Duchess Meghan: KP wouldn’t allow me to invite my beloved niece Ashleigh

In this week’s Gossip with Celebitchy podcast (which will be out on Saturday!), CB and I talked about Netflix’s Harry & Meghan and whether there was much “new” information. If you’ve read Finding Freedom, you probably do know a lot about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s courtship already, although the Netflix show definitely had tons of never-before-seen personal photos and videos. In the third episode, there was some really big new information though: the introduction of Meghan’s niece to the narrative. Meghan’s niece Ashleigh is Samantha Markle/Grant’s daughter. Samantha lost custody of Ashleigh when Ashleigh was very young, and Ashleigh was raised by her paternal grandparents. Ashleigh reconnected with Samantha in adulthood, and Thomas Markle told Meghan about it and Meghan asked for her niece’s number. They began talking and hanging out and Meghan was the “cool aunt” who took her niece on trips, etc. Meghan was basically a big sister to her niece and they were and are very close. When it came time time to send out the wedding invitations though, Kensington Palace told Meghan that she shouldn’t invite Ashleigh.

In the new Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex shared that while she was not close to her half-sister Samantha Markle, she had a close bond with Samantha’s daughter, Ashleigh Hale. However, things got tricky when it came to the guest list for the couple’s royal wedding in 2018.

“How do we explain that this half-sister isn’t invited to the wedding, but that the half-sister’s daughter is?” said Meghan, 41. “With Ashleigh, the guidance at the time was to not have her come to our wedding. I was in the car with H. I had her on speakerphone and we talked her through what guidance we were given and why this assessment was made … and that’s painful.”

“I think I said I was hurt on some level, but I understood where it was coming from,” Ashleigh 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.”

Ashleigh, an immigration attorney, said she and her brother were raised by their paternal grandparents, whom she considers her parents. She had not seen Samantha, 58, since she was 6 until they reconnected in 2007. That was also when Meghan reached out to her niece — a relationship that started with “these long emails back to each other,” Ashleigh recalled. “And then texts and calls. After a while, I think we were talking, on some level, several days a week.”

Meghan said that she believes she and Ashleigh “craved the same thing,” explaining, “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.”

Added Ashleigh of the time when Meghan’s relationship with Harry, 38, became public, “After the news first broke, Samantha pretty quickly began expressing a lot of angry words about Meg towards me. What was communicated to me was maybe some resentment. And it felt like no matter what I said, her perspective didn’t change and seemed to get angrier and bigger, and we stopped talking. Some people you just can’t reason with.”

[From People]

I realize that Meghan was, at that time, in her people-pleaser mode and she didn’t want to ruffle feathers, but I kind of feel like she should have argued with the palace about inviting Ashleigh to the wedding. It would have been such a smart move that would have spoken volumes about Meghan’s lack of relationship with Samantha, but emphasized that Meghan is very close to Ashleigh (the daughter Samantha didn’t raise).

Meghan also spoke on camera about how the British media wanted the Black side of her family to be dramatic, but it was “the other side of my family that is just acting differently.” The White Markles are awful. Meghan spoke about Samantha too:

“My half-sister, 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. You’re telling these people that you raised me and you’ve coined me Princess Pushy….

“I don’t remember seeing [Samantha] when I was a kid at my dad’s house, if and when they would come around. And then the last time that I saw her that I remember is when I was in my early 20s. I hadn’t had [a falling] out with her. We didn’t have a closeness to be able to have that. And I wanted a sister!”

[From People]

Yeah, Samantha was always vile trash. But she didn’t do that alone – the British media platformed her and paid her to hate on Meghan and they all did so gleefully. Anyway, this is the point in the story where I believe there were some insidious forces working against Meghan – this was the lead-up to the wedding, the bullsh-t with Thomas Markle, and the palace working against Meghan already.

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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137 Responses to “Duchess Meghan: KP wouldn’t allow me to invite my beloved niece Ashleigh”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    This made me so mad and I believe that Jason push this on Meghan to hurt Meghan and make her look bad. I think by this time during their wedding planning Meghan was so tired and beaten down by that horrible family, disgusting Samantha and her useless loser of a father she and Harry went along with what Jason (Will) wanted. You can see that Meghan had lost a lot of weight by the day of the wedding. What a horrible time behind the scenes.

    I feel so hurt for Ashleigh because you can tell that it still hurts her. I hope that they have heeled from that horrible time.

    • Green girl says:

      If anyone should have or could have pushed back, it was Harry. Wasn’t his mantra “what Meghan wants Meghan gets”?

      I get that weddings are stressful and if you are the happy couple you just agree with the stupid crap just to shut up an annoying family member(s). But there really should have been an exception made for her niece.

      • girl_ninja says:

        That ” what Meghan wants, Meghan gets” was created by the media through the courtiers and Jason. I think there was so much going on behind the scenes w/ so many going after them that he was just trying to get through it. I still think that it was all far worse than what they shared.

      • anna says:

        agreed – this just proves that story/mantra entirely wrong. clearly they were listening to whatever jason said they do and trying to get along with everyone.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        There is no way Harry ever said that.

    • ML says:

      Watching Ashleigh’s pain was miserable. Meghan clearly felt badly and I don’t believe she would make that choice now knowing what she does about the Windsors. Hopefully they can be close again.
      And I agree with you that Jason, at least the Cambridges and others manipulated this situation in a subtle attack at Meghan, Girl_Ninja. Well said

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        This shows that there was a time that Meghan thought the Windsors were her friends and had her interests at heart. It also proves that the line pushed by the media that Meghan was so pushy and bossy that she always got her way and was really running the show from the start was complete media mythology. Meghan was very deferential for a long time, apparently thinking this would impress Harry’s relatives so they would accept her. It seems Harry thought so too.

