Kate and Meghan's mu­ma­likes

From Ca­role and Do­ria's hum­ble up­bring­ings to their air host­ess jobs and those em­bar­rass­ing rel­a­tives, the very sur­pris­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two moth­ers

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL - By An­to­nia Hoyle

One is a laid- back LA so­cial worker who sports a nose ring; the other a blow-driedto-per­fec­tion Home Coun­ties party plan­ner with a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing pushy. At first glance, th­ese two six­tysome­things ap­pear to have lit­tle in com­mon - ex­cept, of course, hav­ing raised daugh­ters who are now on in­ti­mate terms with the Royal Fam­ily. But there are sur­pris­ing par­al­lels be­tween Meghan Markle’s mother, Do­ria Ragland, who was pic­tured with her daugh­ter and Prince Harry for the first time at the In­vic­tus Games in Toronto last week, and Ca­role Mid­dle­ton, mother to the Duchess of Cam­bridge.

Two te­na­cious ma­tri­archs on the rise

Both women seem to have in­her­ited a steely re­solve from fore­bears deter- mined to bet­ter their lot. Do­ria, 60, is the de­scen­dant of slaves whose great- great- grand­fa­ther was forced to work on the cot­ton plan­ta­tions of Amer­ica’s Deep South and was freed af­ter Abo­li­tion in 1865. Sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions rose to pro­fes­sional suc­cess, with Do­ria’s great-aunt Dora be­com­ing a teacher and her fa­ther, Alvin, an an­tiques dealer.

Ca­role’s back­ground lacks such bru­tal in­jus­tice, but she and her fam­ily had to sur­mount sig­nif­i­cant ob­sta­cles to end up hob­nob­bing with the aris­toc­racy. Her mother’s side of the fam­ily were coal-min­ers; her fa­ther, Ron­ald, a builder. Ca­role, 62, held a Satur­day job at fash­ion re­tailer C&A by her teens.

Both got off to a fly­ing start . . .

Long be­fore ei­ther of them made their names, how­ever, both ap­par­ently had stints work­ing as air hostesses. Ca­role was a flight at­ten­dant for Bri­tish Air­ways for three years in her 20s un­til she be­came preg­nant with Kate, while friends of Do­ria’s have said she worked as a flight at­ten­dant af­ter sep­a­rat­ing from her hus­band, Thomas Markle, when Meghan was young. Pre­sum­ably, Do­ria and Ca­role can dis­cuss pesky pas­sen­gers and the per­ils of jet lag when they do even­tu­ally meet.

. . . And picked up help­ful hus­bands

Ar­guably, nei­ther woman would have reached her cur­rent im­pres­sive stand­ing with­out the help of the man she mar­ried.

When Do­ria met Meghan’s fa­ther, she was a 20- year- old stu­dio temp while Thomas, 12 years her se­nior, was al­ready a suc­cess­ful light­ing di­rec­tor on a soap opera. The cou­ple - who mar­ried in 1979 - di­vorced when Meghan was five years old, but they main­tained joint cus­tody of their daugh­ter. It seems it was his ca­reer that helped pay for Meghan’s pri­vate school­ing and gave her an en­tree into show­busi­ness.

Mean­while, Ca­role’s hus­band Michael - whom she wed in 1980 - worked his way up from flight at­ten­dant to man­ager shortly af­ter they met. He also in­her­ited a sig­nif­i­cant sum of money from his great-grand­fa­ther, Fran­cis, a wealthy wool mer­chant.

Only the best for their princesses

De­spite their own school­ing be­ing gov- ern­ment-funded, both women pulled out all the stops to get their daugh­ters the best ed­u­ca­tion money could buy. Do­ria sent Meghan to Hol­ly­wood Lit­tle Red School­house, a pri­vate pri­mary which boasts Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Gar­land as past pupils. Meghan later at­tended the pres­ti­gious, all- girl Catholic Im­mac­u­late Heart High School, where fees are up­wards of £12,000 a year.

