The documentary on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry includes interviews with friends and family members who have never spoken publicly before, including Meghan’s niece Ashleigh, Samantha Markle’s biological daughter. And while there is definitely no link between Meghan and Samantha, Ashleigh, who was raised by her grandparents, and Meghan are quite close.
“There’s a sister element, there’s something maternal, she’s a best friend, she’s kinda all the things,” Ashleigh explained during her on-camera interview, while Meghan noted, “I wanted a sister and she was like a little sister. Ash was put through quite a bit by the media just through association. I didn’t want her life to be plagued with all that drama.”
Ashleigh also said that she had cut off communication with Samantha because of how she had treated Meghan. “After the news first broke Samatha pretty quickly began expressing a lot of angry words about Meg towards me,” she said. “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. Some people you just can’t reason with.”
Unfortunatelly, Meghan and Harry’s team decided that Ashleigh should not attend the royal wedding because of Samantha’s actions. “How do we explain that this half-sister isn’t invited to the wedding but the half-sister’s daughter is,” Meghan said of her comms team’s position. “So with Ashleigh, the guidance at the time was to not have her come to our wedding. I was in the car with H, and I called her and we had her on speakerphone and we talked her through what guidance we were being given and why this assessment was being made and…and that’s painful.”
Asleigh described the situation while crying: “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…to feel like because of her it was taken away, has been hard.”
Here’s everything we know about Hale, so far.
How is Meghan Markle related to Ashleigh Hale?
Samantha, Meghan’s half-sister, is the mother of Ashleigh, Thomas Markle’s grandchild. As Ashleigh reveals in the documentary, her mother did not raise her.
She says, “My biological mother’s Samantha Markle. And it was agreed by everyone, by myself and my brother, to be raised by our grandparents. So they got custody of us when I was probably around two years old. And ultimately, they did adopt us. So I was raised by my paternal grandparents—for me, they were my parents.”
What is Meghan and Ashleigh’s relationship like?
In 2007, Ashleigh and Samantha reunited, and soon after, Meghan received her email and the two of them began communicating. As their friendship evolved, the two began to travel together, even going to New Orleans.
“She takes on a lot of roles for me. There’s a sister element, there’s something maternal,” Ashleigh shares. “She’s a best friend. She’s kind of all the things.”
Meghan says, “She was like a little sister.” Yet, because of Ashleigh’s association to her biological mother, Meghan shares, “She was put through quite a bit by the media. I didn’t want her life to be plagued by all that drama.” After Meghan and Harry’s relationship became public, Ashleigh and Samantha stopped speaking.
What does Ashleigh do now?
She is an immigration attorney, since she is a partner with Harry & Meghan. She works as an associate at Fragomen in San Francisco, according to her LinkedIn profile. She had previously worked for Capital One and Sumner Immigration Law. She earned her J.D. from Charleston School of Law in 2010 and her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the George Washington University Law School in 2011.
She attended Walsingham Academy for her high school years and Hollins University for her undergraduate studies from 2003 to 2007.