      • Chelsea says:

        @Brassy Rebel but isn’t that what we were always told? That if Meghan was just more deferntial to the family like perfect Kate was that there wouldn’t have been so many issues? They told her to shrink herself and tow the line and that in turn they’d protect her and given how Harry saw the palace eventually defend sophie over tapegate and kate over the sunbathing incident he probably took them at their word that if they layed along things would be better once she eas actually a duchess but unfortunately for them Meghan did what she was told but they still lied on her and called her difficult, a diva, etc because they were always dead set on destroying her.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, I think she made that choice still thinking, once we get married everything will be different. I think she thought Ashleigh wouldn’t be at the wedding but she would come visit that summer or whatever. I don’t think she expected Samantha and Thomas to make careers out of slamming her on morning shows, and I don’t think she expected KP to be helping them with that.

    • Christine says:

      The Windsors are absolute garbage. This is a family that invites its side pieces to weddings and funerals, give me a fcuking break.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I adore Meghan and Harry but unless they have receipts for this they are willing to show this will backfire and no one will believe it happened.
      The Palace will brief British Racist Media that Meghan didn’t want her there because of Samantha and this will hurt Ashleigh all over again

      They better drop receipts

  2. OriginalLeigh says:

    “ I realize that Meghan was, at that time, in her people-pleaser mode and she didn’t want to ruffle feathers, but I kind of feel like she should have argued with the palace about inviting Ashleigh to the wedding. ”

    Agreed but I really think Harry should have insisted that they allow Meghan to invite her niece. The really crazy part is that British media criticized Meghan for only having one biological family member at the wedding, when the truth is that her father bailed on her and the palace prevented her from inviting her niece…

    • TurquoiseGem says:

      I’m really sorry that Ashleigh wasn’t able to be at her Aunt Meghan’s wedding, and can only imagine the machinations behind the scenes, that went on which we are not privy to.

      Also, getting teary-eyed typing this, as I’m realising, just now, how very relieved I am that Meghan is away from people who were bent on harming her, and making her see hell and damnation on earth. Some part of me had buried my anxiety about this, held it in for years. Phew…..!

      It must have been so very hard for Harry and Meghan, around the time of their wedding. The stress must have been off the charts…

    • C says:

      I don’t think that’s really fair. Harry had been a scapegoat for William on and off but he was never ever treated before like he was after getting together with Meghan. I think he trusted the courtiers too alongside Meghan and was blindsided too.

    • ChillinginDC says:

      Exactly. Look once again, I like Harry, but he should have pushed on this. I get that Samantha and Thomas were being nightmares, but in essence, Meghan didn’t invite someone she saw as her little sister. And then they had to rework on that because Samantha was throwing a wedge in between them.

      Also wouldn’t this have knocked down the RR going after Thomas to talk about Meghan? I wish we had known this years ago so the whole Meghan hates her family and doesn’t love them narrative could have been nipped in the bud.

      Urgh. Getting so mad now. Freaking RF.

    • molly says:

      True, but we have no idea what all H&M were pushing against at the time: Who was walking her down the aisle, seating arrangements, tiaras, guests, story plants, statements about her dad, etc.

      I can see them not having the capital, energy, or power to push back against everything while also planning the wedding of the decade.

      • Debbie says:


      • DK says:

        @Molly – I agree.

        And I think at this point, Harry was only beginning to realize how insidious his family was. I would bet that at this stage, he was still trying to compromise and work with them as much as possible, hoping that if he and Meghan conceded some major points, then they would also concede some important things. Maybe he even hoped they would stand up for Meghan to the press, etc.

        I don’t think at this point in the timeline, either H or M realized that the only deal the Windsors were willing to make was H&M acquiesce to everything, and only get whatever crumbs W&K would be willing to throw their way.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    It’s sad that Meghan was told she couldn’t invite her niece. But it was insidious of the Palace to remain silent when the press bashed Meghan for only having her mother there. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other family members that Meghan was told she couldn’t invite.

    • lucy2 says:

      They probably wanted to ban her mother too!
      I can’t believe they simply couldn’t just invite the niece, and if pressed for explanation (seriously who would care) say “Meghan reconnected with her niece, who was raised outside of the Markle family, and they have forged a close relationship.”

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ Right! I mean, Ashleigh could have been allowed to attend anonymously and sit in the nave, instead of the quire. Failing that, why couldn’t Ashleigh and other of M’s closest family be invited to the private reception?! I actually secretly thought that’s what had happened. I figured that some family who were close to Meg and discreet were invited, but sat in the nave in order to avoid being harassed through being publicly identified!

        Boy! Those cruel firm a**holes were purposely trying to make Meghan look bad. There’s credible evidence that there was underhanded contact with Bad Dad in order to tempt him into betraying his own daughter, and blowing up the wedding plans! All of this crapola is surely a huge reason why M&H had asked Archbishop Welby to bless their union privately at Frogmore Cottage prior to their wedding day!!!

    • swaz says:

      I think that the Palace was already writing the scripts to sabotage Meghan. Meghan was still in her trusting mode but the narrative of destruction was being set in motion. Meghan should have invited her niece, it was a mistake.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ Right @Swaz. I previously knew about Ashleigh because there had been some articles in 2017 that Meg had a close relationship with her niece, who was an attorney. It was indicated that Ash had prepped Meg regarding the legal field for her role in Suits. Meg had posted pics of herself with Ash on her original Instagram.

        I also remember how M&H were forced not to invite to their wedding politicians who were friends (e.g., the Trudeaus and the Obamas).

      • blue says:

        Yes. I don’t understand why Ashleigh couldn’t have been included as a guest. Don’t say she’s the niece, just invite her and have her walk in with Abigail Spencer, Prianka, and other unescorted female guests. I’m sure there were a few invitation cards around which could have been hand-addressed & posted without going through the palace, even if she was listed as Ashleigh “Smith” on the checklist.
        Security for the Obamas & Trudeaux would have been problematic so Not surprising they weren’t there.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’m thinking the same thing. Just invite her, no explanation needed.

