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HandWiki. Family of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 20 June 2024).
HandWiki. Family of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 20, 2024.
HandWiki. "Family of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 20, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, November 27). Family of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Family of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex." Encyclopedia. Web. 27 November, 2022.
Family of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Members of the Markle and Ragland families have been related by marriage to the British royal family since the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, on May 19, 2018, when she became the Duchess of Sussex. The Markle (originally spelled Merckel) family is of German descent and originates in Alsace on the modern French–German border, and her ancestors moved to the United States in the 18th century; among her father's other ancestors are American settlers of English, Dutch, and Irish descent. Her mother is of African American descent and her early ancestors hailed from the U.S. state of Georgia.

royal family merckel markle

1. Parents of the Duchess of Sussex

1.1. Thomas Markle Sr.

Thomas Wayne Markle is the father of the Duchess of Sussex. He is a retired American television lighting director, born in 1945.[1] Markle was raised in Newport, Pennsylvania, the son of Doris May Rita (Sanders) and Gordon Arnold Markle.[1][2] His mother was from New Hampshire.[3] He has two brothers.[4] He was previously married to Roslyn Markle (née Loveless), with whom he had Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant (née Markle). He was a co-recipient of two Daytime Emmy Awards for work on the television medical drama General Hospital (in 1982 and 2011) and received a Chicago / Midwest Emmy Award for work on the television program Made in Chicago (in 1975). He also won $750,000 in the California State Lottery in 1990, although he later declared personal bankruptcy (in 2016). He currently resides in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico.[5] He had planned to walk Meghan down the aisle for her wedding, but did not. He said his absence was due to his health, as he was recovering from a heart attack and had undergone heart surgery.[6] In reference to his son and other daughter's comments about the royal wedding, he said they "should just shut up about everything".[7]

1.2. Doria Ragland

Doria Loyce Ragland is the mother of the Duchess of Sussex. She was born in 1956. Doria Ragland is the daughter of Jeanette Arnold (d. 2000) and her second husband Alvin Ragland (d. 2011).[8] She has two older maternal half-siblings and a younger paternal half-brother.[9] She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California. In May 2018, just a few days before the royal wedding, she resigned from her position at a mental health clinic to enter private practice working with elderly patients.[10] She previously worked as a make-up artist and travel agent.[11] She has a close relationship with her daughter and was the only member of the Duchess's side of the family who was present at the royal wedding.[12]

2. Children of Thomas Markle and Roslyn Loveless

2.1. Samantha Markle

Samantha Markle (also known as Samantha Grant) is the paternal half-sister of the Duchess of Sussex, the daughter of Thomas Markle Sr. and Roslyn Markle (née Loveless). She was born in November 1964[13] and lives with her boyfriend Mark Phillips in Belleview, Florida.[14][15][16] Markle has been divorced twice and has been through personal bankruptcy.[17] She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008, and has been using a wheelchair since then.[18] She has worked as a model, actress, and mental health counselor.[19][20][21][22] Markle has three children,[17] one of whom she is estranged from. She is also estranged from her mother, her brother, and her half-sister.[7] At the time of the royal wedding, she had been estranged from her half-sister for almost a decade[7] and had not spoken to her since 2015.[23] She was not invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and her half-sister and had not attended her half-sister's first wedding either.[24] She has cited Doria Ragland as the main reason behind their estrangement, and insisted that Meghan should have helped their father financially (as he had declared bankruptcy in 2016).[25] However, Markle's mother criticized her daughter's behavior and remarks to the press, saying she was "an embarrassment" and needed to "get some dignity".[7] She appeared on the TLC special program When Harry Met Meghan: A Royal Engagement to discuss her half-sister and her upcoming book, The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister.[24] Markle insisted that it will not be a tell-all book, but will rather merely be about "some of the beautiful nuances of our lives".[26] In an interview with The Sun, Markle called her half-sister a "shallow social climber" whose behavior was not "befitting of a royal family member", though she later changed her mind, describing Meghan as "very animated, very charming, very lively", and "absolutely lovely".[7][26]

