Doria Ragland’s appearance in Los Angeles came on the same day it was confirmed she will not spend Christmas with the British royals this year, despite Queen Elizabeth II extending the rare invite for a non-royal during Meghan’s first festive season in the family.
Ragland, 62, appeared to be in high spirits as she opted for the
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Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland and a male friend were seen leaving her house and heading out for the day in Los Angeles, California on Monday
Doria who was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to spend Christmas with the royal family has respectfully declined the invitation and decided to stay in America
The new Duchess of Sussex’s mother donned all-black as she walked to her vehicle clutching woolly items and loaded items into her trunk.
Ragland – a yoga teacher and social worker – was in her comfort zone surrounded by a pair of dogs and she and her smiling companion made Stateside preparations.
She politely declined the Queen’s offer of spending December 25 at Sandringham,
Speaking to Vanity Fair, a royal source said the invitation to Sandringham was offered partly because the Queen was so ‘impressed’ by Ms Ragland at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in May.
An invitation for Doria would break with royal precedent as even the Middleton family has not been invited to stay at the Norfolk estate.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s family has joined the royals at church on Christmas morning but they have stayed at nearby Anmer Hall rather than Sandringham itself.
The new Duchess of Sussex’s mother donned all-black as she walked to her vehicle clutching woolly items and loaded items into her trunk
Ragland – a yoga teacher and social worker – was in her comfort zone surrounded by a pair of dogs and she and her smiling companion made Stateside preparations
While other spouses that have married into the family don’t usually have the privilege of relatives joining in the Norfolk-based celebrations, pregnant Markle doesn’t have family in the United Kingdom to split her time with during the holidays.
American Markle will spend the festive period with Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other royals.
It’s where the royals have been enjoying the Yuletide every year since 1988.
Ragland will also not be moving in with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they welcome their first child next year.
It’s very rare for the Queen to invite non-royals to spend Christmas at Sandringham
Meghan will spend her second Christmas at Sandringham House, in Norfolk, where the royals have been enjoying the Yuletide every year since 1988
Ragland will also not be moving in with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they welcome their first child next year, it has been reported
On Monday, Meghan’s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr said the clan would gather at the home of her grandmother Jeanette Ragland for Christmas dinner.
He said: ‘[Meghan’s mother] Doria would cook the Christmas dinner. Doria and her family were probably the biggest anchors of family unity when it came to holidays.
Thomas Jr, 52, told DailyMailTV that Meghan might regret not spending Christmas with her American relatives
‘Their entire family would get together over at Doria’s mom’s house and our family hadn’t done that for many years when I was growing up. We just did that a few times as young children in Chicago.
‘But as far as when Meghan was a child, Doria has a big family and everybody got together – her sisters, her dad, her grandfather, her mom and then of course us and Meghan.
‘There was always that big family homey feeling because everybody was happy, everybody was in a good mood, everybody left their baggage outside the door and it was all about family which was pretty important. It was nice.’
He issued another plea for family unity – and said he fears his father will spend Christmas alone without even a card from the Duchess to console him.
This comes after her Thomas Markle Sr, 74, revealed in a Good Morning Britain interview the same day that he has been making daily attempts to contact his daughter and wishes to reconcile.
Thomas Jr said to DailyMailTV: ‘I think when she sees the difference between the Christmas she spends at the Palace, and she doesn’t have her family around her, I think she’ll realize that she’s missing something.’
In a heartfelt card to the duchess seen by DailyMailTV, Markle Jr expresses his hopes to ‘mend our family back together for the New Year.’ He also included the Markle family in his sign off
Thomas Jr told DailyMail.com of the large family Christmases the Markle-Ragland clan shared in the 1980s when Meghan was a child revealing how Meghan (pictured with her father, and half nephews when she was young) adored Christmas