      • aftershocks says:

        @Blue, while that’s true about security for politicians, there was loads of security at the M&H wedding, with public figures, diplomats and officials from Britain and the Commonwealth, lots of celebrities and bigwigs attending. The main reason for the public announcement asserting there would be no invites for international politicians, was the fact that Theresa May stupidly had made a big stink about the necessity for M&H to invite Donald Trump!!! 🙄 May was worried about Brexit and making trade deals with the U.S.

        A big public debate regarding whether an American president will be invited to a royal wedding had NEVER happened before. It was ridiculous! The only reason it happened in the case of M&H’s wedding, was for tabloid fodder and the sinister desire to create negative drama around their relationship. It was certainly known that Harry was friendly with the Bidens and the Obamas. It would not have been unusual for their wives to at least attend. Sophie Trudeau is a close friend of Meg’s and she should have been able to attend. Nancy Reagan attended the Charles & Diana royal wedding.

    • Sunday says:

      100% it was insidious, and to me illustrates a pattern in the palace’s behavior, essentially playing both sides against Meghan. In this case, telling her not to invite her niece and then allowing the media (maybe even planting the stories) to bash her about not having any family there except her mom. Jason Knauf did it again when he encouraged and helped her to write her Dad a letter and then helped leak that letter, and then testified in court against Meghan about the letter. They also never trained her on proper ‘protocol’ and then let the press constantly berate her over made up protocol breaches.

      They tried to do the same thing when they encouraged her to keep acting – they would have let the press destroy her over that. I’m glad that by that time it seems she was aware of their manipulations. This term is so often used and misused, but if anything is truly gaslighting, Meghan’s time at the palace certainly was.

    • Regina Falangie says:

      The RF kept the closest people away from Megan, not to make her look bad, that was an added bonus. They did that to isolate her, to break her down easier. That’s what abusers do. Control, isolate and demolish.

      • QuiteContrary says:

        Exactly!!!! They didn’t want her to have allies there. They couldn’t bar powerful friends like Serena Williams, but they could keep out one of Meghan’s closest family members, her niece.

        They are monsters.

    • Lux says:

      They really wanted to create that narrative that she had alienated all her family and old friends. People she discarded on her way to the top. It’s so insidious when you consider how deeply they isolated her leading up to the wedding. Between her family disappointments, the tiara drama, and the bridesmaids crap, I’m sure she had to fight tooth and nail for what she did have control over.

      • Jasper says:

        And when you read a lot of the online comments against her, one of the most frequently repeated is that she’s clearly a narcissist who chases away family. Why else would only her mom be at the wedding? Where’s the rest of her family?
        They were prepared to destroy her reputation and keep her as isolated from any support for as long as it took to break her down and get her away from Harry.

  4. Alexandria says:

    I’m glad Meg made it to her wedding at least. I’m glad they included this in the documentary. They look so similar! I wonder if she is one of the childrens’ godparents. I’ve finished watching and while I’m scared the second series would make me angry after experiencing the joy of their love story build-up, I’m keen to know their truth even more. Expose these racist criminal rota rats and racist royal freaks.

    • JanetDR says:

      I kept thinking how they looked like sisters! I wish that had turned out differently, but I understand why Meghan went along with that at the time.

    • zazzoo says:

      Genetics are fascinating. Meg doesn’t look very much like her father, but clearly she does have some strong Markle DNA to look so much like a relative on the Markle side. Neither of them are really Markles of course, both having been raised primarily by the non-Markle sides of their family, but that’s their DNA connection.

  5. ML says:

    As someone who both invited a guest I loved and did not have invite a guest my family saw as necessary to invite, I agree with “Meghan should have invited Ashleigh,” though I understand how difficult it would have been to take on the royal machine. I’m convinced that the family was plotting against Meghan (and Harry) here: Ashleigh is part of Meghan’s (white) family and part of the smear campaign against Meghan was that no one from that side of her family came to the wedding so Meghan must be awful.

  6. Izzy says:

    If Scamantha had actually helped raise Meghan or even had a relationship with her as a kid, she would have photos and you KNOW she would have sold those to the tabloids.

    • kelleybelle says:

      As it was she actually photoshopped her own head (well, Mark did) over that of Meghan’s aunt in one pic she sold) to InTouch.

      • aftershocks says:

        Of course Scammy had nothing to do with raising Meghan. There does exist legitimate snapshots of a 19-year-old Scammy (real name: Yvonne) with year-old baby Meg. The photos would have been taken prior to Doria leaving Bad Dad when Meghan was two-years-old. Of course, Meg has no memory of ever being around Scammy as a child, especially not as a baby. They did not have a relationship.

      • kelleybelle says:

        I know they didn’t. So there exists two photos of Meg as a toddler with her, and one as an adult (at that “graduation” thingie). The photoshopped one doesn’t count. Scam hated Meghan beginning with Doria’s pregnancy. “My sister” only came up when she began dating Harry, as we all know.

      • Debbie says:

        Didn’t Scamantha get pregnant early and quit high school? (That’s another reason why she resented Meghan going to college, and graduating, when Scam didn’t even go). Anyway, after Scamantha left her home and family, why would she have time for Meghan (who had her own mother/family) when Scamantha didn’t want to raise her own children or was incapable of it.

  7. Laurie says:

    My main takeaway from this episode was that Meghan used the phrase “shine a light” at the Fab Four appearance and that’s why Kate keeps using it.

    • Jais says:

      Whoa, did not pick up on that detail but you’re right! How many phrases have been co-opted? Although, I guess one would argue that’s a phrase that’s used regularly but still lol.

    • Robin Webb says:

      Can’t wait to hear what Samantha & Thomas, Sr. have to say about the documentary!

    • Lionel says:

      “Shine a light” is a phrase the royals, particularly W&K, have been using for years. It’s meant to convey this idea that they’re doing something without doing any work. I 100% believe that Meghan used the phrase because she realized that it was something they say a lot and was doing her best to fit into the milieu. I doubt you’d hear her say it now, correct me if I’m wrong!

