Watch after Prince Harry and Megan Markle Talk directly to the camera in Netflix Harry & Megan, feels fresh even though we’ve heard a lot of stories. But two voices in the documentary are really new, and both belong to Meghan’s relatives. Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland opens the “Challenge” of the last five years. “I’m ready to have my voice heard, that’s for sure,” she said. “A little bit of my experience as her mother.” The other new voice is Ashleigh Hale, Meghan’s niece and biological daughter of samantha markle, Meghan’s half sister. Together they created their contribution to the series directed by Liz Garbus provides crucial insights into the relationship between Meghan and her father, Thomas Markle, was so tense in the run-up to the royal wedding in 2018.
Ragland opened up about her close relationship with Meghan and how she felt when she first heard from Harry. “We spoke on the phone and she says, ‘Mom, I’m going out with Prince Harry.’ And I started to whisper ‘Oh my God!’ She says, ‘You can’t tell anyone.’ And that’s how it was from the start, it was very ‘oh my god, no one can know.’”
The roots of the rift in Meghan’s childhood
In the second episode of the series, Ragland also gives an insight into what it was like raising Meghan as a single mom after she and Thomas split when their daughter was two years old. During one scene, Ragland shares a memory and she and Meghan drive by their old home. “I remember one day you came home from Immaculate Heart and you said, ‘We live over a garage,’ and it was like, yeah, and it’s a great place,” Doria recalled.
Divorce was difficult for Meghan, and her parents shared custody. Meghan spent weeknights with Ragland and weekends with Markle. During the episode she shares a poem about the difficulty of dividing their time between two houses. “There is so much from every childhood that you carry with you into the present. Especially when you’re the result of a divorce,” she said. “Even though my parents were good co-parents, you think about how that informs what you become and what you want.”
During the episode, Meghan mentions that she didn’t have a close relationship with her father’s extended family, but her father was involved in her life. “My father lived alone — he had two grown children who had moved out of his home,” she said. Susan Willinger, Meghan’s friend from her Immaculate Heart years said Thomas was involved in her high school theater productions.
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These aspects of Meghan’s childhood set the stage for what happened leading up to Meghan and Harry’s spring 2018 wedding. Ragland mentioned that her life had changed fundamentally after Meghan and Harry went public with their relationship due to press intrusion. “I often felt insecure. I can’t just walk my dogs, I can’t just go to work. There was always someone waiting for me and following me to work. I was being followed by the paparazzi,” she said. She added that one journalist said she could be paid to work with them. “One time I pulled over and he pulled up next to me and said, ‘I’m just trying to get a story, you know you can get a lot of money for that.’ And I just looked at him and said, this is my child, I have nothing to say.”
In the years that followed, Meghan has not spoken to her father and has denied Samantha’s claims that they ever had a relationship. This is where Hale comes into the story. Hale is Samantha’s biological daughter, but she lived with her paternal grandparents from the age of two, who later adopted her. In the documentary, Hale said she hadn’t seen Samantha in years, but she and Meghan got back together in the late 2000s and they developed a close friendship that lasted through their years suits.
“I think she fills a lot of roles for me,” Hale said of Meghan. “There is a sister element, there is something maternal. She is a best friend. She is anything.”
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Hale, an immigration attorney, said she was worried about Samantha after Harry and Meghan’s relationship went public in November 2018. What I was conveyed was maybe some resentment.” Hale said that she and Samantha stopped talking. “Some people just can’t be reasoned with.”
Meghan said her niece was also touched by the same media passion that touched other people in her life. “Ash has been covered in the media quite a lot, just by association,” she said. “I didn’t want her life to be plagued by all that drama.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2022/12/harry-and-meghans-what-really-happened-with-the-markle-family Harry & Meghan’s biggest reveal: what really happened to the Markle family