In May 2018, Markle told the media that she had suffered a broken ankle and fractured knee after Phillips crashed a car into a concrete barrier while driving with her and trying to avoid being photographed by a member of the paparazzi, although Florida police said no report of such an incident had been filed and they had "no evidence" that it had taken place.[16][27] In the months after the royal wedding, Markle has occasionally criticized her half-sister and brother-in-law on Twitter.[28][29][30] When asked whether she was making money through speaking out about her relatives, Markle replied: "I've worked in media most of my life and in broadcasting. So because my sister is suddenly royal isn't grounds for me to stop doing all of that."[31]

2.2. Thomas Markle Jr.

Thomas Wayne Markle Jr. is the paternal half-brother of the Duchess of Sussex, the son of Thomas Markle Sr. and Roslyn Markle (née Loveless).[32] He was born in 1966 and lives in Grants Pass, Oregon, with his fiancée Darlene Blout.[18][23] He was married to Tracy Dooley until their divorce in 2001 and then to Johannes Rawha until their divorce in 2009.[17] He and Tracy Dooley have two sons, Thomas and Tyler Dooley.[17] He works as a window fitter. He was arrested in January 2017 after threateningly holding a gun to Blout's head during an argument while he was under the influence of alcohol.[18][19][33] Later in 2018, following another incident, Blout claimed in a police call that "Markle was beating himself up" and "drinking", saying that he "was not mentally fit". Blout got arrested by the police on assault charges, but was later released.[34] The couple were involved in another domestic violence incident in July 2018 after which Blout was arrested again and released "after posting bail".[34]

Thomas Markle Jr. was not invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and his half-sister, and at the time of the wedding, he had not seen her for about seven years.[23][32] In an interview with the Daily Mirror in April 2018, Markle called his half-sister a "phony" who had "turned into a different person" and "forgotten her roots and her family" since becoming famous.[35] He then sent Prince Harry a letter, asking him to call off the wedding – saying the upcoming wedding would be "the biggest mistake in Royal Wedding History", criticizing his half-sister's treatment of Thomas Markle Sr. by saying she had been "using her own father until he's bankrupt", and calling her "a Jaded, Shallow, Conceited woman".[36] However, he later wrote another letter in which he told his half-sister he was "sorry for venting my frustrations" after not being invited to the wedding and that he was "very proud" of her and wanted her "to have a great wedding and a long future with Prince Harry".[37] After their father's relationship with Meghan soured following his multiple paid interviews, Markle Jr. said on Daily Mirror that "she is abusing his love for her, ... It's selfish, cruel even".[29]

3. Ancestry of Thomas Markle Sr. and Doria Ragland

Thomas Markle is descended from German,[38] English,[39] and Irish immigrants.[40] His forefather Heinrich Martin Merckel emigrated to the United States from Lampertsloch, a historically German-speaking town in modern-day France near the French–German border, and later changed the spelling of his name to Markle, their current family name.[38] Amongst Thomas Markle's distant ancestors are Captain Christopher Hussey, King Robert I of Scotland, Sir Philip Wentworth and his wife, Mary Clifford, daughter of John Clifford, 7th Baron de Clifford, and a descendant of King Edward III of England.[39][41][42][43] Among Mary Clifford's descendants is the Rev. William Skepper, of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge who immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in New England in 1639.[44][45] For some decades, researchers had suggested Captain Hussey was descended from John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, a descendant of King John, and this descent was widely reported in the media.[46] The New England Historic Genealogical Society, however, say that Christopher Hussey's connection to any noble family "seems highly unlikely".[41]

Doria Ragland is descended from African Americans enslaved in Georgia.[47] According to information passed down (much of it verbally) from earlier generations the Ragland name came from William Ragland, a Methodist who had emigrated during the eighteenth century from Cornwall, England to North America, settling successively in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.[48] It is inferred by family members that Doria Ragland's first identifiable African American Ragland ancestor was Richard Ragland, born in Jonesboro, Georgia, in 1830; he lived long enough to experience the abolition of slavery in 1865.[48]


