Meghan Markle's niece Ashleigh Hale revealed the reason why she wasn't invited to Meghan and Prince ...

Um, Meghan Wasn't Allowed To Invite Her Niece To The Royal Wedding

The reason why is heartbreaking.

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The third episode of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s documentary series, Harry & Meghan, featured a surprise guest: Meghan’s niece, Ashleigh Hale, who also happens to be the daughter of Meghan’s estranged half-sister, Samantha Markle. The Duchess of Sussex isn’t on speaking terms with Samantha, so you might be curious about who Meghan’s niece is and why she was asked to be on the show. Here’s everything you should know about Hale and her relationship with Meghan.

Hale is a 37-year-old immigration attorney. Her biological mother is Samantha Markle, however, Hale revealed during the documentary series that her family “agreed” that she and her brother were to be raised by their grandparents. “They got custody of us when I was probably around 2 years old, and ultimately, they did adopt us, so I was raised by my paternal grandparents,” she said. “For me, they were my parents.”

Hale said she last saw her mother when she was six years old before they eventually reconnected in 2007 when Hale was 22. Meghan recalled the moment she reached out to Hale after finding out she and Samantha reconnected. “I just remember my dad saying to me, ‘Samantha found her daughter,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, if you have her email address, I want to email her,’” Meghan said.


Despite Meghan and Samantha not being on good terms, Hale and the Duchess grew to have a close relationship. Hale explained their friendship began by sending each other long emails, and then those emails turned into texts and calls. “After a while, I think we were talking on some level, several days a week,” Hale said.

In fact, the two got so close that they would even go on vacations together while Meghan was starring in Suits. Hale described Meghan as being like a mother, sister, and best friend to her all at once, while Meghan said she felt like she finally had a “little sister” with Hale.

When Samantha began talking negatively about Meghan in the press once she began dating Prince Harry, Hale cut ties with her mother. Due to Samantha stirring up drama, however, Meghan and Harry’s team (aka the Palace) thought it was best for Hale not to attend their 2018 wedding. “The guidance at the time was to not have her come to our wedding,” Meghan said. “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 made.”

Meghan said it was “painful” to have that conversation and Hale also remembered feeling “hurt” by the decision. “I understood where it was coming from,” Hale said. “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.”

Harry & Meghan Volume 1 is streaming on Netflix. Volume 2 arrives on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.