After detailing the early days of their romance in episodes one and two of Harry & Meghan, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opened up about the drama leading up to and shortly after in the third episode, which started streaming on Thursday, December 8.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wed in May 2018 after meeting during summer 2016. Royal enthusiasts will recall speculation about which members of Meghan’s family would be at the nuptials as her half-sister, Samantha Markle, gave interviews trashing the Suits alum.
“The U.K. media wanted my mom’s side of my family to be the ones that all this drama could be stirred up with. And then you have my mom who’s classy and quiet. And then you had the other side of my family that is just … acting differently,” the 41-year-old former actress said, claiming that she hadn’t seen Samantha in over a decade with the exception of once for “a day and a half” in Meghan’s early 20s. “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 you raised me, and you coined me Princess Pushy? I don’t remember seeing her when I was a kid at my dad’s house. … I hadn’t had a fallout with her. We didn’t have a closeness to be able to have that. And I wanted a sister!”
While Meghan and Samantha allegedly didn’t hit it off, the duchess did bond with Samantha’s biological daughter, Ashleigh. Meghan’s niece appeared in the docuseries and explained that her parental grandparents adopted her, and she hadn’t seen Samantha since she was 6 years old until they reconnected in 2007.
“There’s a sister element,” Ashleigh said of Meghan. “There’s something maternal, she’s a best friend, she’s kinda all the things.”
Samantha, however, didn’t approve of Ashleigh maintaining a relationship with Meghan after news broke of her relationship with Harry. “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, 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,” Ashleigh said.
While the royal family didn’t comment on the docuseries — with Netflix including a disclaimer that they “declined to comment on the content within this series” – Samantha released a statement that read: “Samantha Markle maintains that she and Meghan had a close relationship until 2018 and that the media fabricated quotes that have been attributed to her.” (A source has since alleged to Us Weekly that the family was not “approached for comment regarding the content of the series.”
Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, has also made waves in recent years, notably skipping the wedding after he was caught staging photos with paparazzi.
“I felt sad that the media would run with this, [that] he would capitalize [on it],” Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, said. “Certainly, as a parent. … That’s not what you do. That’s not parenting.”
Meghan added: “The unraveling happened that week when he wouldn’t pick up my call. And instead you’re talking to TMZ.”