Meghan Markle’s mum departs for London
AT LEAST one of Meghan Markle's parents is officially en route to the royal wedding.
Doria Ragland, 61, was seen departing Los Angeles on Tuesday local time, bound for London, amid feverish speculation about whether or not Meghan's dad, Thomas Markle, will make it the big event.
Doria, an LA-based yoga instructor, was dressed casually in a T-shirt, blazer and pants as she left her home. She was also clutching a Burberry garment bag - a strong indication of the designer she's chosen to wear on the day.
Doria was seen smiling as she walked out of the front door of her home in Los Angeles.
She was picked up by a chaffeur in a black SUV and taken to the airport, ahead of her 10-hour flight to Heathrow.
The mother of the soon-to-be royal was seen driving through LAX's brand new Private Suite, a designated terminal for the rich and famous.
It's only 70 steps from the drop-off point to passengers' plane seat, but more importantly, it eliminates all crowded lines and provides ultimate privacy - at a cost of thousands of dollars.
Doria, who is very close with her daughter, will be playing an important role in the wedding. She's staying with the bride at Cliveden House the night before the nuptials, and then travelling with her to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on the day.
However, given the question mark surrounding her ex-husband's involvement in the ceremony, it's possible she's in line for a promotion and could now also walk her daughter down the aisle.
Initially, Kensington Palace insisted that Thomas Sr would be giving his daughter away, but this week has seen a series of extraordinary backflips from the former TV lighting director.
Not long afterwards, he insisted he would be going after all, as he wanted to be a "part of history".
Less than 24 hours later, and he has once again pulled the pin.
But whether he wants to bail or not, it now appears he's facing "major surgery" in Los Angeles instead of a trip to the UK.
Thomas Sr told TMZ that he will head into surgery at 7.30am Wednesday, LA time.
"They [doctors] will go in and clear blockage, repair damage and put a stent where it is needed."
It comes as Meghan's extended family was spotted flying into London ahead of Saturday's wedding, which is expected to be watched by millions of people around the world.
Meghan's nephews Tyler, 25, and Thomas Dooley, 26, and their mum Tracy Dooley Markle were photographed at Heathrow Airport late on Monday. In a sign they perhaps were planning a lengthy stay, the trio and Tyler's girlfriend had 13 pieces of luggage between them.
With no invite to the wedding of the year, they are believed to be special correspondents for morning television show Good Morning Britain.
They were reportedly staying in rooms in London's Waterloo that cost as little as $126 a night and have already wasted no time posting selfies from famous London landmarks online, including the London Eye and Big Ben.
"We're here! Yea!" Tracy wrote, while Tyler posted: "Just touched down in London!!! man what a journey so far. We're safe and sound!" [sic]
Tracy was married to Meghan's half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. The boys have not seen their famous aunt in many years and their father has been estranged from his sister since 2011.
Tracy previously told Good Morning Britain she expected to be shunned from the event.
"I don't think we're going to get an invite and that's fine. We're OK with that and are supporting her. We're so proud of her."