  8. Cara says:

    So much for that claim that Harry was yelling that what Meghan wanted, Meghan got. I would imagine her niece would be more important than a tiara to Meghan.

  9. S808 says:

    The part were she realized someone else was texting her from her dad’s phone…that part was so sinister. I hope her and her niece are in a much better place. I hate that she had to pay for the sins of her birth mother.

  10. Emmi says:

    I can kind of see how they were steamrolled by all that was going on and didn’t realize that this would have been a moment to fight for someone important to Meghan. But I’m trying to imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t invite my sister or bff to my wedding and I don’t see one. I’m curious to see if there is more about their relationship in the second part.

    What I found crazy here was the argument that you can’t invite the niece when you don’t invite the sister. Why not? The niece was adopted by the grandparents, that’s not enough to show it’s a separate relationship? And clearly, it didn’t stop the trashy interviews and stories so how was this necessary?

    • Chelsea says:

      I’m guessing the argument “you can’t invite the niece when you didn’t invite the sister” makes sense to the hateful aholes who attack Meghan for Tom not seeing Meghan and Archie when he literally has no relationship at all with his other grandkids. It’s illogical but that hasn’t stopped the press from platforming these arguments to sow hate against Meghan and it would’ve been used against her including by people in her own press office if she had Ashleigh there after her press team told her to not invite her especially since iirc Samantha was threatening to show up outside the wedding with cameras.

      • Debbie says:

        Scamantha actually threatened to show up outside Meg’s wedding with cameras? Oh my God, I didn’t know that. So, she was adopting the position of Glenn Close as Alex in Fatal Attraction of “I’m not going to be ignored.” That chick really is something.

  11. MY3CENTS says:

    I thought she was too easy and very graceful towards her father. She sort of framed it like the media turned him into this person when I think we all knew he was just terrible and trash all along.

    • Green girl says:

      I don’t know. In the second ep of the series Meghan shares nice memories of her dad when she was growing up. If you didn’t know about the drama with her dad from the last five years or so, you probably wouldn’t think it would happen. I’ve only seen the first two episodes so I don’t know if this is addressed later.

      • Nic919 says:

        Thy haven’t really addressed the no show the wedding or the letter, so I’m sure we will hear more about Tom in the next few episodes.

  12. DaniLou says:

    I’ve always believed, even in the run up to the wedding, that Meghan was being pressured into inviting her father to the wedding in the hope that it was all going to implode.

    • kelleybelle says:

      Agreed. She knew he was trouble and I think she only invited him for the optics of it all. She’s always had a difficult relationship with him. And now? Zero relationship. He can rot and I hope he does.

  13. lanne says:

    I want Thomas the Terrible to tell the truth. He has nothing to gain from the royal family now. He was used and discarded. If he has any love for Meghan that’s greater than his greed, he should come forward now and tell the world how he was manipulated by the palace. That’s his only shot at any sort of redemption.

    I’ve only seen the 1st 2 episodes, but it shook me that even with everything that has happened. Meghan still speaks about her dad with love. Her dad doesn’t deserve her as a daughter. He has failed her, utterly. I just can’t imagine failing a child the way Thomas failed Meghan. In her darkest hour, her own father sided with her abusers.

    Meghan was blamed for having terrible siblings. I think a lot of the vitriol in the UK against her comes from that.

    • MsIam says:

      I’m sure they got him to sign an NDA in order to get the money. So they own Thomas and probably Sam and Jr. too. Maybe he made secret tapes that will be released upon his death. But he’s a fundamentally horrible person deep down inside to involve himself with those snakes in the first place. There was a story early on about how Thomas owed lots of money to the IRS. I believe the PTB paid that off for him on top of whatever money he got from the British media.

    • kelleybelle says:

      Redemption? He took money and still takes money to insult and malign his own child, a child he said he loves. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. He’s garbage, end of.

  14. Blue Nails Betty says:

    I feel like the royals insisted on Meghan excluding a beloved family member in order to make Meghan feel even more isolated. There was no legit reason to exclude Ashleigh but having her there would have bolstered Meghan’s spirits and given Meghan a shoulder to lean on. The Firm was already trying to break her and needed her feeling as alone as possible.

    It’s classic abuser methodology. Divide and conquer.

    • Mrsfonzieface says:

      Yeah, I felt this as well.

      Plus Ashleigh being an immigration attorney also feels important. She’s an intelligent person with a professional background, the Firm probably didn’t want her in Meghan’s ear. She might have had different perspectives on things as they stood at that time.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ Yep, it reminds me of how Diana felt very isolated from her friends and family during her early days inside the firm, after the engagement and leading up to the extravagant, showy faux ‘fairytale’ royal wedding. And especially Diana became lonely and isolated after her marriage.

  15. N. says:

    All I can say is, imagine the absolute freaking sh*tshow the British tabloids and Samantha would have stoked if Ashleigh got invited while Samantha and the half-brother et al weren’t welcome? The tabloids, Samantha and Thomas were already making a ton of ugly noise but just imagine if Meghan had selectively invited only 1 Markle family member – they would have had a huge field day with that and Meghan would have looked like she was playing into it too. In this case, the palace made a wise decision, I think, and Harry & Meghan recognized it, thankfully.

    • Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

      YES! This shows Meghan and Prince Harry were listening and doing what was requested of them.

    • Anna says:

      Yes, this was my thinking too! With Ashleigh not as visible as Doria, having her at the wedding would’ve put a target on her back, after, and the media and paps would’ve taken to harassing her as well. That’s not even getting into what vile nonsense Samantha would have gotten into to burn not just her half-sister, but her own daughter, for a paycheck.

      I really don’t envy the position Meghan was placed in because it just seems like every decision could’ve ended poorly in one way or another.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ Nope. The real issue is that Knauf and KP were actually clandestinely working against Meghan. If they were truly interested in respecting and protecting Meghan, there was definitely a way to anonymously and secretly invite Ashleigh and have her sit in the nave, or at the very least attend the private evening reception!

