The Middletons Had a Very Different Role in the Royal Wedding than Meghan's Parents Will

Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle are putting their own spin on parent-of-the-bride duties.

Last week, Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan Markle's parents will each play a special—and important— role in the royal wedding on May 19th. It's no surprise that Harry and Meghan are including both Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland in their ceremony: Meghan is notably close to her parents, and Thomas and Doria quickly shared their enthusiasm and support for the couple when the engagement was announced in November:

But how do Thomas and Doria's wedding duties stack up to the roles held by the Middleton family during Will and Kate's nuptials back in 2011? In short, Meghan's parents are clearly putting their own spin on the parents-of-the-bride responsibilities.

Prior to Will and Kate's big day, the Palace detailed the roles the Middleton family, including Michael, Carole, Pippa, and James, would play in the wedding. After attending a final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey the day before the wedding, Kate spent the night at the Goring Hotel in London with her family. On the day of the wedding, Pippa served as Kate's maid of honor, while James did a bible reading during the ceremony. Carole Middleton arrived at the Abbey just before the bride, and she was accompanied by James to her seat. Kate traveled to Westminster Abbey with her father by car, and then Michael walked his daughter down the aisle.

Michael Middleton escorted Kate to her groom at Westminster Abbey

Like Michael Middleton in 2011, Thomas Markle will be walking his daughter down the aisle at St. George's Chapel this May. But in an interesting change, Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, will ride in the car with Meghan to Windsor Castle on the morning of the wedding.

The Palace also revealed that Thomas and Doria will spend time with the royal family just before the wedding day. Markle's parents are expected to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William, and Duchess Kate. This likely marks the first time Prince Harry will have met his future father-in-law in person as well. The bride's parents are expected to arrive in the United Kingdom the week of the wedding.


The Middleton family had met Kate's college sweetheart William on a number of occasions by the time their April 29, 2011 wedding rolled around. Carole and Michael were even guests at William's graduation from Sandhurst, when he was commissioned as an officer in the British Army in December 2006, Vanity Fairreports. But ahead of the wedding, Carole and Michael also spent time with the Queen and Prince Philip. Royal reporter Victoria Arbiter revealed the Queen and Philip reportedly hosted Carole and Michael for lunch at Windsor Castle before the wedding: 

In addition to their formal roles during the wedding, Markle has relied on her family for support as the wedding date nears. In late March, Markle reportedly took a trip to California to visit her mother and finalize wedding plans. Royal contributor Omid Scobie appeared on Good Morning America to add that Markle reportedly arrived with "sketches from the wedding and of the wedding dress itself so she could really give her mom some insight on how the big day will look."

According to Kensington Palace, Markle is "delighted to have her parents by her side on this important and happy occasion." Want to tune in to see Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland fulfill their royal wedding duties? Here's how to watch the whole celebration.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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