When Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland married in the '70s, many did not accept their biracial relationship. However, they had a beautiful daughter, Meghan Markle, who would later become part of the Royal Family. Meghan, like many others, sometimes finds difficulty in discussing her mixed heritage.
In recent years, society has become more accepting of people from different races, but it doesn't mean that it is an easy topic for people of color to discuss.
Meghan Markle, born biracial, was among those who were somewhat nervous to tell her story to the public. In an interview with Elle, she detailed how her parents met and what it was like growing up with a white father and a biracial mother.
Meghan Markle during a reception for the Invictus Games at Nations Home at Zuiderpark on April 15, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands. | Source: Getty Images
Meghan's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland met in the '70s when he was a soap opera lighting director, and she was a temp at the studio. Aside from her physical features, pleasant eyes, and curly hair, he was drawn to their similar interest – a love of antiques.
THOMAS CONFRONTS THE DOCTOR DURING MEGHAN'S BIRTH
Although their relationship was not as accepted by society then, they tied the knot and moved into a Los Angeles home with their daughter, Meghan. The couple welcomed their first child, Meghan, on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, two years after getting married.
When Meghan was born, Thomas confronted the doctor for him to write the former "Suits" star's correct race on her birth certificate, indicating that it should be mixed instead of Black. At that time, US individuals could only have one box checked to indicate their heritage. He said:
“I had no problem with Black or white, but in my mind, it should have been mixed.”
DORIA WAS MISTAKEN AS MEGHAN'S NANNY
However, challenges surrounding their mixed-race relationship continued as time passed. Their neighborhood was not as diverse, so Doria was put on the spot while walking around with Meghan on one occasion.
Doria Ragland before the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images
Someone asked Doria where her child's mother was, assuming she was the nanny. Undoubtedly, it wasn't a pleasant conversation Doria had and one she would never forget. Meghan said:
“I was too young at that time to know what it was like for my parents, but I can tell you what it was like for me – how they crafted the world around me to make me feel like I wasn't different but special. “
When she was seven, Meghan wanted a Barbie doll set called The Heart Family. Each box included a doll of a mom, a dad, and two kids but only came in either a collection of black or white dolls. Meghan did not want a particular set but always hoped to have a complete family.
Meghan Markle and Doria Ragland at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. | Source: Getty Images
During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan revealed that her son, Archie's, skin color was an issue with one of the family members while she was pregnant.
That Christmas morning, she found a box wrapped in glittering wrapping paper with her name on it. When she opened the package, she found the Heart Family with a black mom, a white dad, a black child, and a white child. "My dad had taken the sets apart and customized my family," she said.
Another incident happened during her seventh grade when Meghan was more mature and had moments where her parents couldn't fend for her. "There was a mandatory census I had to complete in my English class," she narrated. "You had to check one of the boxes to indicate your ethnicity."
Meghan Markle during the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The choices were either White, Black, Asian, or Hispanic. Meghan did not know which to pick, knowing she could only choose one, which to her felt like choosing one parent over the other.
Although her teacher told her to check the Caucasian box, Meghan could not bring herself to decide immediately. She was confused and knew her mother would feel uncomfortable and sad to find out that she had chosen one race over the other. She said:
“I didn't tick a box. I left my identity blank – a question mark, an absolute incomplete – much like how I felt.”
Meghan Markle during a Creative Industries and Business Reception on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. | Source: Getty Images
Meghan told her father what had happened that evening, and what Thomas replied will always stay in his daughter's head. "If that happens again, you draw your own box," he said.
Thomas never showed Meghan his angry side, but that evening, she saw his face turn from pale to red. He was frustrated at the thought of his daughter falling victim to ignorance.
Thomas knew that marrying an African-American woman was not common in his community, but his love and acceptance defied all odds. He wanted his daughter to see past what society painted to be acceptable. "He wanted me to find my own truth," Meghan said.
Meghan Markle spotted at the Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
MEGHAN'S RACE INFLUENCED A LOT OF CHALLENGES IN HER LIFE
Meghan's mixed-race became a factor in her many challenges, including her career. Because she was mixed, she could pursue diverse acting roles, from an African American to a Latina. However, she still found hindrances in getting parts. Meghan said:
“It didn't matter. I wasn't black enough for the black roles, and I wasn't white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job.”
Meghan dealt with racial issues even when she married Prince Harry and joined the royal family. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan revealed that her son, Archie's, skin color was an issue with one of the family members while she was pregnant.
Meghan Markle and her son, Archie, play during a short video posted online. | Source: Getty Images
Meghan said that there were several "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born."
However, following Meghan and Harry's explosive tell-all interview, Prince William indirectly replied and said that the Royal Family is "Very much not racist."
Aside from the Sussex's relationship with the other royal members, Meghan also had a falling out with her father and sister, Samantha Markle, in recent years. Thomas and Samantha have since criticized Meghan's actions in public and continue to reveal private details about their life.
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