  16. Moxylady says:

    Oh that’s so sad. Meghan was being set up by the palace so early. The sheer so horrible that she has no family she’s close to thing. Ugh. And her poor niece. That just sucks. M was already getting so much hate so to think that this strong women was already so bent by the media that she was trying to put out future fires and protect those close to her from the public eye – all due to fear of what the tabloids would do with this information…. That says a lot and it sucks. She was in a completely different mindset back then. She had already been abused for so long and so deeply… I hope so much that there can be understanding and forgiveness and love between them.

  17. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    Speaking of the Markle clan, their continued silence is quite extraordinary I thought for sure that Tom and Sam would be on all of the British morning shows today. It really begs the question, who’s keeping them quiet and how much is that costing?

    • sparrow says:

      Samantha is in the DM today talking crap. Even the posters are telling her enough is enough and that it’s a load of bollocks.

    • ChillinginDC says:

      Cause this doesn’t make them look good. Until now Meghan hasn’t really talked about her father or Samantha outside of responding to Samantha’s BS lawsuit. Now they look like a mess and the RR who kept talking to them look really dumb. I mean I loathe Piers Morgan as much as anyone, but even he’s been like you two (Thomas and Samantha) are a mess and if he knew about Meghan having a great relationship with her niece even he would have brought that up.

  18. MsIam says:

    I don’t know, I don’t think the palace wanted any of Meghan’s family there, hell they didn’t want Meghan there. I understand now why Meghan said she and Harry had that little ceremony with the Archbishop just for themselves. Because this was a palace production with everyone and their mama telling them what they could and couldn’t do. So much for the “fairytale”.

  19. Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

    Meghan and Prince Harry were fighting multiple battles on multiple fronts. I’m sure this was one of the decision they both deeply regret listening to the Firm and Jason on. I applaud them for including this in the series, it shows they were following the Firm’s advice, not what the tabloids and their sources had claimed for the past 6 years.

  20. ABritGuest says:

    Apparently Sophie Wessex only had her parents at her wedding. So I can see scenario where with Thomas Markle’s kids acting a fool in the press, the palace say if we can’t invite some relatives because some are messy- let’s just restrict invites to Meghan’s parents only.

    Emily Andrew’s said that Meghan was never forced to do anything. But the bbc program princes & the press said that the palace was briefing the press within days of the wedding about fallouts between the brothers & Kate & Meghan. So would harry really have wanted William as his best man if not because the palace & PR look dictated that. And it’s been reported that Harry & Meghan wanted a smaller wedding but were told no because of Harry’s position.

    We also saw in Jason Knauf & Meghan’s messages that she leaned on Jason for advice & that on advice of senior royal, she wrote to her father to get Charles etc off Harry’s back. So I definitely can see Meghan giving up a lot of control etc to the palace incl wedding details until she realised she wasn’t being protected.

    • Debbie says:

      I highly doubt that Emily Andrews even knows Meghan. And even if she does know her, EA wasn’t present when Meghan had those conversations with palace staff, so she’s really in no position to state what Meghan was forced to do, or told to do. Any “reporter” who makes a statement like that shows they have no work ethic and no knowledge of real journalism vs. gossip and advocacy for the palace.

  21. Flower says:

    I think we can debate this for days. In hindsight she should have insisted on Ashleigh being there, but imagine yourself newly assimilating into such a family at the time, I think we can’t even begin to imagine how over-whelming the spin and palace machinery is.

    I also think Jason Knauff was baiting Meghan and using Ashleigh as a gauge to see how badly Meghan was against inviting Samantha and Tom Jnr up.

    What is also telling is the fact that Ashleigh during the interviews made it very clear that she doesn’t consider Samantha to be her mother. Also it would seem that Meghan and Ashleigh are in a good place now and sadly have much more to bond on.

    Finally, the whole Markle family seems to be a mess. I hope someone is also looking after Noelle bc she seemed to have had the roughest ride with Samantha and also abandoned by her father.

    Samantha is so ill that I can’t imagine that anything would make her happy in this life, not even if Meghan had reached out to her.

    • Nic919 says:

      She trusted Jason’s advice and she had no reason not to trust him at that stage. What he did to her later was a massive betrayal.

    • Jan says:

      Noelle was in college, lives with Scammy’s mother.
      One thing about the men Scammy marries, they don’t abandoned their children.

  22. tamsin says:

    It was sad that Meghan was forced to exclude her niece. She was dealt so many blows I don’t think she had the strength to fight them, although I think Harry could have stepped up here. I hope Meghan’s relationship with her niece is intact. I don’t think they will show them together in the documentary because it would just inflict media attention on Ashley. I wouldn’t be surprised If Ashleigh still has no relationship with Samantha. I think it was telling that Ashleigh refers to Samantha as her biological mother. Also that Meghan said that she was a daddy’s girl her whole life. That is the impression that I got when I read what she has written about her father prior to meeting Harry.

    I think the documentary is excellent. It is also obviously telling a story that is more than just Harry and Meghan’s by putting their lives into historical and cultural context. I assume all the threads will be woven together in a significant way in the second half.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Agreed, I think what Ashleigh has to say about her relationship with Meghan vs. her relationship with Samantha speaks volumes about both women. It pretty much confirms which Markle sister is the drama in that sisterly relationship (not that Samantha’s own ridiculous behavior wasn’t proof). In the beginning some people were worried that this older white woman was being silenced due to ageism, but she’s shown that she really is that hateful lady trying to sabotage her younger sister.

  23. Jais says:

    I wish Meghan had said F-U and invited Ashleigh anyways. Imagine meghan wishes she had done so as well. Said this yesterday, but I really hope there’s another clip of Meghan and Ashleigh together in montecito.

