Doria Ragland probably won’t go to Sandringham for Christmas at this point?


Before “the smearing of Duchess Meghan” really took hold in the British papers for the past month, there was an interesting story about how the Queen was a big fan of Doria Ragland, and the Queen wanted to ensure that Meghan and Doria could spend Christmas together, so the Queen invited Doria to Sandringham for Christmas. As I pointed out at the time, the Countess of Wessex is allowed to invite her widower father to Sandringham too, so it made some kind of sense (to me) that Meghan would be allowed to invite her only close family. Only now royal reporter Victoria Murphy says Doria probably won’t come? But the wording being used is weird:

Despite rumours that Her Maj had bent the rules by inviting Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland to join in, according to one royal expert has claimed this isn’t the case. Speaking to Yahoo UK’s The Royal Box, Victoria Murphy explained it’s unlikely Doria was ever invited, as it’s “not usual” for in-laws to attend.

“My understanding is that she’s not going,” said Victoria. “I don’t think that’s because they weren’t able to or anything like that, I just think it’s not usual for in-laws to go. I know it was suggested that she was going to go but that was never confirmed.”

Royal biographer Duncan Larcombe added: “That would have been such a break, such an enormous break from royal tradition… She was never going to go. That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be welcome and she is very welcome within the royal fold but Sandringham’s special.”

[From The Sun]

Does any reporter know for sure or are they just shutting down the story because “it’s not usual for in-laws to go”? Doria has been making some quiet trips to the UK since her daughter married Harry, and I tend to believe that Doria will be in England for Christmas or around Christmas too – maybe she’ll be at Sandringham, maybe she won’t. But I’m sure Meghan will make her mom a priority around the holidays.


Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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61 Responses to “Doria Ragland probably won’t go to Sandringham for Christmas at this point?”

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  1. Loretta says:

    I hope Doria will be a Sandringham.

    • MoxyLady says:

      Why does royal tradition matter? I don’t understand why there is a staunch need to defend it.

      • Damasq says:

        With Royalty comes tradition. That’s the whole bloody point of them! RF aren’t celebrities and they aren’t supposed to be. Useless benefit scroungers living off taxpayers hard earned money are good for the tradition and stability of the country. And if it didn’t matter.. people wouldn’t have been so pearl-clutching over Kate for so many years! The rules, the tradition, and the protocol criticisms have now been transferred to Meghan.

      • Tina says:

        Tradition is whatever the Queen says it is. She doesn’t invite big families of in-laws like the Middletons or the Tindalls for obvious space reasons, but as Kaiser says she has been inviting Sophie’s widower father for years. The tradition argument is silly. Doria may or may not come, but the Queen’s hands are not tied here.

  2. Louise177 says:

    I don’t think it’s a huge deal if Doria does or doesn’t go. I know people want to use it as proof if the Royals like her or not but I don’t think it will (dis)prove anything. It’s unusual for in-laws to be invited except for the rare circumstance. In general I think that people make things a lot bigger deal when it comes to Meghan.

    • Becks1 says:

      I actually agree with this; if Doria isn’t there, I don’t think it means she is hated by the royal family. I do think the queen and prince Charles genuinely like her and appreciate her work ethic. And Charles seemed super considerate of Doria at the wedding. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re all BFFs behind closed doors – but like you said, I don’t think an invitation is proof of Doria being liked or disliked.

    • Ellaus says:

      I too agree with all of this. These reporters don’t really know anything, and if Doria wouldn’t be at Sandringham this year, it doesn’t mean they don’t like her, or that they are shunning her. As much as I like Meghan she is a small (albeit very interesting) part of the BRF, so it is not sensible to think that every decisión is there to spite her.
      I do, however, think that Doria will be in England this Christmas, and in Norfolk. She only has one daughter, who is pregnant with her first grandchildren… Meghan and Doria are a team that has endured with grace and intelligence many things, they won’t be apart at Christmas.

    • Nikki says:

      I totally agree with Louise177.

  3. manda says:

    If she is close to her mom, then I want her mom there for her. I hope it works out for them!

    • Royalwatcher says:

      I hope so too. But I wonder if she will be in England but not invited to the official gathering and this is why Harry and Meghan won’t be staying with Will and Kate (other article from this morning). They’ll be staying at another cottage on the Sandringham estate, or maybe at a nearby home where they can be with Doria for the rest of the time.

      • Bettyrose says:

        RW, I hope H/M/D are staying together in another cottage. Then everyone might be able to relax and enjoy the holiday a bit rather than tip toeing around drama the whole time.

