Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland has been hard at work at the Los Angeles studio where she teaches yoga to senior citizens as Christmas looms just days away.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Duchess of Sussex’s mother will be spending the holiday in sunny Southern California rather than with her pregnant daughter and the British royals – despite having received a rare invitation from Queen Elizabeth II.
Ragland was seen leaving her yoga studio clutching a white card on Friday, casually dressed in a white top, navy blue slacks, beige ankle boots and a gray sweater tied around her waist.
Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland was seen leaving the Los Angeles studio where she teaches yoga to senior citizens on Friday amid reports that she will be celebrating a California Christmas this year instead of spending the holiday with her pregnant daughter in Britain
The 62-year-old was casually dressed in a white top, navy blue slacks, beige ankle boots and a gray sweater tied around her waist. She held a white card in one hand and keys in the other
Plastered on the rear bumper of Ragland’s SUV is a bumper sticker that reads: ‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Her outward support of education reflects her parenting style, which resulted in Meghan’s attending the prestigious Northwestern University
Earlier this week it was reported that Ragland (with Markle in May) had politely declined an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to spend Christmas with the Royal Family at Sandringham
Spotted on the bumper of the 62-year-old’s SUV is a bumper sticker that reads: ‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance’.
Ragland’s views on the importance of education – made clear by the work ethic she helped instill into her daughter, a Northwestern University graduate – are likely part of the reason her presence was requested at the Royal Family’s Christmas festivities.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, a royal source said the invitation to Sandringham was offered partly because the Queen was so ‘impressed’ by Ragland at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in May.
However, Ragland politely declined the Queen’s offer of spending December 25 at Sandringham, People reported.
It’s very rare for the Queen to invite non-royals to spend Christmas at Sandringham
A royal source reported that the Queen had extended the invitation because she had been impressed by Ragland when they met at Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May of this year
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.
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.
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King’s Lynn on Thursday after catching a public train from London, at the start of her annual Christmas holiday at Sandringham
This will be Meghan’s second Christmas at Sandringham House, in Norfolk, where the royals have been enjoying the Yuletide every year since 1988
On Sunday 30 or more of the Queen’s nearest and dearest will descend on her Sandringham estate.
Although imposing, the main house is small by Royal standards, with accommodation described as ‘cramped’ – which means finding space for the Monarch’s expanding brood requires exhaustive logistical planning.
In recent years, some of the more junior family members have found themselves billeted in servants’ quarters, while others take over cottages on the Norfolk estate.
If nothing else, depositing Harry and Meghan with William and Kate over at Anmer Hall, the Cambridges’ stunning ten-bedroom Georgian pile, would help ease the crush.
It is only a couple of miles away and the arrangement worked well last year, when the Duke of Sussex rhapsodised about their ‘fantastic’ stay.
And what better way to signal that tensions between the two Royal wives are not as serious as suggested?
Yet The Mail on Sunday has established that this Christmas, the Sussexes will be housed with the other guests – ‘packed in like sardines’, according to a source – under the Queen’s roof.
Against reports of growing distance between the two couples, it will be impossible for some not to interpret this as a snub to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.