  24. Chitowner says:

    If you could invite Oprah, George Clooney and his wife and other people you barely knew, you can invite your niece. If you choose not to to please other people, then that’s something that needs addressing within yourself. The fact that Meghan seemed willing to say the palace made me do it, without acknowledging that she could have done better, was a bit disappointing.

    • Colby says:

      I tend to agree here. I was disappointed by the lack of ownership on her end, especially given the restive strangers that did merit and invitation.

      However, nobody is perfect, and she was under a ton of stress. I’m sure she would do it differently now if she could.

    • MsIam says:

      The palace controlled the invitations, not Meghan. Everyone had to be vetted and approved. Or they wouldn’t get in. This is why Harry and Meghan said they had their own “wedding” a few days before. This thing was controlled by the palace and they wanted a certain look. This is why they were ok with celebrities being invited as opposed to Meghan’s niece with the messy backstory. Plus, this fed into the story in the press about Meghan “cutting off” her family and ghosting people. Remember what she said in Oprah about “Nothing being as it seems”?

    • OriginalMich says:

      She also said that she understood her niece would become part of the media frenzy if she was there but her biological mother was not and that played a role in her decision making.

    • C says:

      I think you are forgetting what was going on during the engagement. Which was, a great deal of harassment, racist threats, death wishes. White powder mailed to her to provoke an anthrax scare. How ready would you be to go against people who *insisted* they were protecting you from that in this scenario (even though they weren’t)? Be honest with yourself.
      Meghan and Harry had little control over their actual wedding and the decisions they made about it were leaked as negative stories – which fanned the flames of the harassment. The issues with her father. All of it. This was not a regular wedding.

    • Lurker25 says:

      @chitowner @Colby… “Lack of ownership”…”do better”..?

      Did you ever have an entire country’s press put your personal details on front pages? Did you have childhood friends and..[checks notes] your father…sell photos of you and stories about you? Did you get death threats? Did you need a security detail with snipers on rooftops with shoot to kill orders at your wedding?
      Please, tell us how you would have taken ownership to do better than Meghan in this situation.

      • Debbie says:

        I know, right? Imagine people wagging their fingers from the keyboard. Simply ridiculous.

      • chitowner says:

        @Lurker: what does that have to do with the actual wedding itself though? Meghan wanted to invite her niece. Someone who wasn’t Meghan and wasn’t getting married decided that her niece ‘shouldn’t’ attend. What would have happened if Meghan had insisted? Would the wedding be called off?
        @Debbie: not wagging my finger. Just expressing my opinion.

        Meghan wanted to invite her niece but didn’t. Why? Because it ‘looked bad’ if she didn’t invite her sister? And? She and her sister had no relationship and her sister was trash-talking her. What reasonable person would say that inviting the niece that you love, who is an immigration attorney and probably by any metric a decent person, is a bad call? If anything, her niece not being there fed into the narrative that Meghan is an elitist climber.

        She listened to people who didn’t know what they were talking about/didn’t care about her interests and someone she loved missed her wedding while people she barely knew attended. I understand why she didn’t feel comfortable pushing back or felt like she had no choice, but there is a difference between actually not having a choice and feeling that way.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      As I said above, the palace couldn’t keep Meghan’s powerful friends away — especially not her powerful Black friends, because WE ARE VERY MUCH NOT A RACIST FAMILY.

      They chose an easy mark in excluding Ashleigh. Jason Knauf and company did this on purpose.

    • Princessk says:

      I think that there is more to this Ashleigh story. Maybe Scammy was threatening something which would affect Ashleigh. There is more to this story.
      I thought that there was a niece being raised by Scammy’s mother, is it the same person?

      • Flower says:

        The other niece is Noelle and she is the one I am most worried about bc she was raised by Samantha well into her teens.

        Ashleigh ironically had a chance bc she was taken away from her mother before the age of 5. Those early years are important and thankfully Ashleigh had two good enough parents.

        Noelle has bounced around alot and now lives with Scammy’s mother.

        Scammy is the biggest waste of space toxic human being and I can not even begin to imagine the horror for Meghan having to deal with his as a distant sibling on the world stage.

    • equality says:

      Yeah, it’s not like the royals owned/controlled the venue or controlled the security to exclude people and deny them entrance. (sarc) And PH did know Oprah they were working on a documentary together.

  25. Mel says:

    I watched the first half in one sitting last night. The show is barely about them , it isn’t about the family , it’s about how AWFUL the British media is . You can already see from the stories on tis page that the Media is mad to have been called out and are now spinning and trying to take revenge.

  26. Elsa says:

    That part bothered me too. But Meghan was still learning. I’m sure she would have invited her now knowing what she knows.

  27. Formerly Lithe says:

    I feel this. I hope their relationship has recovered from it.

    Ashleigh should have been invited to Meghan and Harry’s wedding. But her not getting the invitation tells me more about the BRF machine than Meghan. How do you stand up for yourself and outwit an enemy when you’re new to their territory, you’re in a completely new high pressure situation where they make the rules, and you haven’t even realized yet that they are absolutely not on your side? Meghan knows who they are now. I would bet that with hindsight, she would have stood up for Ashleigh.

    I agree with the comments upthread that this is more on Harry than Meghan. He should have been the one to insist on the invitation, if for no other reason than to make it clear that, protocol aside, he didn’t regard his family’s attendance as being that much more important than hers.

  28. Chelsea says:

    When i saw Ashleigh show up on screen i was half asleep because it was like 5 am but i woke up real quick then. I’m very happy that after her mother has spent years spilling bile in the public domain that she was able to tell her side of the story, even knowing that her doing so has opened Meg up to more criticism for not defying people who would go on to call her Duchess Difficult and leak lies about her being controlling over her wedding. (Because despite the overwhelming evidence that Meghan was surrounded by manipulative snakes who made her trust them and wanted her as isolated as possible so they could destroy her this is obvi her fault).

    Anyways…my heart breaks for Ashleigh but it really is amazing that she seems to have turned out to be a well adjusted adult despite her horrific mother and it was nice to hear from her what her childhood was really like and how she became close to Meghan. Hope her telling her truth helps her heal.

