to really meet Harry and my mom, who we’ve spent a lot of time with, who’s so much fun...It was just obvious that no matter what we were being put through, it was just temporary."


Meghan Markle and her mother Doria Radlan in Toronto, Canada.

In addition to teaching yoga, Doria is a licensed social worker and jewelry maker living in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. Her marriage to Markle's father, Thomas Markle, ended when the actress was six years old, after which Meghan lived with her mom but saw her dad regularly.

HER HALF SISTER IS A FORMER MODEL AND ACTRESS

Samantha Grant, 51, is Markle's half sister from her father’s previous marriage—and has been openly critical of her baby sister. Samantha (who now goes by Samantha Markle) has reportedly called Meghan a “social climber,” adding, "Hollywood has changed her. I think her ambition is to become a princess."

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She’s even writing a tell-all, reportedly titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister, which she says will include claims that Meghan always wanted to be a princess.


Meghan's half sister Samantha Grant, mother of three and former actress and model based in Florida.

A mother of three and former actress and model based in Florida, Grant said she has also barely spoken to Meghan since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008.

Still, Grant praised Markle on Entertainment Tonight, saying her half sister is "just very beautiful and conservative, very real, very giving.”

SHE’S TALKED ABOUT GROWING UP MULTIRACIAL

Now 36, Markle has spoken of her pride in her mixed-race heritage and that her ancestors were once slaves.

Markle told Elle that she struggled with her identity, growing up with a black mother and white father: "You create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom."


Meghan and her half-sister Samantha in 1982.

In a post for her lifestyle site, The Tig, the actress recalled having to tick a box indicating her ethnicity as a teen, and being told to choose either white, black, Hispanic, or Asian.

"You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other—and one half of myself over the other," Markle wrote.

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My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. 'Because that's how you look, Meghan,' she said. I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion. I couldn't bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out. So, I didn't tick a box. I left my identity blank—a question mark, an absolute incomplete—much like how I felt.

Markle says she grew to embrace her mixed heritage and is proud to be "a strong, confident mixed-race woman."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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