Doria Ragland's brief moment in the spotlight for Meghan's wedding

The new Duchess of Sussex was joined by a solitary relative inside St George's Chapel for her wedding day, her mother.

The spotlight on Doria Ragland dimmed in the run-up to her daughter Meghan's marriage into the world's most famous family, after it was announced the responsibility of accompanying the former Suits actress down the aisle would be given to her father-in-law-to-be, rather than her mother.

It had been expected by some that Ms Ragland, an African-American fitness instructor from California, would take on the role vacated days earlier by Meghan's father, whose health issues left him unable to perform the duty.

The Prince of Wales and Doria Ragland (Owen Humphreys/PA)
The Prince of Wales and Doria Ragland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He remained in the US.

But, in a service witnessed by more than 100 inside the chapel, thousands outside, and millions around the world, Ms Ragland was afforded her own private moment with her daughter.

Wearing a pale pistachio Oscar de la Renta dress, light hat and nose stud, Ms Ragland beamed alongside her daughter as their Rolls-Royce limousine weaved past the thronging and adoring crowds, down Long Walk and into the chapel itself.

Meghan Markle rides in a car accompanied by her mother, Ms Doria Ragland (Aaron Chown/PA)
Meghan Markle rides in a car accompanied by her mother, Ms Doria Ragland (Aaron Chown/PA)

From her front-row seat inside the service, surrounded by the bride's long-time friends Jessica Mulroney, Benita Litt and Genevieve Hillis, the proud mother could be seen to enjoy the passionate address by Chicagoan preacher Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry.

She smiled, nodded, and appeared to bite her lip slightly during the vows.

And, in a physical totem of her introduction into the Royal family, she accepted the outstretched hand of the father of the groom as they filed to witness the signing of the registers, before her daughter and new son-in-law were left to drink in the warm wishes of the many gathered in Windsor to witness the spectacle.