  29. aquarius64 says:

    Scammy got dragged on Twitter for losing custody of her kids while claiming to practically claiming to raise Meghan. TOD is in damage control mode because the Ashleigh reveal could derail her lawsuit against Meghan. I’m surprised Scam’s lawyers are letting her talk; interviews are admissible in court. In the episode Ashleigh described how unhinged Scammy was when she talked about Meghan and it got to the point Ashleigh stopped talking to Sam. We can do debate whether Meghan should have fought harder, but in the end two apparently the two worked through things otherwise Ashleigh wouldn’t defend Meghan now. The talking heads are ducking the Ashleigh situation because they know their chief useful idiot has been compromised. I’ll take this silver lining.

  30. LouiseM says:

    I’m not sure what else Meghan could have done in this case. Had she invited Ashleigh, it would have given Samantha more ammunition with her “woe is me for not being invited to my sister’s wedding!” And the media would have focused on the “poor sister being excluded” narrative. Samantha was already everywhere giving the British press crazy content. They wouldn’t have cared that Ashleigh barely had a relationship with Samantha and wasn’t raised by her. Meghan didn’t want to make waves and we all know she was not the one who had a huge say behind the scenes and making all the choices. Had she invited Ashleigh, who knows what the palace leaks would have twisted that into? What a horrible position to be in.

    • N. says:

      LouiseM: That’s what I think too. Yep, a really horrible position to be in! The tabloids plus Samantha and Thomas were already so unhinged and foaming at their mouths, all it would have taken is one Markle to BE invited while the rest were not. Meghan would have been called rude, impolite, a snob, a family-wrecker, devious, manipulative, playing favorites, you name it, and let’s not forget at that time very few of the general public actually knew much about her. By not inviting any Markles, it closed the book on the idea that she might be feeding into the situation with her relatives. Unfortunately, the tabloids got hold of the cash-poor Markles rather early on and used money to turn them into weapons.

  31. Sunday says:

    I can’t imagine the level of intimidation that Meghan was facing from the palace at this time. I think we’ve all been in situations where we feel like we can’t say no for whatever reason. Attending a function because you were guilted into it, capitulating to an in-law to keep the peace. Now multiply that by about a million – Meghan is essentially alone in a foreign country, being told that her entire self is ‘too much’ and that every single thing about her needs to be different, and dealing with a media frenzy. I can’t imagine being surrounded by haughty courtiers and cold royals and trying to argue with them about invites when my family was being so embarrassing on the world stage, so she caved to their advice. She naively thought that she was following the shepherd when she was actually following the wolf.

    • jamzsquared says:

      I think embarrassing is a key word here. We’ve already established that Meghan is the kind of person who hates to cause inconvenience for others, and we know that (paraphrasing her words) the media furor leading up to the wedding was already more than the KP comms team was equipped to handle on their own, and to have that compounded by her own family fanning the flames of controversy and adding to the circus? I’m sure she was humiliated, and was desperate to find a way forward that wouldn’t escalate the Markles’ behavior.

      Jason and the rest of the KP staff (I’m certain with the support of other members of the family) gave Meghan a really crappy decision to make, and I feel bad for her and for Ashleigh, but I don’t think Meghan felt like she has any control over the situation, which had spiraled so far out of control. Also, it is early foreshadowing to how we now know Charles reacted post-wedding, pressuring Harry to have Meghan “fix” the situation with her dad (per the text messages and other docs released by KP in the Daily Mail case).

  32. C says:

    Ashleigh will also be the target of trolls because of her choice to be involved in this series. The fact that she did so anyway tells me she and Meghan have healed their relationship imo.

  33. Thea says:

    It isn’t realistic for us to expect Meghan to have fought harder to invite Ashleigh to her wedding. If anyone has ever married into a family of hyper-controlling in-laws with all their expectations and wishes for how the wedding should go, you should know the wedding planning is a nightmare under normal circumstances. Meghan was marrying the 5th in line to the throne (at the time) in a 1,000-year-old institution with historical links to slavery and representing the significance of being the first biracial woman to join this “family”, all under the full glare of international media attention. She hadn’t been in the UK long enough to develop her own allies within the Royal Family or their courtiers (not that she had any as she would later come to learn) to make requests against the narrative they wanted to push for the wedding. She was still trying to gain their acceptance and trust, to show she was a team player who considered the interests of The Firm. She was probably already being denigrated and diminished on a daily basis for everything she was doing and didn’t want to add more to the pile-on, especially if it exposed her beloved niece to the relentless media. If Meghan had insisted on inviting Ashleigh, who knows what the British Royal Family would have done to Ashleigh to discourage her from attending the wedding? We saw what they did to discourage Meghan from going through with it and their machinations after the wedding.

    • Lurker25 says:

      Thanks for spelling it out more calmly than I could.

      Really aghast at all these “she made a mistake/could have done better/are making excuses” comments from the CB peanut gallery, all comfy sipping tea in a slanky at home. Jesus. If you read this site you should know what M was dealing with, yet this quick snap judgement from so many. 🤔🤨

      • Debbie says:

        Exactly. And you too, @Thea: These comments from some comfortably anonymous people saying, “Do better, Meghan.” First of all, just using that language about someone who was having to struggle with these strangers for everything while Kate’s wigglets had their own dedicated media spokesperson just says much more about the posters.

    • Nic919 says:

      Excellent comment that everyone needs to read.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      Yes, thank you for this, Thea. 100% agree.

  34. February Pisces says:

    I feel like at this point meghan still may have trusted Jason knauf and trusted in their reasons for not inviting Ashleigh. I don’t think Meghan knew she was being sabotaged from within Kensington palace yet. Given the fact people have used the ‘where was her family?” argument to trash Meghan after the wedding, it’s clear KP knew exactly what they were doing.

    But Ashleigh’s appearance was a big surprise.