  1. Duff, Seamus; Kavanaugh, Joanne (May 21, 2018). "Who is Meghan Markle's dad Thomas and why did he not come to the Royal Wedding?". The Sun. Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  2. Herman, Cindy O. (December 3, 2017). "Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle has ties to Shamokin". 
  3. Griffiths, Robbie; Griffiths, Charlotte (December 4, 2016). "After Pippa's tips, now it's Meghan's Mantras". The Scottish Mail. 
  4. "Royal wedding 2018: Who is Meghan Markle?". BBC. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  5. Duncan, Ana (January 11, 2018). "Who are Meghan Markle's parents – dad Thomas Markle and mum Doria Ragland?". Metro. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  6. Cullen, Simon (May 19, 2018). "Thomas Markle, Meghan's dad, says 'My baby looks beautiful'". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  7. Withers, Paul (May 22, 2018). "Meghan Markle urged to 'do right thing' and fly father to London in wake of Royal Wedding". Retrieved 23 May 2018. "Grant's mother, Roslyn, 72, also criticised their (Samantha's) behaviour, describing estranged daughter Samantha as 'an embarrassment' to the family and that she need to 'get some dignity'" 
  8. Driscoll, Kara. "Meghan Markle has an extraordinary connection to Ohio". Dayton Daily News. "...While Meghan Markle is headed across the pond for the royal wedding, her roots are deeply connected to Ohio." 
  9. "Royal wedding 2018: Who is Meghan Markle?". BBC. May 18, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  10. "Meghan Markle's mother has reportedly quit her job at a Los Angeles mental health clinic". New York Post. May 15, 2018. 
  11. Morton, A. (12 April 2018) (304 pages). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. Michael O'Mara Books, 2018. p. Chapter 2 - Growing up Markle. ISBN 178243965X. Retrieved 15 June 2018. "She (Doria) also worked as a travel agent...." 
  12. St. Félix, Doreen (May 21, 2018). "The Profound Presence of Doria Ragland". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  13. Morton, Andrew (April 17, 2018). Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-1538747353. 
  14. Farber, Madeline (May 19, 2018). "Meghan Markle's family tree includes Thomas Markle, Doria Ragland, Samantha Grant and beyond". 
  15. Earl, Jennifer (May 19, 2018). "Meghan Markle's family drama pre-royal wedding, from staged paparazzi pics to Prince Harry's shocking letter". Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  16. Horton, Helena (May 18, 2018). "Police have found 'no evidence' of Meghan Markle's half-sister's alleged car crash with paparazzi". Retrieved May 24, 2018. 
  17. Duncan, Amy (November 30, 2017). "Who is Meghan Markle's half-brother Thomas Markle Junior and why was he facing jail earlier this year?". Metro. 
  18. Johnstone, Anna (May 21, 2018). "Who are Meghan Markle's siblings? Meet Samantha Grant and Thomas Markle Jr". The Sun. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  19. John, Tara (November 27, 2017). "Meet Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's Fiancee And Britain's Newest Royal-To-Be". Time (magazine). Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  20. "Meghan Markle's half-sister to write a tell-all book about her 'pushy' sibling". The Daily Telegraph. April 3, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  21. Mintz, Luke (November 28, 2017). "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding: Engagement about love not royalty, says bride's half-sister". The Independent. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  22. Low, Valentine (November 28, 2017). "Royal engagement: Meghan Markle's estranged sister Samantha Grant is writing a book on 'Princess Pushy'". The Times. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  23. Xidias, Angelica (May 19, 2018). "Meghan Markle's family tree: everything you need to know about the future royal's family". Vogue. 
  24. Friedman, Megan; Dangremond, Sam (May 19, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Is Hosting Her Own Royal Wedding Viewing Party in Florida". Town & Country. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  25. "Meghan Markle's Estranged Sister Tells All About the Future Royal – Plus Never-Before-Seen Photos!". January 10, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  26. LaCroix, Emy (March 1, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Samantha Grant Seems Like a Headache for the Royal Family". Closer Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  27. "Meghan Markle's Half Sister Hospitalized with Possible Broken Ankle After Paparazzi Run-In". May 16, 2018. 
