In Brief

Meghan Markle’s mother to meet the Queen: what to expect

Doria Ragland, 61, is having tea with Her Majesty at Windsor this afternoon

The mother of Meghan Markle is meeting the Queen for tea today as final preparations are made for the royal wedding tomorrow afternoon.

CNN reports that Doria Ragland has already met several other members of the Royal Family, ahead of the marriage between her daughter and Prince Harry, the Queen’s grandson.

The 61-year-old mother of the bride had tea with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on Thursday at Clarence House in London, according to the news site. She later met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, during wedding rehearsals at Windsor.

Ragland is a yoga instructor and social worker who gave birth to Meghan, her only child, in August 1981, The Sun reports. She divorced Meghan’s father, Thomas, when the future princess was six. He will not be attending the wedding, as he recovers from heart surgery amid a fake photo scandal

What will happen at today’s meeting?

Ragland will reportedly travel to meet the monarch at Windsor Castle, along with her daughter and Prince Harry, the Daily Mail reports.

Once there, “Her Majesty is set to host a traditional afternoon tea, which she likes to take at 4pm”, the newspaper adds.

Former staff to the Queen say that her afternoon teas usually consist of “jam pennies - small white sandwiches containing raspberry jam cut into the shape and size of an old English penny - along with a selection of biscuits, including her favourites Rich Tea, as well as scones and a sponge cake”.

Meghan’s first meeting with the Queen is also believed to have been over tea, says the Daily Express.

What ettiquette will Ragland be expected to follow?

Last summer, the BBC published a full list of the dos and don’ts when attending an event with the Queen.

Among other things, guests are expected to arrive before the Royal; curtsey or bow upon greeting her; refer to her first as “Your Majesty” and subsequently as “Ma’am”; and refrain from holding anything upon arrival just in case they are asked to shake hands with her.

Guests are strongly advised against leaving before the Queen, turning their back to the monarch, or initiating conversation. 

Etiquette experts also state that it is customary for the guest of honour to sit to the right of the Queen and the convention is that she speaks to this person during the first course of the dinner, then switches attention to the person on her left for the following course.

However, the BBC adds that guests need not stand on rigid ceremony for fear of eliciting royal wrath: “These rules aren’t steadfast and those in breach need not fear exile.”

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