Meghan Markle’s mother has spent the night at Kensington Palace after being reunited with her daughter yesterday.
Doria Ragland was whisked off to the royal residence after touching down at Heathrow following a ten hour flight from Los Angeles.
The yoga teacher and social worker will now stay at the palace in west London until the day before the wedding on Saturday.
Ms Ragland, 61, is now preparing to meet the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the next 24 hours.
On Friday evening she will move with the bridal party to the historic Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire, a 25 minute drive from Windsor Castle.
Doria Ragland, pictured with Meghan, was whisked off to the royal residence after arriving in the UK yesterday
Miss Ragland is staying with her daughter at Kensington Palace, west London until the day before the wedding
She was met at Heathrow by some of Prince Harry’s most trusted aides and taken to Kensington Palace by royal Jaguar
She is now supporting her daughter through the continuing drama over whether her father will attend the royal wedding.
After being rushed through a private VIP terminal in the US, Miss Ragland flew into Heathrow where she was met by some of Prince Harry’s most trusted aides and taken to Kensington Palace by royal Jaguar.
The presence of Miss Ragland who is extremely close to her daughter and still calls her ‘flower’, will undoubtedly calm Miss Markle’s nerves in what has been an unexpectedly fraught and hugely emotional week.
Doria (left, leaving her home in LA on Tuesday, is supporting her daughter through the continuing drama over whether her father Thomas Markle (right) will be at the wedding
Miss Ragland is now supporting her daughter through the continuing drama over whether her father will attend the wedding
Miss Ragland is set to meet the Queen (pictured yesterday) and the rest of the royal family
With only two days to go, royal aides were still unable to confirm whether her father Thomas Markle will walk her down the aisle at Windsor Castle.
It appears increasingly unlikely however, that the reclusive Mr Markle, 73, will travel to Britain. It is claimed that he has suffered heart problems and is awaiting surgery, so may not be well enough to fly to the UK from his home in Mexico.
Miss Markle, 36, has told the former Hollywood lighting director that she is standing by him after weekend allegations that he was paid by a paparazzi to take part in a series of staged photographs in the run up to the big day.
Mr Markle has appeared to flip-flop over whether he will attend, at first appearing to say he would not, then saying he didn’t want to miss being a part of history and then changing his mind again to say it would depend on whether doctors would release him from hospital.
Meghan’s mother will also meet Prince William and Kate, pictured after the birth of Prince Louis last month, over the next 24 hours
The episode has been a huge embarrassment to Buckingham Palace and has left aides facing questions over their handling of their issue.
Sources insisted, however, that strenuous efforts have been made to help Mr Markle, who is said to be a ‘proud’ man and reluctant to take help from his daughter.
They said that Meghan and Harry were forging ahead with their final preparations.
Friends of the couple told the Mail that while Meghan is ‘deeply concerned’ about her father’s physical and mental health, she is determined to focus on what she has left to do.
On Friday evening she will move with the bridal party to the historic Cliveden House in Taplow, Berkshire, a 25 minute drive from Windsor Castle
Her best friend Jessica Mulroney has arrived with her three children – Ivy, Brian and John – who were yesterday announced as being among the couple’s ten bridesmaids and page boys.
Meanwhile Miss Ragland, who has reportedly quit her job at a mental health clinic to start her own private practice. flew into Heathrow on an overnight flight from Los Angeles.
Dressed casually in a T-shirt, linen trousers and canvas pumps, and carrying a suit bag containing what is believed to be her Burberry wedding outfit, she was picked up from the steps of the aircraft by a royal fleet Jaguar.
She was driven to Heathrow’s VIP Windsor suite, where Harry’s assistant private secretary Amy Pickerill was waiting with an immigration officer. A member of staff from the private office carried her bags.
Windsor is continuing its preparations for the royal wedding on Saturday
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It is widely thought that should her former husband, with whom she is said to be ‘barely on speaking terms’, fail to show, it will be Miss Ragland who has the task of walking her daughter down the aisle. Some royal insiders have also questioned whether Prince Charles might step in to do the honours.
Senior royal sources dismissed reports that the ongoing family ‘soap opera’ had caused opprobrium in the Royal Family.
‘Let’s just say that this is a family well used to personal dramas and everyone feels desperately sorry for Meghan, particularly as it has all happened just days before her wedding day,’ said one.
‘At the end of the day, her father is his own man and she cannot control him.
‘Everyone could not be more supportive of her. Everything is going ahead as planned.’
Miss Markle’s nephew, Tyler Dooley, has said he hopes his grandfather will travel but said: ‘We’ll just have to wait and see.’
To add to the confusion, sources close to the Markle family told the Mail yesterday that Mr Markle had already been diagnosed with a heart condition and was due to undergo surgery to fit a stent, the same operation Prince Philip underwent in 2011, early next week – on his return from London.