Meghan Markle has depended on her "calming supportive" mum Doria Ragland as bitter royal battles rocked the Sussexes' lives, a body language expert has said.
The matriarch, 65, has been celebrated by her daughter on numerous occasions for her "solace and support", which Meghan has likened to a "best friend" relationship.
Yet as the stormy waters of Meghan and Harry's California move shook the Sussex family, Doria Ragland has continued to provide crucial emotional encouragement to the Duchess.
Judi James told the Express Ms Ragland is a leading light of "Team Sussex" and an invaluable asset to stressed out Meghan.
She explained: "Doria seems to tick all the right boxes for Meghan, both as a mother and as a member of ‘Team Sussex’.
“Their body language together looks relaxed and affectionate, with Meghan often signalling a quiet deference to her mother by standing slightly behind her or using face-checking eye contact to connect and share her thoughts."
Her discreetness is also crucial, Judi continued.
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Ms James added: “Doria, in return, provides an air of quiet but elegant confidence that implies she is a calming, supportive presence and, possibly most importantly she keeps resolutely silent and discreet in public.
“All we really know of her is her kind smile and her ability to cope so well standing in the pews alone as her daughter married a royal in a foreign country."
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And the Markle mum and daughter have plenty in common beyond their strong relationship, Judi said.
It's easy to see that Meghan has sided with her mother rather than her estranged father Thomas Markle.
Judi said: “The two women often use mirrored body language, with Meghan providing some of the truncated touch gestures that suggest their relationship is normally tactile.
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“When Doria arrived in the UK it was also interesting to see how Meghan invested all her attention in her mother with even her beloved Harry being pushed gently to one side as the women walked together chatting and smiling.”
Before her fairytale wedding to Harry in 2018, Meghan spent the night at the Cliveden House Hotel with her mum.
Doria then rode with Meghan to St George’s chapel in Windsor, making a glowing public impression.
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