Ca­role sent Kate, 35, to Marl­bor­ough Col­lege. At £31,050 a year per day child, the fees must have been quite a sac­ri­fice in the days.

Red-faced over those rel­a­tives

Should they ever find them­selves stuck for con­ver­sa­tion, Do­ria and Ca­role could al­ways com­mis­er­ate with one an­other on the em­bar­rass­ing skele­tons in their fam­ily clos­ets. Do­ria has a dou­ble whammy. For­mer step­daugh­ter Sa­man­tha Grant, 52, from Thomas’s first mar­riage, ac­cused Meghan of be­ing ‘nar­cis­sis­tic and self­ish’ and is said to be pen­ning a tell-all book with the work­ing ti­tle The Di­ary Of Princess Pushy’s Sis­ter. And her brother, Do­ria’s for­mer step­son, Thomas Markle Jr, 50, was ar­rested at his home in Ore­gon af­ter al­legedly hold­ing a gun to his girl­friend’s head dur­ing a drunken row.

Ca­role, of course, has her gre­gar­i­ous brother Gary Gold­smith. The self-made IT re­cruit­ment mil­lion­aire gave a re­veal­ing, 16- page in­ter­view to Hello! mag­a­zine de­scrib­ing Wil­liam and Kate’s stay at La Mai­son de Bang Bang, his Ibizan home where he was once filmed pre­par­ing lines of co­caine.

They splash cash on look­ing good

Ca­role, is a reg­u­lar at hair­dresser-tothe-stars Richard Ward’s sa­lon and who is rarely pho­tographed with­out per­fectly ap­plied cos­met­ics. She is also re­port­edly treated by celebrity fa­cial­ist Linda Mered­ith, who counts Madonna among her clients and whose anti-age­ing treat­ments cost around £150. Do­ria is sim­i­larly keen on sk­in­care. ‘ When I was 13 years old, my mum had me start get­ting fa­cials,’ Meghan has said. ' My mum says: “You must al­ways take care of your skin.” ’

One's a yogi - the other a ten­nis ace

Few six­tysome­things look as slim as Do­ria or Ca­role with­out some se­ri­ous hard graft. Do­ria likes to run - she com­pleted the LA Marathon - and keeps sup­ple with yoga.

Ca­role’s pun­ish­ing reg­i­men, mean­while, in­cludes ten­nis, daily swim­ming ses­sions in the heated pool at her man­sion and hy­dro-spin­ning classes - a mix of high- in­ten­sity aqua aer­o­bics and cy­cling.

Fans of Kale and Green tea

Both women know the im­por­tance of eat­ing well - even if they do take very dif­fer­ent ap­proaches. Ac­cord­ing to Meghan, Do­ria con­di­tioned her daugh­ter to like tacos, and plyed the fam­ily with lean meat. ‘ Mum cooked a lot of turkey when I was grow­ing up,’ Meghan has said. ‘Turkey meat­loaf, turkey burg­ers, ground turkey shep­herd’s pie.’

Equally health- con­scious, al­though ar­guably less new-age about it, Ca­role is said to be a fan of the fash­ion­able Sirt­food diet, which in­volves eat­ing foods such as dark choco­late, matcha (green tea) pow­der and kale as they sup­pos­edly ac­ti­vate pro­teins called sir­tu­ins to reg­u­late the me­tab­o­lism and slow the age­ing process.

Help­ing hands in find­ing love

Nei­ther Do­ria nor Ca­role has been able to re­sist of­fer­ing ro­man­tic guid­ance to her daugh­ter - ad­vice which seems to have been worth its weight in gold. Meghan has said she doesn’t wear re­veal­ing clothes be­cause Do­ria im­posed strict lim­its on her as a teenager, ex­plain­ing her rea­son­ing bluntly: ‘ Honey, never give the milk away for free.’

Ca­role, mean­while, was ru­moured to have per­suaded the Duchess of Cam­bridge to change her choice of uni­ver­sity on hear­ing that Wil­liam was go­ing to St An­drews, in the hope that the pair would meet and hit it off.

Meghan Markle’s mother, Do­ria

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.