Oprah ‘bribed’ Doria Ragland with kumquats before the royal wedding

Oprah Winfrey arrives for the royal wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Windsor Castle

Even now, weeks after the Royal Wedding, I still have questions about why certain people were invited and why the seating arrangements seemed so unusual. We’ll probably never know for sure why George and Amal Clooney were not only invited to the wedding but the after-party as well, or why they got such prime seating. But the one thing I’ve always assumed and believed with all my heart is that Meghan and Harry invited Oprah Winfrey to their wedding because they weren’t allowed to invite the Obamas. There were some claims that Oprah was invited because she has successfully lobbied Doria Ragland for an interview, and the message was that Doria was selling out her daughter too. Doria isn’t giving interviews. But she did spend some time with Oprah before the wedding. Oprah told Entertainment Tonight all about it:

Before the wedding, Oprah spent an afternoon with Markle’s mom, where the pair spent their day snacking and doing yoga. Speaking with ET’s Nischelle Turner on the red carpet, Winfrey opened up about their relaxing time together, and rebuffed rumors that she had showered Ragland with gifts in the hopes of getting an exclusive interview with her.

“The story was that Meghan’s mom had come to my house and she left laden with gifts,” Winfrey recalled. “You know what the gifts were? First of all, she’s great at yoga, so I said, ‘Bring your yoga mat and your sneaks in case we just want to do yoga on the lawn.’ So one of the bags was a yoga mat and the other was lunch.”

According to the Wrinkle in Time star, she and Ragland enjoyed a dessert made from fresh kumquats. “She said, ‘I love kumquats,’ and I said, ‘I have a kumquat tree! You want some kumquats?’ So it was a basket of kumquats, people,” Winfrey explained. “For all of the people who said I am getting her gifts and I’m trying to bribe her for an interview — they were kumquats. If kumquats can get you an interview, I’m all for it!”

Weeks after their get-together, Winfrey and Ragland were both in England watching Markle walk down the aisle for her wedding to Prince Harry in one of the most highly anticipated events in years. The whole experience was described by Winfrey as “transformative.”

“It was more than a wedding, I thought,” she explained. “It was a cultural moment. And you could not be there or watching on television… and not feel that there was a shift that just happened in the middle of it. I think it’s bigger than them and I think it bodes well for hope for all of us,” Winfrey added.

[From ET]

LOL, Oprah bribing people with kumquats. Now I sort of wish that Doria would sit down for an interview with Oprah, just so I can see them interact, because it sounds like they had a nice time together. But it also seems like Doria is just a really low-key person in general, right? Like, Oprah invites you over, you go. Of course you do. SHE IS OPRAH. But Doria’s still not going to sell out her daughter to Oprah. So she took Oprah’s kumquats and her yoga mat and went home. There you go.

Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry

Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News.

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13 Responses to “Oprah ‘bribed’ Doria Ragland with kumquats before the royal wedding”

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  1. Jane says:

    I adore Doria. She seems like a classy lady. I still remember the look on her face during the wedding. Sigh….

  2. OriginalLala says:

    The thought of Doria doing yoga outside, and eating kumquats with Oprah and is so endearing

  3. Jay says:

    Lovely Doria! She deserves all the kumquats!

  4. perplexed says:

    Meghan’s sister must be going mental.

  5. Vanessa says:

    It’s really nice that Oprah finally set the record straight with this story people were accusing Doria of all sorts things just attacking her for no reason when she was the only one besides Meghan friends not selling out or trashing her in the media. It would be nice to hear for Doria but I don’t think she would do it because she already knows the backlash it would bring to not only herself but her daughter .

  6. Frida says:

    Sorry, no. Oprah is a shrewd business woman (nothing wrong with that, but she is). She not only wanted an invite to the wedding but to land the (someday) exclusive interview with Doria and/or Meghan. Poor Doria was used as a pawn, but props to her for not selling out her daughter.

    • Oh_Dear says:

      I think she sees herself as more of a benefactor. The black theater and acting community have an amazing network of intergenerational support systems. Denzel Washington and Debbie Allen are two I have heard people tell stories of, but I imagine Oprah also puts herself in a position to help people navigate their journey. Doria was about to be on a very significant world stage, Oprah may have had some wisdom to impart.

      • notasugarhere says:

        They also attend the same church. Once Oprah became aware that Harry was dating someone with ties to the L.A. area, sussing out Doria at church could easily have happened. If she provides a guiding hand and needed words of advice, so be it.

  7. jetlagged says:

    One of my favorite moments of the wedding was when the BBC commentator told the audience, “Ladies and gentleman, we have just had our first royal arrival at the wedding. Oprah has entered the chapel.” It was 2am, and I was only half-awake, but it was a great moment that made me glad I gave up sleep in order to catch the whole thing live. It’s little stuff like that you miss if you only watch the edited-for-time replays.

    • Becks1 says:

      My favorite part was Oprah trying to show someone her invitation. They were checking at the door (at least that early, they may have stopped as it got more crowded) and I think Idris arrived at the same time she did and a few other people were there, and they were all showing their invites to the guards/security at the door. Oprah was waiting to show one guy, then saw another was “free” so walked over to him with her invite and he just kind of waved at her and Oprah put her invitation away without showing anyone. It was just so funny bc the vibe was definitely “I’m not going to be the one checking Oprah’s invitation.” lol.

  8. Nibbi says:

    well, a basket of fresh kumquats from someone’s private tree would get me to do just about anything.
    ‘cept i’d probably joyfully eat them all at one go and make myself sick.
    ORRRR, maybe i’d just be radiant like the sun from all of the vitamin C :) :)

  9. Cher says:

    Didn’t Oprah’s people deny this story when it first broke? Now Oprah is admitting to it, in part. More to come…
    I am not buying the line that Doria and Oprah attend the same church. Sorry.