The controversial ‘Megflix’ documentary threw new light on the complicated relationship between Meghan, her half-sister Samantha Markle and niece Ashleigh Hale, Samantha’s daughter.
Meghan and Samantha have been estranged for years, and likewise Ashleigh, 37, told the programme that she doesn’t speak to her mother Samantha, having been brought up by her paternal grandparents since the age of six.
Meghan was able, thanks to Thomas Markle, to reunite with her niece in 2007.
The two women soon hit it off and holidayed together, forming a strong relationship, like ‘sisters’. Ashleigh was not invited to Prince Harry’s nuptials because of their frosty relationships between Meghan and Samantha.
Ashleigh Hale (37), broke down crying as she described how she was unable to attend the royal couple’s wedding due to her mother.
Meghan described Ashleigh’s conversation with her as ‘painful’ and explained why she couldn’t attend.
Ashleigh told Netflix that as Megan and Harry’s relationship developed: ‘Communication with Meg became less and less frequent… my impression was that her relationships were being managed on some level.’
Recalling Meghan relaying the ‘painful’ decision to her, immigration lawyer Ashleigh tearfully said on the documentary: ‘I think I said I was hurt on some level, but I understood where it was coming from.
“To know that my biological mother influenced this relationship that is so important to me. It’s like it was taken away by her. It’s been hard.
Meghan spoke about the ‘guidance’ she received from the palace’s press team and her ‘compassion for their concerns’ over the tension between Ashleigh and Samantha’s estranged mother.
Yet Meghan appeared to dodge any personal responsibility for the decision not to invite Ashleigh, instead blaming ‘guidance’ from royal aides.
Meghan claims that Ashleigh was not allowed to attend Harry’s wedding at the time.
Meghan stated that the guidance she received at the time was not to have her. [Ashleigh] Come to our wedding.
“I was in the vehicle with H, I called my mother.” [Ashleigh] and I had her on speakerphone and we talked her through what guidance we were being given and why this assessment was made and that’s painful.’
Both Ashleigh and Meghan opened up about their relationship, after Meghan’s father Thomas Markle connected the two via email initially.
The couple, who are privacy-conscious, has given Netflix a collection of photos and video from their relationship as part of their $100 million deal.
These photos included Ashleigh and Meghan on a trip in New Orleans before Harry met Meghan, as well Meghan supporting Ashleigh on her wedding day.
After Meghan emailed her niece, the two women became close and Ashleigh claimed there were ‘long email exchanges’ several days per week.
Ashleigh claims Samantha, right was the reason she wasn’t allowed to attend her aunt’s wedding to Prince Harry
Meghan said: “My dad said Samantha had found her daughter, and I remember saying, “Oh, if you have her email address,” I want to email her.
“I think that we both want the same thing. I wanted a sibling, and she was like my little sister.
‘Ash was through quite a bit of media just by association, and I didn’t wish for her life to be plagued by all that drama.
Ashleigh was raised by her paternal grandparents since the age of 2. She was adopted by them in 2007.
‘She I took you to New Orleans. We walked around, heard some great live music, ate too much food, and drank way too many beverages.
“It was just the two us, which I believe is very special. She seems to take on many roles for me.
Ashleigh stated that she was estranged from her mother and felt ‘hurt” that she wasn’t allowed to attend the wedding.
“There’s a sister element, there is a maternal she’s my best friend she’s kinda all the things.
‘After When the news broke, Samantha quickly started to express anger towards Meg and me.
“What was communicated was probably some resentment. It felt as though no matter what I said, you know her point of view didn’t change. She seemed to grow angrier. And so, we stopped talking.
“Just a few people with which you cannot reason.”
And Meghan’s own fractured relations with her half-sister Samantha, 58, were also explored, with Meghan highlighting the contrasting way she claimed the two sides of her family were portrayed after her relationship with Harry became public.
Netflix claims Samantha told producers she was in a close relationship with Meghan up to 2018, but Meghan denies that and says she didn’t know much about her.
Meghan stated that the UK media wanted my mum’s family to be the ones that all the drama could be stirred up with… And they had my mum, who is quiet and classy. Then there is the other family which is more eccentric.
‘My half-sister [Samantha Markle] I hadn’t seen my mother in over a decade. Although it was only for about a day and a quarter, it suddenly felt like she was everywhere. I don’t even know your middlename, nor your birthday. Now, you’re telling people that I was raised by you and calling me “princess pushingy.”
Doria explained that Meghan was 17 years older than her half-siblings. She moved away from them when she was two.
Meghan adds: ‘I don’t remember seeing her [Samantha] When I was a kid, I didn’t see her until I was in my early twenties. I didn’t have a fallout with my mother. I wasn’t close enough to her… and I wanted a sibling!
Samantha called Meghan Princess Pushy. However, Meghan states that she last saw Meghan in her early 20s. They weren’t close enough to have a relationship so they didn’t get into a fight.
While Doria was not able to attend the wedding, her mother Doria was present. Oprah Winfrey as well as IdrisElba and George Clooney were there with their wives, Amal Clooney, a humanitarian lawyer.
Elton John, Priyanka Chopra, a close friend of Meghan’s, as well as several of her Suits castmates – including Jacinda Barrett and Patrick J Adams and his wife, Troian Bellisario.
Thomas Markle Jr, Samantha Markle, and Thomas Markle Jr were not present at the wedding. It is understood that Meghan’s father was not included in the original plans.
Despite her claims that Meghan’s relationships were being ‘managed’, the Duchess still attended events with her friends both before and after their nuptials – including a baby shower for Archie.
She threw the bash in New York, with Amal Clooney, Misha Nonoo, Jessica Mulroney and Gayle King all attending the event – as well as tennis ace Serena Williams.
The shower took place Grand Penthouse Suite at The Mark hotel on New York’s Upper East Side – which costs $75,000-a-night.
Meghan’s friends flew to London several days before her big event in 2018.
Lindsay Roth, Sarah Rafferty and Misha Nonoo flew around the globe to celebrate their friends’ nuptials