It Runs in the Family: While Meghan Skypes Malawi, Mom Doria Ragland Runs a 5K for Charity—and Inspires a Romance Novel

Doria Ragland crosses the finish line at the 21st Annual Alive And Running 5k For Suicide Prevention on September 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Robin L Marshall (Getty Images)

Clearly, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gets her humanitarianism from her mama. It’s a fact the royal pointed out in her now-defunct blog The Tig, where she credited her mom, clinical therapist Doria Ragland, with raising her to be “a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities.”

That ethos proved true this weekend as Meghan, currently visiting Africa, surprised charity workers and beneficiaries of the Campaign for Female Education in Malawi (CAMA) via Skype while Prince Harry made an in-person appearance (Meghan stayed behind in South Africa with baby Archie).

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But while the duchess was sending encouragement from afar, her mother put her feet on the ground—literally—completing the 21st Annual Alive & Running 5k for Suicide Prevention on Sunday in Los Angeles. According to the event’s website (h/t Harper’s Bazaar), the run is an “uplifting, life-affirming event that remembers loved ones lost to suicide while raising funds and awareness for the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center.”

Considered “a leader around the world in training, research and services for people who have thought about, attempted or lost someone to suicide,” the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center is the first of its kind in the nation, according to Bazaar, which also notes Meghan and Harry’s involvement with mental health advocacy via the Royal Foundation.

While Ragland’s effort is impressive on many levels, it’s not the only noteworthy moment the 63-year-old Californian is having this week. According to Town & Country, Prince Harry’s mother-in-law is the muse behind bestselling romance author—and fellow black Californian—Jasmine Guillory’s latest novel, Royal Holiday, out tomorrow, Oct. 1.

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Screenshot: Berkley Publishing (Amazon)

Reportedly inspired by Ragland’s royal invite to celebrate Christmas with Queen Elizabeth last year, there doesn’t appear to be a royal wedding in Guillory’s plot, but there is no shortage of romance. As the book’s synopsis on Amazon reads:

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?

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Sounds steamy—almost as steamy as running a 5K. But while Meghan and Harry may have the real-life fairytale ending, it’s cute to consider Ragland in the running for one as well, albeit fictionally. Perhaps she’ll soon garner her own Lifetime movie, too?

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.