Look that hooked Meghan’s dad

As Harry’s girl said of her par­ents who may soon be his in-laws... ... and here, for the f irst time, are the charm­ing school pho­tos show­ing just what Meghan meant

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Picture Exclusive - From Caro­line Graham and Hugo Daniel IN LOS AN­GE­LES

FRESH-FACED and full of hope for the fu­ture, she could, surely, never in her wildest dreams have imag­ined that her daugh­ter would one day grow up and fall in love with a prince.

This is Meghan Markle’s mother as a teenager with cap­ti­vat­ing looks, seen in an en­chant­ing photo pub­lished for the first time here to­day.

Do­ria Ragland was just 16 and an out­stand­ing pupil at Fair­fax High School in Los An­ge­les when these pic­tures were taken for the school year­book in 1972. Her life then re­volved around her stud­ies, lis­ten­ing to Marvin Gaye and fun­filled nights at a local Mex­i­can taco joint with friends.

But just seven years later, Do­ria would fall head over heels in love with Thomas Markle, a hand­some Hol­ly­wood light­ing di­rec­tor 12 years her se­nior. Meghan has pre­vi­ously said of their ro­mance: ‘I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her afro plus their shared love of an­tiques. What­ever it was, they mar­ried and had me.’

The pair mar­ried in 1979. And two years later their beloved only daugh­ter Meghan was born.

If spec­u­la­tion proves to be cor­rect, Meghan may soon be en­gaged to Prince Harry, her boyfriend of the past 18 months.

Harry has already met Do­ria, most no­tably at the In­vic­tus Games in Toronto in Septem­ber. For friends of Do­ria, who re­mem­ber her as a ‘whip smart’ mem­ber of the school’s Apex Club – a class for ex­cep­tion­ally bright pupils – the no­tion that the young girl who loved flares and fash­ion is now min­gling with the Roy­als is a mod­ern-day fairy­tale.

‘Do­ria, who was nick­named Dodi at school, was a beau­ti­ful girl, in­side and out,’ re­calls Jen­nifer Cald­well, 61, a re­tired phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany ex­ec­u­tive. ‘She had this beau­ti­ful afro hair­style she was so proud of and she was al­ways into fash­ion.

‘She was al­ways smil­ing, whip smart and so­cia­ble. Af­ter she passed her driving test she would bor­row her mother’s car and we’d go to places like Tico’s, a cheap taco place which had long queues. We didn’t have much money but we had fun.’

Do­ria’s father Alvin ran an an­tiques shop and her mother was a nurse. The mod­est fam-

I like to think he was drawn to her sweet eyes and her afro, plus their shared love of an­tiques… what­ever it was, they mar­ried and had me

ROYAL DATE: Do­ria with Harry and Meghan at the In­vic­tus Games. Right: Tom Markle with Meghan, then aged 11

SCHOOL DAYS: Do­ria Ragland in her year­book photo, aged 16. Above: Aged 18, Tom Markle, the man she would later marry and with whom she would have Meghan, right

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