Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland is on her way to London as speculation mounts she will now be the one walking her daughter down the aisle.
The yoga instructor and social worker was picked up at her home in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon before heading to the airport.
She was then spotted going through a private entrance at Los Angeles International where she will enjoy VIP treatment before boarding her flight to the UK.
Doria was holding a Burberry clothes bag, likely to contain an outfit she will be wearing during the wedding celebrations.
The 61-year-old is now at the centre of mounting speculation that she will now be the one to walk Meghan down the aisle after her father appeared to confirm today he won’t be coming to ceremony at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
She wore a low-key ensemble for the 10 and a half hour flight, choosing a chic blazer over a white T-shirt that had a picture of a dog on the front.
Meghan’s mother arrived at LAX’s brand new Private Suite, used by the rich and famous, which provides ultimate privacy and luxury facilities, at a cost of thousands of pounds.
After arriving at Heathrow she will be whisked off to see her daughter and Prince Harry.
She’s staying with the bride at Cliveden House the night before the nuptials, and then travelling with her to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on the day.
The five star mansion, near the village of Teplow on the border of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire is roughly 15 minutes away by car to the wedding venue. It has been chosen for its secluded location and privacy.
Doria has been keeping a low profile over recent weeks in the run up to Saturday’s nuptials, and has been photographed out and about near her home in Los Angeles.
The yoga instructor and social worker has been described by Meghan as a ‘free spirited clinical therapist’ and she has been seen alongside Meghan at a number of public events.
Prince Harry, who has described her as ‘amazing’ flew Doria out to Toronto to join Meghan and himself at the Invictus Games last year.
Royal experts said at the time that Harry’s decision to invite Meghan’s mum to join them at the closing ceremony of his Invictus Games was ‘hugely significant.’
Doria was already expected to have an ‘important role’ during the ceremony. It is thought she will ride with Meghan in the car to the chapel in Windsor Castle.
She is also expected to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and his wife Kate before the big day.
Thomas Markle, 73, revealed that he is having major heart surgery today, coming just hours after it appeared Meghan had convinced her father to change his mind and attend the nuptials, when he announced he wouldn’t be coming on Monday.
He said he didn’t want to embarass his daughter any further after the Mail on Sunday revealed he had staged paparazzi shots for money.
Before again changing his mind, Thomas said he believed his ex-wife Doria would be a ‘good choice’ to give their daughter away.
Doria is the clear favorite to walk her down the aisle if Thomas is not cleared by doctors to fly.
Prince Charles is 2/1 with the bookies to step in while Prince William is 5/1 to take Meghan into St George’s before starting his duties as Harry’s best man.
There have also been a flurry of bets on Meghan walking down the aisle alone.
According to Us Weekly, the 61-year-old social worker she left her role at the Los Angeles clinic she had been working at to pursue her goal of starting her own private practice following her daughter’s nuptials.
‘Doria is no longer working at the mental health clinic in the Los Angeles area. It was Doria’s decision to leave,’ a source told the outlet. ‘She has talked about starting her own private practice, focusing on working with elderly patients.’
The reports about Doria’s decision to quit her job come just one week after it was revealed that she had met with TV legend Oprah Winfrey at her $88 million Los Angeles home in order to discuss ideas for a tell-all interview.
According to the Mirror Online, the duo spent six hours together going over potential topics that could be covered during a sit-down, with a source saying that they focused particularly on race and the role that it has played in Harry and Meghan’s relationship.
‘Oprah and Doria spent a long time chatting and they got on really well,’ the source said.
‘The most important and significant issue they spoke about was race and how badly some people had reacted to Meghan and Harry.
‘What happened to Meghan and Harry was disgusting and they and all of their families were horrified. It’s an issue close to both Doria and Oprah, who have both suffered racism.’
However, the interview reportedly needs to be approved by Meghan, Harry, and Buckingham Palace before it is recorded.
Growing up, Meghan lived with her mother in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles.
The Suits star’s mother, Doria, and her father, Thomas, divorced when she was six years old.
Although Doria is thought to be the only close relative attending the royal wedding, members of Meghan’s extended family are in town for Saturday’s celebration.
The former actress’ nephews Tyler and Thomas Dooley and their mother, Meghan’s sister-in-law Tracy Dooley, seem determined to take part in the big day.
Despite previously revealing they hadn’t received an invite to the royal wedding, the trio were seen making their way to the arrivals gate