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Why Meghan Markle omits dad from story about mom ‘juggling’ to raise her



In the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast, Meghan Markle shared a heartwarming moment with her mother, Doria Ragland, expressing profound appreciation for her upbringing. However, her portrayal of Ragland as a burdened single mother solely responsible for her childhood appears to contradict numerous accounts suggesting that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, played a significant co-parenting role.

Meghan’s statement, “She took care of me and the house and herself. She was juggling so much,” seems at odds with reports indicating that from around age 9 until she left for college, the future Duchess of Sussex lived “full-time” with her father, a lighting designer for popular TV shows like “General Hospital” and “Married With Children.” This information is corroborated by sources such as Vanity Fair and the book “Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War Between the Windsors” by Tom Bower.

While Meghan’s appreciation for her mother’s efforts is understandable, her characterization of Ragland as a single parent solely responsible for her upbringing appears to conflict with the available accounts suggesting her father’s active involvement in co-parenting her during her formative years.

The recent episode of Meghan Markle’s podcast, “Archetypes,” delved into the societal expectations placed on women as wives and mothers, exploring the dichotomy of “Good Wife/Bad Wife, Good Mom/Bad Mom.” While the episode did not mention her estranged father, Thomas Markle, his absence is noteworthy given their strained relationship.

According to reports, Thomas Markle played a significant role in Meghan’s upbringing, contributing financially to her private school education and often transporting her to and from school. Meghan has previously spoken fondly of accompanying her father to his workplace after school, where she would complete her homework while he finished his work.

However, their relationship became strained after Thomas Markle’s controversial absence from Meghan’s 2018 royal wedding and his subsequent interviews with the British tabloids, in which he criticized his daughter. Supporters of Meghan view her father as an opportunist who continues to publicly hurt her in pursuit of fame.

By focusing the episode on the societal expectations placed on women within their familial roles, Meghan’s podcast avoided delving into the complexities of her relationship with her father, a topic that could potentially detract from the central theme of the discussion.

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has recently acknowledged the support she receives from her husband, Prince Harry, in managing the morning routine with their children, Archie and Lilibet. In her podcast, she expressed gratitude towards Harry for his involvement in getting the kids ready, dressed, fed, and Archie off to preschool, describing it as “juggling.”

However, Meghan did not extend similar acknowledgment to her father, Thomas Markle, despite previously crediting him for his role in her upbringing. This omission aligns with the tendency of some public figures, particularly in the entertainment industry, to selectively present details, adjust timelines, and even embellish or fabricate aspects of their lives as they shape their public personas. Currently, Meghan appears to distance her public image from her father.

According to accounts from Meghan’s biographers, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, in their book “Finding Freedom,” Thomas Markle played a significant role in shaping Meghan’s self-perception, and her mother, Doria Ragland, received substantial support from him in raising Meghan. Despite their divorce after two years of marriage, they maintained a cooperative co-parenting relationship, sharing custody and celebrating holidays together, with minimal friction.

The book in question sheds light on the role played by both Meghan Markle’s parents in her upbringing and education. While it asserts that both contributed to her private school education, it highlights Thomas Markle’s critical influence in shaping Meghan’s development as a feminist.

The book, along with Bower’s “Revenge,” portrays Thomas Markle as the driving force behind Meghan’s first significant act of activism at the age of 11. According to the accounts, Meghan became angry and hurt upon seeing a Procter & Gamble TV ad for dishwashing liquid with the sexist tagline: “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” Both books state that Thomas Markle encouraged her to write a letter of protest to P&G’s president, as well as letters to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and Nickelodeon anchor Linda Ellerbee. Bower further mentions that Thomas Markle utilized his contacts in Hollywood to get Meghan on Ellerbee’s kids’ news TV show.

After Meghan’s parents separated, she divided her time between the two, as per Bower’s account. On the days when Thomas Markle worked an 18-hour shift, Doria Ragland and her mother cared for Meghan. On alternate days, Thomas collected Meghan from school and looked after her every weekend.

The relationship between Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, has been portrayed differently by various authors. Scobie and Durand, in their book, quoted Ragland’s brother as saying she was the most influential person in Meghan’s life. They described a close mother-daughter bond forged during Meghan’s childhood, where they engaged in activities like yoga, biking, cooking, and traveling together. The authors stated that Meghan and her mother were always open with each other, even after Meghan became an adult.

On the other hand, Bower presents a different perspective on Ragland’s role as a parent. He claimed that in 1986, when Meghan was 5 years old, Ragland found it too difficult to care for her, leading Meghan to spend afternoons with her friend Ninaki Priddy or her father. Bower further reported that just before Meghan turned 9 in 1990, Ragland announced she would be traveling frequently for her new clothing and jewelry business. At that point, Thomas Markle agreed to take full responsibility for their daughter, and Meghan moved permanently into his home, a converted barn in a neighborhood near Hollywood Boulevard.

The relationship between Meghan Markle and her father, Thomas Markle, was a close and supportive one during her childhood and early years. According to reports, Thomas Markle established a routine where he would drop Meghan off at school and either pick her up or send a limousine to bring her to his studio after school.

Before their fallout, Meghan spoke fondly of her father’s efforts to care for her. In a Father’s Day post on her former website, The Tig, she revealed that Thomas Markle would take her to ballet and tap classes on Saturdays, even after working more than 75 hours during the week. They would celebrate with a restaurant lunch of club sandwiches and fruit smoothies.

Thomas Markle actively encouraged Meghan’s interest in acting. He volunteered to set up professional lighting for her school productions and provided advice on stage presence and camera performance. He even took her to the Emmy Awards when he was nominated for best lighting director, allowing her to walk the red carpet.

In her post on The Tig, Meghan expressed her gratitude for her father’s unwavering support and belief in her dreams, stating, “He is the person who believed in this grand dream of mine well before I could see it as a possibility.”

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