Doria Ragland, 66, and Thomas Markle, 78, tied the knot 43 years ago today on December 23, 1979, at the Self-Realisation Fellowship Temple on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The venue was a faux-Indian temple featuring gold accents, stone elephants and plastic Buddhas.
Only a few pictures of Doria and Thomas’ unconventional wedding can be found on the internet of the then-23-year-old Doria and the then-35-year-old Thomas.
A body language expert, Judi James, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to analyse the wedding photos and why they bare similarities to Princess Diana and King Charles’ wedding back in 1981.
Judi claimed: “The two photos of Doria on her wedding day make her look sweet, playful and apparently quite confident. She stands pointing and talking as Thomas crouches and holds her arm.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in their recent Netflix documentary “Harry & Meghan”, elaborated on being the products of divorced families and how they wanted to break this cycle for their own little family.
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Judi suggested: “Both Harry and Meghan have spoken about the fact they were children of divorced parents.
“But there is another similarity in the way their parents’ marriages both had a 12-year age gap.
“Both brides were much younger than their husbands and both beautiful brides seemed to have married men who looked comfortable with their older image.”
Judi argues that Thomas’ wedding attire was reminiscent of a style loved by the current King.
“The other photo shows her more active and apparently confident, speaking and pointing, presumably to their guests.”
The Duchess of Sussex’s mother had a whirlwind romance with Thomas Markle before they tied the knot in 1979 after they had only been dating for a few months.
Meghan’s uncle, Joseph Johnson said: “None of the family knew anything about Tom until we got the wedding invitations,” he told The Mail on Sunday.
The couple met on the set of the soap opera General Hospital, where Doria was working as a make-up artist and Thomas was the lighting director.
Despite their 12-year age gap, the pair became close and got married just six months later, when Doria was 23 and her husband was 35.
Joseph explained Doria and Thomas’ wedding venue choice happened because his sister “was fascinated by alternative religions and yoga”. He continued: “It was a lovely wedding but not conventional at all.”
As well as their unusual choice of venue, Doria ditched the traditional wedding dress and wore a white buttoned-up shirt and skirt combo, finishing off her look with pretty white flowers in her hair.
Meanwhile, Thomas wore a grey tweed jacket and orange shirt, and the Buddhist priest “Brother Bhaktananda” was dressed in orange robes. Doria and Thomas welcomed Meghan in 1981, but the couple split when she was just six years old.