The 61-year-old social worker was greeted by Markle's personal assistant on Wednesday and driven in a Jaguar led by a police escort to the VIP Windsor Suite where an immigration officer checked her passport.
Ragland was to spend time with Markle and Prince Harry before going to meet Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, and Prince William and Kate Middleton later in the week.
Ragland will be staying with Markle at Cliveden House on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate the night before the wedding, then traveling with Markle to St. George's Chapel in Windsor the morning of the royal wedding.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry will stay at Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park along with best man Prince William.
The two hotels are both equally lavish, with rooms at Coworth Park starting at $432 and stays at Cliveden House starting at $628. Coworth Park boasts a polo academy and equestrian center, while Cliveden House was once the home of Prince Frederick of Wales.
It's speculated that Ragland may be the one giving away Markle at the altar, as Markle's father, Thomas Markle Sr., recently decided among a staged photo scandal and health issues that he would not attend the wedding.
Before Markle Sr. dropped out from the wedding, where he was set to walk his daughter down the aisle, Ragland was not assigned a significant role during the ceremony. Her role was simply to accompany Markle on the ride over. But now, it's speculated Ragland may walk Markle down the aisle instead.
Markle and her mother are close, and Ragland has already spent time with Prince Harry, who said that she was “awesome” during Markle and Harry’s televised engagement interview. She also spent time with the couple at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in September 2017, making her seem like the most obvious person to walk Markle down the aisle.
Other possible candidates for the important role of giving Markle way include her soon-to-be father-in-law, Prince Charles, who is hosting the couple’s evening wedding reception at Frogmore House. It is also possible that Prince William could take on the role. Future brother-in-laws have walked brides down the aisle at past royal weddings, most recently when Prince Philip walked Princess Margaret down the aisle when she married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. However, given that William is Prince Harry’s best man, his hands are already full on the big day.
The sudden scramble for a replacement comes after a scathing report alleged that soon-to-be royal Markle’s father met with a photographer to stage heartwarming photos of himself reading a book about Great Britain, looking at photos of his daughter, and being fitted for his suit. As a result of the scandal, and recent health issues, Markle Sr. reportedly told TMZ that he had chosen not to attend the royal nuptials.
On Monday night, Kensington Palace issued a statement regarding the controversy.0comments
“This is a deeply personal moment for Ms. Markle in the days before her wedding,” a spokesman said, via PEOPLE. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation.”
Photo credit: Getty / GEOFF ROBINS / Contributor