      • jan90067 says:

        Ahhh… but that wouldn’t perpetuate the cat fight between the women, and we can’t have that! I think even if it was known that Doria will be on the estate, it would still run the narrative that H&M don’t want to stay with meanies W&K. Gets more clicks/sells more papers to the racists.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      I was going to scroll to the bottom and say almost the same thing @Manda and it stopped at your comment part way down. So why re-write it? Except I do think they’re very close and that if she wants her mom there that there’s a way to make it happen. They keep surprising us, so fingers crossed.

  4. Royalwatcher says:

    Why doesn’t the person interviewing the supposed royal reporters ask them why, if it’s “not usual” does Sophie’s father attend every year? And why don’t these “reporters” not already know this? Why can lay people like us or folks on twitter use the internet to find out more information and the actual truth than these stupid “reporters?” Does no one use critical thinking anymore? This just makes it more and more obvious that certain royal “reporters” are racist and/or have an agenda and/or are doing the bidding of someone inside one of the palaces. Then later when their claims are proven untrue they just look foolish…but obviously they bank on most people not remembering their original lies. Enough already!

    • CokeLite says:

      Do we know when Sophie’s dad was invited? Maybe he goes to Sandringham, but was not invited until several years into his daughter’s marriage to Edward.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Yes, Sophie’s father has been invited to stay at Sandringham at Christmas for years, ever since his wife passed away in 2005. Inviting Doria would fit with this model. The tabloid hack royal reporters conveniently forget this when looking for ways to “other” Meghan.

    • Some chick says:

      They most certainly have an agenda/storyline to promote.

    • Damasq says:

      The thing is, if it was usual for the inlaws to be invited, the Middleton fam would be invited every year or every other year, but they aren’t. I think it was after Sophie’s mum passed away, that’s when they started inviting her father. Sophie & Edward were married in the late 90s, they weren’t inviting her parents back then. Technically, the reporters aren’t wrong.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I think the royal reporters are using the term “at Sandringham for Christmas” to refer to the church walk, etc. But its entirely possible that Doria would be there and we wouldn’t see her (a la Sophie’s dad.) If she is in England for Christmas, which seems likely, then I assume she will be at Sandringham. But if there’s never any proof, then everyone can just go on believing what they want to believe.

    Next year, with the baby here? I cant believe she would be anywhere but with Meghan and the baby for the first Christmas.

  6. Piper says:

    This confirms something that has bothered me from the beginning of this smear camapcjn, or the white markles access to press.

    There’s never any factual based press. nothing is ever confirmed… it’s been all sources say, it is believed, unnamed royal expert. But not one real named source for any of the lies we’ve been told until their disputed with truth. Jobson is the only actual sourced story we’ve heard. The Doria thing never seemed accurate bc again it was rumored never confirmed and started at DM.

    The issue with so many unidentified royal sources is editors are completely guessing and making up bs. And it only comes around when totally new stories are revealed like the diva story has no basis now bc even KP said it’s untrue before the Harry/William were the cause.

    I found this more accurate. I follow many entertainers and rarely if ever does DM have accurate information, they may get photo assumption right or event location but any details around relationships etc all wrong, plus DM is under Piers nose, he’s got an ax to grind. The Sun, never trusted – always lies. Telegraph and Independent – more shocked by their smearing based on bad intel but the royal reporters working for them are terrible. Even Tom Syke, grain of salt.

    Everyone was too eager to report Doria as truth without one shred of confirmation an invitation was ever extended.

    Only reporters who have been somewhat accurate and impartial are Victoria M, Omid, Nicholll and People Mag. USW, have a terrible track record but I’d trust them over U.K. press who’ve ruined their rep by being so manipulative.

    • Becca says:

      Yes I agree. This isn’t gossip, it’s guessing.

    • jan90067 says:

      That is a great read. Thank you for posting the link. I wish it was mandated reading for all royal reporters, hell…for anyone who reads about the royals!

      It just baffles me to no end how these sh!t-stirrers can live with themselves, knowing they’re adding to all the racism and hatred out there.

      Unlike the writer of that blog, I DO hope they get coal in their stockings lol

    • Bettyrose says:

      Grea read! Thsnks for the link, Piper.

    • Himmiefan says:

      I agree. This goes to show just how unreliable any of these news stories are. Now, to her credit, Doria hasn’t commented one way or the other, unlike the other low-lives.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Marlene usually gets on my last nerve, but that piece was pretty good.

