When Meghan Markle ties the knot with Prince Harry at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel on May 18, she will reportedly be walked down the aisle by her mother, Doria Radland, rather than her father, Thomas Markle. According to E! News, the soon-to-be royal, 36, is planning to “break a tradition or two” on her wedding day.
It makes sense that Meghan would pick her mom to do the honors. She and Doria are incredibly close. The mother-daughter duo were photographed frequently throughout 2017, while Meghan and Thomas were rarely seen together. The former Suits actress opened up about the special bond she and her mom share in an August 2017 piece she wrote for Glamour magazine about the 10 women who changed her life.
“My mom's a yoga instructor, but she does social work, as well, and she works specifically with the geriatric community,” the California native said of Doria, who is divorced from Thomas. “For me to watch this level of life-long sensitivity to nurturing and caregiving, but at the same time my mom has always been a free spirit. She's got dread locks and a nose ring. She just ran the LA Marathon.”
Meghan went on to say that while she has immense respect for Doria as her mother, she also considers the eccentric yogi one of her best friends. “We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support,” Meghan added. “That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend.”
If Doria does indeed walk Meghan down the aisle, it would be in stark contrast to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding — in which the duchess’ father, Michael Middleton, gave her away. Despite Meghan’s reportedly progressive decision to choose Doria over Thomas, the brunette beauty’s father did previously imply that he would like to walk her down the aisle.
Last month, the UK’s Daily Mirror approached Thomas in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. When the publication asked him if he’d like to give his daughter away, Thomas reportedly “beamed” and replied, “Yes, I’d love to.” His remarks came just weeks before his daughter’s fiancé, Harry, 33, referred to his royal relatives as the family Meghan “never had.”
It wasn’t long before Meghan’s estranged half-sister, Samantha Grant, clapped back at the handsome redhead. "Actually [Meghan] has a large family who were always there with her and for her," she fumed on Twitter. "No one was estranged, she was just too busy. Meg's family is complete with [a] sister, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and the glue of our family, our amazing, completely self-sacrificing father. She always had this family … Marrying merely extends it.”
Meghan's half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., also revealed his shock over Harry's statement. "She's had a really good family," he told the Daily Mail. ”We were as close as we could be, as tight as we could be, that's what we were. We'd get together on Christmases, on holidays, on birthdays, on Thanksgivings…It was always somewhere, even though we lived in different parts of the city [LA] — we still all got together.”
Though they are no longer together, Doria and Thomas released a joint statement to express their excitement over Meghan’s November engagement to Harry. "We are incredibly happy for Meghan and Harry. Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents,” the former couple said at the time. "We wish them a lifetime of happiness and are very excited for their future together.”