  35. Isabella says:

    I suspect Samantha didn’t want anything to do with the dark side of the family before it became lucrative for her when Meghan met Harry.

  36. Lurker25 says:

    Anyone else notice the similar bone structure that Meghan and Ashleigh share? Meghan’s got a slightly more delicate frame (face and figure) but otherwise, like sisters no?

  37. ChillinginDC says:

    I will say this, she was able to invite coworkers and others, so I would have probably fought to include my niece and screw what people were going to say. I mean I get she was trying to get along to go along and she definitely regrets it now, so no need to beat her up about it. I think she realizes how dumb it was in retrospect because she gave up this one thing and kept getting beaten down the whole time while there and in the end, they left.

    So yeah, looking bad at my wedding I would have wanted everyone I loved there.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      ChillinginDC, I think when Meghan said she didn’t want her to have to deal with the media it was telling. I have no doubt that Scammy would have attacked Ashleigh and Ashleigh’s life would have been miserable. As much as I can’t believe that KP would sink to this level through Scammy, I think that not making Ashleigh a target may have been wise. I also agree with C above, I bet Ashleigh is now dealing with trolls. I wouldn’t be surprised if H&M made sure she is protected.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        She’s probably dealing with trolls, but she seemed really sad (Ashleigh) during the docuseries while talking about this and still kind of hurt. So I know Meghan probably explained it, but she’s probably like but why was so and so invited. I really wish on this one that they had told Jason to stuff it.

      • Anoymous says:

        Im team Meghan but I think that should have been her niece’s choice on whether to go to the wedding and catch hell fire from the rest of the family and media. That choice was taken from her. If it were me,I would have raised hell to invite my niece.

  38. Queenie says:

    I u derstand this messy and sad situation completely. I feel for Meghan and Ashleigh. I think it’s great that Meghan be took B such an interest in her. And I get why she xx didn’t invite Ashley to the wedding. If the niece had established a relationship B withSamantha, starting in 2007, there would be fear that crazy Markle could show up and disrupt the wedding or events leading up to it. She is nuts and if her daughter was there and not her, I B could well imagine her barreling over to London and making a scene. They already had their hands full with the dad!
    I think it was probably discussed with Palace officials and all parties agreed to let sleeping dogs lie
    I don’t think the Palace insisted o one from Meghan’s family, save her mom attend. I remember all the stories of William being upset with the guest list Palace officials had originally drawn up for his wedding

  39. Queenie says:

    Sorry, I pressed the wrong button!
    But when William B was upset that the guest list didn’t include enough of his friends ,he called Granny, and she said tear up the list and make your own .
    I’m be sure meghan and Harry could have stone the same,but Meghan at least by that time, knew what an inch of crazies the marbles are. Who needs that headache when weddings are stressful enough

  40. thaisajs says:

    I found it fascinating that they included this in the documentary. I’d never heard of her niece and I follow this stuff relatively closely. She was clearly hurt by it, then and now, and I really don’t think Meghan had a great answer for that. It was clearly a mistake. I hope they’ve gotten past it. But it was really interesting that they included that in the documentary. Maybe that was part of Meghan atoning?

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      thaisajs, what could Meghan have done to keep the bm away from Ashleigh if she had attended? How could she have helped Ashleigh when she went home? Scammy would have made sure the Ashleigh’s life would be a living hell with the help of the bm.

      I said above, that I agree with C that Ashleigh at best is dealing with trolls. I think H&M have made sure she is protected.

      Let’s take anything we can to spin it negatively against Meghan. In this decision, I think it was the right one. This can be laid at Scammy’s door, which is exactly what Ashleigh did. Shouldn’t we believe her?

  41. Beech says:

    A couple of royal blogs always used the how come Meghan”s mother was the only family member to attend talking point. Fortunately, one has more or less disappeared and the other periodically humbly requests money. Nasty, nasty, nasty pieces of business. Not one iota of a working brain cell among the lot of them.

  42. aquarius64 says:

    When Samantha went on Operation Damage Control on the talk shows I noticed the background of her home (and Jr). Nothing about it said luxury. You would think 5 years of slagging off Harry and Meghan they would have an upgrade in lifestyle. They are getting chicken feed or dust. Tin foil tiara: I think the BM has dirt on the Markles, bad enough to destroy them, especially Toxic Tom. That is how the half sibs are coming on the shows. The BM is getting dragged on Twitter for not vetting Scammy (thanks to the Ashley reveal) and giving her a platform. Their credibility ( such as it is) is damaged.

  43. Monika says:

    I’m just…why. maybe this is just true of Britain in general but they are so bad at media. Would it kill them to workshop this shiz? Focus group? Anything? Never complain never explain is much more effective with a slight bit of sophistication. They are bumpkins.

  44. ElleE says:

    Meg gave me a new term: turtle-ing

    My “turtle” started out so small, I didn’t even know when it started until I watched Meg talk about it-it started with my wedding guest list too.

    My life just got smaller and smaller during my marriage, with kids, 2 homes to maintain, a husband that talked to
    our girls the way Thomas Markle did (in that home video – which was heartbreaking for me to see as a mom) and working from home. I felt like a piano fell on me when I heard Meg use that term to describe how her married life started. (Am getting my self back during my divorce process)

  45. Well Wisher says:

    It seemed that Meghan and Asleigh have maintained their relationship. It survived.
    That all that matters.

    • Jan says:

      Ashleigh was a beautiful bride, when Meghan found out about her, she sounded so excited, I’m glad they’re still good.
      Most people would be like, Scammy is horrible I want nothing to do with her children, but Meghan got to know Ashleigh, in spite of 4 years between then, Ash viewed her as maternal.

  46. Denise says:

    I got teary-eyed watching this part and seeing how much these decisions hurt Ashleigh. Count me in with the people who wished Meghan had pushed back on not inviting her to the wedding but, I agree that hindsight is 20/20 and it’s probably something she deeply regrets.