    • Magdalin says:

      Marlene is one of the best royal journalists out there. I’ve read her work for years. She is like the Robert Mueller of royal coverage. Never bases things on conjecture; always has back-up if she does say something.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She is also at times an amazing kiss-up and hanger-on, thinking herself personal friends with certain lesser-known royals. That’s what makes me side-eye much of what she writes.

      • TheOtherSam says:

        @nota ITA. She’s highly knowledgeable but a piece of work.

    • Damasq says:

      “There’s never any factual based press. nothing is ever confirmed… it’s been all sources say, it is believed, unnamed royal expert.”

      Umm, how is this any different from any other Royal gossip? I mean, how does the gossip about the other couple start? All unnamed sources, unnamed courtiers & experts, no facts – just royal reporters and writers saying things without any evidence or confirmation. It’s believed by some who already have their own narrative made up and ridiculed by others. Shrugs.
      The “sources sources, I want the source, where are your sources? You’re lying! Name your sources” jibes have only sprung up with the Sussexes. Where are the cries of sources when it is any other Royal? That is what I find funny watching this on social media. At least Nikkah has been spared from the unnecessary, nasty remarks, for now.

    • PrincessK says:

      I agree with most of what she said, although I think there are one or two inaccuracies in it, for example, who curtsies to who etc.

    • Tina says:

      Interesting read, but there’s a bit of nuance on the curtsying. The Queen changed the order of precedence in 2005 so the “blood princesses” would not have to defer to Camilla if Charles was not present, and again in 2012 for the same thing for Kate (and I imagine again this year for Meghan).

  7. Louise says:

    how come Meghan didn’t live with her mum during her teenage years? was she closer to a certain school with her dad? Just wondering what the reason was.

    • Jan90067 says:

      IIRC, I read that Doria was taking care of her ill mother, and was out of state a lot during that time. Also, the private high school that Meghan wanted to attend was right by where her father lived, so she stayed with him for those years.

      • Vanessa says:

        Samantha and Thomas made a huge deal about Meghan living with him when she was a teenager that it was his parenting alone that made Meghan into a duchess. Samantha claim that Doria abandoned Meghan went off to live her life when in reality Doria went to go take care of her dying mother and probably didn’t want Meghan school life up routed . Both Samantha and Thomas are completely totally asshole they both throw out that line about Meghan living with him to try to take credit for what Meghan becoming in life living with Thomas clearly shown Meghan something about her father and that’s why they had a falling out when she went to college.

    • ZigZags says:

      It’s not uncommon for kids with divorced parents to live with one parent for a few years if there are school issues. Particularly in California where 50/50 custody is gospel or back in the old days where custody arrangements were very fluid.

      Source: child of divorced parents in CA that lived with a different parent for a few years for financial, emotional, and educational reasons back in the day.

  8. RBC says:

    Why am I seeing another smear Meghan headline coming? I can just see it now:”Meghan throws another diva hissy fit! Meghan furious at the Queen for refusing to allow Doria to attend Sandringham for Christmas “
    For all most of us know Doria might be in England now or will attend Sandringham for the holidays. The media seems to be on attack mode lately when it comes to Meghan
    I still say the source of these rumours and gossip is Princess Michael of Kent. Prince Andrew is also a good suspect too

  9. Big Eyes says:

    #MyPalaceSource tells me Doria and Meghan have not spent Christmas together since 6 years ago*. Things change, the gold fishbowl…one needs mum (and I mean it in a good way).

    *IF she goes, the PRESS will be all over her presence at Sandringham and my above comment that they haven’t spent Xmas (or New Years)(for their press website clicks, more money).

  10. Eleonor says:

    This royal protocol is ridicoulous and exhausting.
    I couldn’t deal with it.

    • Himmiefan says:

      And for four days! Two is a much better visit for any family.

    • Polly says:

      I think that having to follow a bit of protocol is a small price to pay for the luxurious lifestyle these people get at taxpayer’s expense. Every organisation has protocols that their employees have to follow. If you don’t like the rules don’t work for the organisation.

  11. aquarius64 says:

    Until we get confirmation we don’t know for sure. Even the Fail is not running this claim.

  12. Rosie says:

    I would hope they would have a cottage on the estate so that they can pop to the big house for key events but then relax, with Doria not under pressure to do more than she wants. Would anyone really want to change clothes 5 times or whatever it is and follow a schedule that runs like a German train timetable?

