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The Markles and The Middletons: a closer look at the ‘almost royal’ families

How two normal families found their way into the royal circle

by Sophie Hamilton

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first official appearance at the Invictus Games in Toronto on Monday, arriving hand in hand to much excitement from the crowd. Now that the pair have gone public with their romance, royal fans want to know everything about Suits actress Meghan. The attention on Meghan is reminiscent of that surrounding Kate Middleton before she got engaged to Prince William, with Meghan and Kate sharing similar backgrounds – they are both from non-royal families. Here’s a who’s who guide…

READ: Kate and Meghan Markle: their first public appearances with their Princes

The mums

Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland is a yoga teacher and social worker, who divorced Meghan’s father when she was six years old, according to reports. The pair are very close and Meghan has shared photos of the pair together on Instagram. Kate’s mum, Carole Middleton, used to be a flight attendant but is now a businesswoman and is mum to Kate, Pippa and James. Kate is also extremely close to her mother, with Carole visiting her this month to offer support as she battles sickness with her third pregnancy.

Meghan Markle with her mum Doria Ragland 

The dads

Duchess Kate’s father Michael Middleton is from a wealthy family with aristocratic connections. Like her mother, he also worked as a flight attendant for British Airways, which is where the couple met. The family home is Bucklebury home in Berkshire. Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, is a former Emmy Award winning lighting director. Earlier this year, Thomas Jr told MailOnline: "My dad knew about [the relationship] from the start. He first met Prince Harry about six months ago out in Toronto. He goes once every couple of months – [Meghan and Thomas Markle Sr] are very close and they stay in close contact."

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Kate's family: Carole, Michael, James and Pippa

The siblings

Meghan has a half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr and a half-sister, Samantha Grant. Thomas, 51, is 15 years older than Meghan and lives in Oregon, US, with his fiancée Darlene Blount and his two children. He told the Daily Mail this month: “I hope Prince Harry proposes. She's a hot commodity right now - he better get on it.” Samantha Markle is a former actress and model and lives in Florida. Kate’s siblings, Pippa and James both live in the UK and are used to their share of press attention. Party organiser Pippa married James Matthews this year, while businessman James Middleton, 29, is in a relationship with long-term girlfriend Donna Air.

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