London - She is known as ‘The Baby Sleep Fairy’ for her legendary ability to soothe crying infants, and among well-heeled new parents her pearls of wisdom on childbirth and after-care have earned her guru status.
Based in Los Angeles, Brandi Jordan’s clients include Hollywood moms such as Meghan Fox, Rosamund Pike and Julia Stiles. She is flown to delivery rooms and nurseries around the world, commanding fees of up to £5 000 (about R95 000) a go.
It is a measure of the seriousness with which Doria Ragland is approaching her duties as a grandmother, therefore, that when her daughter’s pregnancy was confirmed, she is said to have enrolled for grandparenting lessons with Jordan’s Cradle Company.
The 40-year-old, who has three children, aged from 22 months to 12, is married to a French "wellness and spiritual coach". Speaking exclusively to the Mail, she gave a fascinating insight into the key role Meghan’s mother is likely to play in Baby Sussex’s early years.
"Some mothers want to forge their own path, and don’t want grandmother to take a strong role in their parenting philosophy; others find strength in grandma and lean on her to encourage, nurture and help them," says Jordan.
From all we know of Meghan and her reliance on Doria, 62, whose integrity, discretion and rock-like dependability sets her apart from the rest of Meghan’s family, she will fall into the latter category.
Such is Meghan’s reliance on her mother that Doria is understood to have flown from her home in Los Angeles to Britain three weeks ago to be with her during the final stages of her pregnancy.
According to royal watchers, the fact that Doria was given a special mention when Buckingham Palace officially announced the baby’s birth is also highly significant, an indication of the important part she is expected to play in the coming weeks.
"The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage," the announcement read.
Doria is not expected to entirely abandon her life in LA, where she teaches yoga and has many friends (plus two much-loved dogs). However, a suite of rooms has been reserved for her at Frogmore Cottage, and sources say she’ll be a "frequent" visitor and a regular on the ten-hour flight to Heathrow.
What are the differences between a laid-back Californian grandmother and her upper-class British counterpart?
Having worked with both types, Jordan smiles: "Things are a little more progressive in America. It’s about being more relaxed and intuitive versus being rigid.
"The British are used to having a way of doing things that I really respect [but] there’s a reason why people choose me. They are obviously open to someone with my philosophy - not so rigid and stuck - and maybe want to explore something different."
Doria is definitely one of life’s explorers. And as Baby Sussex grows up, in a very conventional household, it will be fascinating to chart the off-beat influence of his New Age American Granny.