    Otherwise maybe Meghan is going to have a Windsor Christmas this year and then next year (Ist with the baby) have their own Sussex style Christmas. Yes Big Eyes you’re right even the most independent women tend to gravitate back to their mum’s once they have children.

    I did read a comment somewhere that Doria has a partner. Nobody else’s damn business if she does and good on her for managing to keep her privacy. It might explain why she might not be in a rush to spend Christmas here. Next year is the special year.

  13. Lily says:

    This is pissing me off, the Royal Family know the amount of good press they’ve gained in their way of accepting Meghan and Doria to the royal fold and know Doria being there at Christmas would benefit them greatly but when Meghan is being smeared in the British Press, no action is taken…..I can honestly imagine Meghan and Doria side-eyeing all of this. Maybe that’s why?

  14. Other Renee says:

    It must be awful for Doria to be reading or hearing all this crap about her child and be helpless to say anything for fear of even more backlash.

    I’ve said this before. My money’s on Andrew to be the instigator of the smear campaign. It began in earnest after the Sussex tour of Australia etc and the catalyst was likely the announcement of the pregnancy which totally overshadowed Eugenie’s wedding. I imagine Andrew was apoplectic and decided then and there on revenge. He had hoped to sway public sentiment in favor of his daughters in hopes of upping their visibility and royal work assignments and that was an epic fail.

    • Lady D says:

      The genius thought he could sway public sentiment towards his daughter by using millions of taxpayer dollars on a non-working royal’s wedding, Andrew acts like his daughters are the only ‘true blood royal princesses’ in the family. I’m pretty sure Zara did it first, and there is also the Lady Louise.

      • Damasq says:

        Eh, millions of taxpayer pounds would have been spent anyway because every senior member was in attendance. This is the same for all the big events. If you’re American, if you didn’t care about our “taxpayer dollars” being spent on Harry’s wedding, I don’t know why you would care about Eugenie’s.

      • Lady D says:

        The Crown costs us, (Canada) approximately $50-60 million a year, and for the record it was Andrew’s arrogance I was highlighting, not the actual tax dollars spent. Sorry I wasn’t clearer:) I forget that sarcasm doesn’t always translate well.

      • Tina says:

        The security costs go up significantly when they leave the walls of Windsor Castle. Given the global interest in Harry and Meghan’s wedding and the number of people who turned up for it, their carriage ride around Windsor made sense. Doing the same, at a cost of millions, for Eugenie and Jack in front of a few hundred die-hards was a colossal waste of money IMO.

    • PrincessK says:

      I think a number of people, primarily the Cambridge Camp, were hugely alarmed at the success of the Australia tour coming straight after the Duchess of Success cookbook. This all made Kate look insipid and question the impact of her royal duties. The Cambridges certainly did not get the same popular reception given to the Sussexes when they went to Australia, and they even had a baby to help their PR. I would be imagine that the Cambridges will be concerned about going on their next tour , the comparisons will be obvious. They will probably stick to visiting countries where the weather is cold.

  15. TheOriginalMia says:

    Doria might come after Christmas. She knows Meghan’s life is different and certain things are expected of her as a member of the BRF. Rather than add to any pressure to H&M’s life, she can come after Christmas and enjoy the holiday with Harry, Meghan, Charles, Camilla and the Queen undercover and in a relaxed setting.

    • Lady D says:

      I think that’s what she will do too, based on nothing more than watching her actions and demeanor. I’m sure she wants to make sure Meghan’s first royal Christmas is as stress-free as possible.

  16. Janet says:

    Is Meghan Dora’s only child? Has she ever married again or been single most of Meghans’s life? Does anyone know?

  17. Patty says:

    Wasn’t it just pure gossip and speculation that she was invited to begin with? I don’t really see a story here or an angle. For all we know Doria could be spending Christmas with other family, friends, doing volunteer work; any number of things.

  18. BeanieBean says:

    ‘…that her maj bent the rules….’? Who makes rules about who the Queen can invite to her home for Christmas? What nonsense.

  19. Leyton says:

    Here’s the thing with these kind of “reports”: IT IS ALL GOSSIP!

    There was nothing confirming that she would be there and yet, some took it as gospel. I don’t think Doria wants the headache. She’ll be there for Meghan at her own things but these huge family celebrations? I don’t think she’s the kind of woman who likes that scene. Honestly, I don’t think Meghan is into it much either. Both seem to do Christmas and Holidays with one or two people.

    Either way, I hope they all have a nice holiday and I hope it’s away from the prying eyes of the press. The last month or so has been bonkers in the Royal world!