Meghan Markle's mother has tea with the Queen

CNN/ Newswire | 5/18/2018, 2:45 p.m.
Meghan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, was meeting Queen Elizabeth for tea at Windsor Castle Friday, as final preparations were made …
Meghan Markle attends a UN Women's event with her mother in March 2015. CREDIT: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

By Nada Bashir, Angela Dewan and Judith Vonberg, CNN

(CNN) -- Meghan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, was meeting Queen Elizabeth for tea at Windsor Castle Friday, as final preparations were made for the royal wedding on Saturday.

Ragland met several other members of the British royal family Thursday, Kensington Palace said, ahead of her daughter's marriage to Prince Harry, the Queen's grandchild and sixth in line to the throne.

She had tea with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall -- Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla -- at Clarence House in London. Later, she met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, during wedding rehearsals in Windsor.

Harry and Meghan were seen arriving at Windsor Castle in a car Friday afternoon.

Ragland will spend Friday night with her daughter at the five-star Cliveden House Hotel, about a 30-minute drive from Windsor. They will travel to the castle together Saturday morning, driving up the Long Walk where members of the public will get their first glimpse of the bride.

The car will stop at the castle to let Ragland out and pick up some of the bridal party before continuing to the chapel. CNN learned Friday that Markle will walk the first section of the chapel aisle unescorted, accompanied only by her bridesmaids and page boys. A senior member of the Church of England clergy will process ahead.

Prince Charles -- her future father-in-law -- will escort her down the final section of the aisle, a role originally intended for Markle's father, Thomas, who has been unable to travel to the UK due to ill health.

A 'free spirit'

Ragland, 61, is a yoga instructor and social worker in Los Angeles. She met Markle's father, Thomas Markle, at a Hollywood studio in the late '70s. The pair divorced when Meghan Markle was a young child, but she told Vanity Fair last year that they are still on good terms.

Markle has spoken publicly about her close relationship with her mother many times, describing her as a "free spirit" and someone she can rely on.

"We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend," Markle wrote of her mother in Glamour magazine last year.

Ragland has apparently also found a huge fan in Prince Harry, who described her as "amazing" in a BBC interview.

Final preparations Meanwhile, the final wedding preparations are underway. British troops took part in a military rehearsal Thursday, lining the processional route and escorting the carriage that will carry Prince Harry and his new wife through Windsor after the ceremony.

On Friday morning, Kensington Palace tweeted a picture of baker Claire Ptak working on the wedding cake, which is flavored with lemon and elderflower and will feature buttercream and fresh flowers as decoration.