Meghan Markle’s ‘indispensable’ mum Doria’s role with Lilibet amid absent royals

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Doria Ragland has proven to be the perfect grandmother to baby Archie – and will also play a vital role for his sister Lilibet.

Archie has barely seen his royal side of the family, but Meghan Markle's mum was been there to offer support as a very 'hands on' grandparent from the start.

Doria even reportedly took grandparenting lessons from a baby expert, which cost a whopping £5,000 a session, so she was prepared.

The dedicated grandmother provided "indispensable" help to her daughter and Prince Harry during her grandson's early days and is already doing the same for baby Lilibet, who was born on Friday June 4.

Doria was not present at the birth this time round but has moved into the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's £10.5million mansion in Montecito, California.

From the very beginning, it was seemingly evident Doria would be playing a far greater role in the lives of Harry and Meghan's kids than their royal relatives.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show Archie to the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
(Image: PA)

Part of the official royal communication sent out following Archie's birth suggested Doria would be playing a significant part in her grandson's life.

"The Duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage," the statement read.

By way of contrast, royals including The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince and Wales and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all lumped together in a single paragraph.

Doria flew across the pond to be with Meghan for the birth and stayed for a few weeks to allow them to settle in back home.

Meghan and Harry reportedly refused to hire a large staff to help with the baby and apparently has a "scaled down team", which was possible because of Doria's assistance.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl told Grazia magazine: "They don’t yet have a nanny or a team of staff and there's no chef.

"Doria has been helping out, she has been indispensable."

Doria has been 'indispensable' in helping her daughter and Harry
(Image: Getty Images)

Before Archie was born, The Daily Mail claimed Doria had enrolled for grandparenting lessons with baby expert Brandi Jordan

Known as the 'Baby Sleep Fairy' among Hollywood mothers, Brandi charged a string of A-list clients £5,000 for sessions, including Megan Fox, Rosamund Pike and Julia Stiles.

Eager to continue the emotional and practical support, Doria signed up to Brandi's Cradle Company service – a "postpartum resource center" which assists in "bringing your family balance, structure, guidance and harmony."

Meghan's uncle, Joseph Johnson, said he thought Doria would play a major part in the baby's life and be raised with love and kindness as his niece was.

Mr Johnson told the Daily Mail in an interview in California: "I think [Doria] will be a big part. I think she'll be hands-on, just because of Meghan's time constraints. She'll have to be around.

"I think she'll be a great grandmother, if she helps raise that child anything like Meghan was raised."

Doria was beaming during Archie's christening
(Image: PA)

While Doria's stepmother, Ava Burrows, also said she believed she would be an incredibly active grandparent.

"In some families in the US, grandma is a big deal," she told Mail Online.

"Historically, in our culture, the mother worked long hours and needed all the support with her kids that she could get.

"Doria is very important to Meghan, and vice-versa. So I’m sure she wants to be a big part of her life, and her baby's life.

"She'll be a wonderful grandmother."

With Meghan estranged from her father Thomas Markle, Doria was filling the shoes of two grandparents from her side of the family.

Although it was suggested that Doria "would not get a look in" if Princess Diana was still alive.

Former royal butler Paul Burrell told Good Morning Britain that if Prince Harry's mother would have been ecstatic and doted on her grandchild.

He told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: "She'd be in her element wouldn’t she? Doria would not get a look in. She'd have been thrilled to bits."

There are obviously tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family and it is unknown when they will actually get to meet Lilibet.

Archie has been able to see his cousins, aunt and uncle, and grandparents via video call during the pandemic and the Sussexes also spoke regularly to the Queen and Prince Philip before his death.

Therefore it's highly likely that the first time the royals will get to see Lilibet will be virtually, but luckily she is able to see grandma Doria already.

Doria has been a constant source of support
(Image: PA)

There has also been the suggestion that Harry and Meghan paid tribute to Doria in their daughter's name – Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have sweetly named their newborn daughter after The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.

But journalist Afua Adom said that it was "not just about being named after the Queen" and claimed there was a hidden reference to Doria.

"It is a bit of a nod to Meghan's mother Doria as well, because Meghan's mother's nickname for her is flower, hence why we've got Lili in there for Lilibet," said Afua on Good Morning Britain.

But host Susanna Reid wasn't convinced, suggesting that it was "a bit of a stretch".

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