With Markle's engagement (hooray!), her family finds itself in the spotlight—Prince Harry asked her mother Doria Ragland for permission before popping the question, and even before that, some relatives even gave interviews and shared childhood photos with British and American press.
So who are these (for the most part) chatty relatives and what are their relationships to Markle? Here’s everything we know about the princess-to-be’s family life.
She's Close to Her Mother
Markle describes Ragland as the biggest influence on her life. Though Markle lives in Toronto and her mother is in L.A., the two spend plenty of time with one another. They attend events together (such as the United Nations Women's Day in March 2015), grab yoga classes together (Doria is an instructor), and Markle even took her mom to London to meet Prince Harry.
In addition to teaching yoga, Doria is a licensed social worker and jewelry maker living in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. Her marriage to Markle's father, Thomas Markle, ended when the actress was six years old, after which Meghan lived with her mom but saw her dad regularly.
HER DAD WORKED IN SHOWBIZ
Markle is not the first one in her family to get a Hollywood gig. Meghan’s father Thomas W. Markle, 72, was a camera operator on the ‘80s sitcom Married with Children. He reportedly met Prince Harry last summer during a visit to Toronto, and, according to Markle's half brother, she and her dad “are very close and they stay in close contact.”
Thomas still lives in L.A, in an apartment in Hollywood, but often travels to Mexico.
HER HALF-SISTER IS A FORMER MODEL AND ACTRESS
Samantha Grant, 51, is Markle's half-sister from her father’s previous marriage—and has been openly critical of her baby sister. Samantha (who now goes by Samantha Markle) has reportedly called Meghan a “social climber,” adding, "Hollywood has changed her. I think her ambition is to become a princess."
She’s even writing a tell-all, reportedly titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister, which she says will include claims that Meghan always wanted to be a princess.
A mother of three and former actress and model based in Florida, Grant said she has alsosince being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008.
Still, Grant praised Markle on Entertainment Tonight, saying her half-sister is "just very beautiful and conservative, very real, very giving.”
SHE’S TALKED ABOUT GROWING UP MULTIRACIAL
Now 36, Markle has spoken of her pride in her mixed-race heritage and that her ancestors were once slaves.
Markle told Elle that she struggled with her identity, growing up with a black mother and white father: "You create the identity you want for yourself, just as my ancestors did when they were given their freedom."
In a post for her lifestyle site, The Tig, the actress recalled having to tick a box indicating her ethnicity as a teen, and being told to choose either white, black, Hispanic, or Asian.
"You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other—and one half of myself over the other," Markle wrote.
My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. 'Because that's how you look, Meghan,' she said. I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion. I couldn't bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out. So, I didn't tick a box. I left my identity blank—a question mark, an absolute incomplete—much like how I felt.
Markle says she grew to embrace her mixed heritage and is proud to be "a strong, confident mixed-race woman."