  28. Heller, Corinne (August 4, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Samantha Markle Compares Her to Cruella de Vil". E! News. Retrieved August 6, 2018. 
  29. Bonner, Mehera (August 13, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Brother Calls Her "Selfish" and "Cruel" as Their Sister Drags Her for "Sociopathy"". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  30. Nolasco, Stephanie (September 17, 2018). "Meghan Markle's estranged half-sister Samantha compares Prince Harry to a hamster in slamming birthday tweet". Fox News. Retrieved September 17, 2018. 
  31. Crabtree, Erin (August 4, 2018). "Samantha Markle Calls Half-Sister Duchess Meghan ‘Cruella de Vil’ One Day Before Her Birthday". US Weekly. Retrieved August 6, 2018. 
  32. Cambridge, Ellie (May 19, 2018). "Meet Thomas Markle Jr, Meghan's half-brother who was arrested afr 'holding a gun to his girlfriend's head'". The Sun. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  33. Schroeder, Jessa (January 16, 2017). "Meghan Markle's half-brother reportedly seeking rehab after being arrested for holding gun to girlfriend's head". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  34. Lam, Katherine (July 23, 2018). "Meghan Markle's future sister-in-law arrested for assault: report". Fox News. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  35. "Meghan Markle slammed by half-brother: 'She turned into a different person'". April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  36. "Meghan Markle's Estranged Brother Writes a Letter to Prince Harry". May 2, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  37. Sitzer, Carly (May 11, 2018). "Meghan Markle's Estranged Brother Pens Another Letter, Asks for a Last-Minute Royal Wedding Invite". Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  38. "Tracing Meghan Markle's 'German roots'". Deutsche Welle. May 11, 2018. 
  39. Child, Christopher (December 15, 2017). "The Hastings Connection". New England Historic Genealogical Society. Archived from the original on December 16, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017. "As Gary Boyd Roberts indicated in his press release, 'Meghan Markle is related to Prince Harry...'" 
  40. "Meghan Markle: Six things you didn't know about Prince Harry's girlfriend". The Week. November 8, 2016. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. 
  41. Roberts, Gary Boyd. "The Royal Ancestry of Meghan Markle". New England Historic Genealogical Society. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017. "The Rev. William Skipper's ancestors Sir Philip Wentworth (died 1464) and Mary Clifford are ancestors also, in various lines, of both H.M. the late Queen Mother (and thus H.M. the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry) and of the late Diana, Princess of Wales." 
  42. Roberts, Gary Boyd (November 30, 2017). "The Shared Ancestry of (Rachel) Meghan Markle and Prince Harry". American Ancestors. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  43. Horne, Marc (April 3, 2018). "Meghan Markle 'is descended from Robert the Bruce'". The Times. Retrieved April 3, 2018. 
  44. Robinson, B.. "Meghan Markle’s link to OLIVER CROMWELL – Prince Harry’s fiancee’s family tree revealed". The UK Daily Express - 25 January 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  45. "Genealogist: Meghan Markle descended from English king". The Washington Post. Associated Press. November 30, 2017. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017. "A U.S. researcher who specializes in finding the American descendants of British monarchs said Thursday that Markle is a direct descendant of England's King Edward III, who ruled from 1327 until 1377. The genealogist, Gary Boyd Roberts, says she and Harry are 17th cousins." 
  46. Furness, Hannah (November 19, 2017). "King Henry VIII ordered for Meghan Markle's ancestor to be beheaded". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017. 
  47. "Meghan Markle's Jonesboro roots". The Times. December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  48. Morton, Andrew (2018). Meghan: Von Hollywood in den Buckingham-Palast. Ein modernes Märchen. Heyne Verlag. ISBN 978-3-641-23580-2. 
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