Megflix: Inside Ashleigh Hale, Samantha and Meghan's relationship

Inside Meghan’s relationship with her niece Ashleigh who spoke for the first time in Netflix series about how the pair became like ‘sisters’ and holidayed together but says she was ‘banned’ from wedding ‘because of her mother Samantha’

  • Ashleigh Hale revealed how ‘painful’ it was being banned from the wedding
  • Meghan spoke of getting ‘guidance’ from the palace comms team 
  • Ashleigh claims she wasn’t invited because of her mother Samantha’s actions  
  • Both open up on ‘close’ relationship for the first time in the Netflix documentary

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.

But thanks to her father Thomas Markle, Meghan was able to reconnect with her niece around 2007.

The two women soon hit it off and holidayed together, forming a strong relationship, like ‘sisters’. But when it came to drawing up the guest list for her nuptials to Prince Harry, Ashleigh was not invited, to the A-list wedding, apparently because of the frosty relations between Meghan and Samantha.

 Ashleigh Hale, 37, broke down in tears as she describes how she was ‘uninvited’ the royal couple’s wedding because of her mother 

Meghan described the conversation she had to have with Ashleigh and explain the reason why she could no longer attend as ‘painful’

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 it was because of my biological mother that this relationship, that’s so important to me, was impacted in that way. I feel like because of her, it was taken away. It’s been hard.’

Meghan spoke of ‘the guidance’ she had received from the palace press team on the matter and her ‘compassion’ for their concerns over explaining the tension between Ashleigh’s estranged mother Samantha and Meghan.

Yet Meghan appeared to dodge any personal responsibility for the decision not to invite Ashleigh, instead blaming ‘guidance’ from royal aides.

 Meghan claims the guidance at the time was to not have Ashleigh attend her and Harry’s wedding

Meghan said: ‘The guidance at the time was to not have her [Ashleigh] come to our wedding.

‘I was in the car with H, I called her [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.

As part of their $100million deal with Netflix, the privacy-conscious couple has handed over a trove of pictures and video from their relationship.

These included snaps of Meghan with Ashleigh on a trip to New Orleans before she met Harry, as well as Meghan standing by Ashleigh’s side on her wedding day.

The two women grew close after Meghan emailed her niece, with Ashleigh claiming there were ‘long emails’ back and forth several days a week.

 Ashleigh claims that Samantha, right, was the reason that she was not allowed to attend her aunt’s wedding to Prince Harry

Meghan said: ‘My dad said that Samantha had found her daughter and I remember saying, oh if you have her email address, I want to email her.

‘I think we both crave the same thing. I wanted a sister, and she was like a little sister.

‘Ash was put through quite a bit by the media just by association and I didn’t want her life to be plagued with all that drama.’

Ashleigh was brought up by her paternal grandparents from the age of two, and was adopted by them before reconnecting with her mother in 2007.

‘She took me to New Orleans, we walked around, we listened to some good live music, ate way too much food and had way too many drinks.

‘It was just the two of us which I think is really special. I think she takes on a lot of roles for me.

Ashleigh said that she had been estranged from her mother, and she felt ‘hurt’ that she was not allowed to the wedding

‘There is a sister element, there’s a maternal she’s my friend she’s kind of all the things.

‘After the news first broke, Samantha pretty quickly began expressing a lot of angry words about Meg, and towards me.

‘What was communicated to me, was maybe some resentment and it felt like no matter what I said you know her perspective didn’t change and seemed to get angrier and bigger, and we stopped talking.

‘Just some people you can’t reason with.’

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 that she and Meghan had a close relationship until 2018, but Meghan denied that, saying she knew little about her.

Meghan said: ‘The UK media I truly believe wanted my mum’s side of my family to be the ones that all this drama could be stirred up with… and they just had my mum who is classy and quiet and then you have the other side of family which is just acting differently.

‘My half-sister [Samantha Markle] who I hadn’t seen for over a decade, and that was only for a day and a half, suddenly it felt like she was everywhere… I don’t know your middle name, I don’t know your birthday, and you’re telling people that you raised me and are calling me “princess pushy”?’

Doria explained how Meghan was 17 years younger than her half-siblings, who she moved away from when she was two.

Meghan adds: ‘I don’t remember seeing her [Samantha] when I was a kid… the last time that I saw her I remember was when I was in my early 20s… I hadn’t had a fallout with her I wasn’t close enough with her… and I wanted a sister!’

 Meghan was labelled Princess Pushy by Samantha but she states claims she last saw her when she was in her early 20s and she didn’t have a falling out with her because they weren’t close enough 

While in the event, only her mother Doria attended the wedding, those who did attend the bash included Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, George Clooney and his wife, humanitarian lawyer Amal Clooney.

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.

Samantha Markle, Thomas Markle and Thomas Markle Jr did not attend the wedding, and it is understood that only Meghan’s father had been included in the original wedding 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.

Several of Meghan’s closest friends also flew to the UK days before her big day in 2018 and were spotted in London to see the sights.

Lindsay Roth, Sarah Rafferty, Misha Nonoo, Priyanka Chopra and Heather Dorak all flew across the world to celebrate their friends’ nuptials

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