Queen’s touching gesture to Meghan’s mum
THE Queen could invite Meghan Markle's mum to Christmas in an attempt to ensure "family harmony", it has been claimed.
Insiders have suggested Doria Ragland may be among the guests at Sandringham this festive season to avoid the mistakes of the past that has seen extended family shut-out of the inner circle.
Sarah Ferguson, known as Fergie, has not received an invite to Sandringham for more than 20 years after divorcing Prince Andrew.
Princess Diana was also invited to spend Christmas with the Queen after her divorce from Prince Charles, but declined the invite.
The festive celebrations at the royal stately home is a highly traditional affair - with Princess Diana famously finding it stuffy and claustrophobic.
The decision to invite Doria is a huge gesture from the 92-year-old monarch, with it understood not even Prince William's in-laws the Middletons have been invited to stay at the Norfolk estate for Christmas.
A courtier told the Daily Mail: "She (the Queen) simply will not allow Meghan to feel unwelcome.
"Even at her great age she is putting a lot of effort in to ensure there is family harmony."
Doria, who is said to be moving to the UK to help the former actress after the birth of her first child, is Meghan's only family in the country.
In the past, only spouses and fiancés have been invited to Sandringham for Christmas.
A source previously told the Express: "It's a mark of the Queen's respect for Meghan and an acknowledgment that she doesn't have any other relations in this country - unlike Kate who has the support of a very close family."
Kate Middleton's family has been invited for the Christmas morning church service, but have always been based at Kate and William's home at Anmer Hall, rather than at the Queen's residence.
Doria Ragland's calm, warm demeanour appears to have impressed the Palace, after she was seen chatting away to her in-laws at the Royal Wedding.
But one royal expert has previously dismissed the claims Doria would be invited.
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.
Royal biographer Duncan Larcombe added: "That would have been such a break, such an enormous break from royal tradition."
The 62-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio, has been described by the Duchess of Sussex as a "free-spirited clinical therapist" who often took her travelling to remote places when she was younger.
Doria said she was thrilled at the Meghan's pregnancy, saying she was "very happy about this lovely news and is looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild."
Her relationship with the Royal Family marks a strong contrast to that with Meghan's dad, Thomas Markle.
The 74-year-old American today spoke out, revealing he still had not spoken to Meghan since she married Harry and that he had been texting her everyday.
But Meghan herself has been warned to be on her guard at the Royal Christmas gathering.
Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell cautioned the festive season with the royals was like "another reality".
Paul, 60, told the Daily Mail: "I've been there for so many Christmases, this house is occupied by some of the biggest personalities and egos in the country.
"All these people are members of the royal family, they are all larger than life, have character to go with it. Everyone is jostling for position and attention and they're bouncing off the walls after four days. It's like a pinball machine.
This article originally appeared inThe Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.