Samantha Markle, Meghan's half-sister on her paternal side, is well-known for giving regular negative interviews about Meghan, claiming they were very close until Meghan joined the royal family. According to Meghan, however, these claims are untrue, but she was never at liberty to tell her story because the palace's policy was not to respond.
Meghan says she doesn't have any memories of Samantha from childhood because Samantha was grown and had moved out by the time Meghan was growing up and spending weekends with their father, Thomas Markle Sr. They hadn't seen each other for a decade by the time Meghan became engaged to Harry, and that meeting had only been a day and a half.
Meghan is, perhaps surprisingly, closer to Samantha's daughter Ashleigh Hale. Hale was raised by her grandparents from the age of 2, and they ultimately adopted her. Hale lost contact with Samantha when she was 6, but they reconnected in 2007, at which point Meghan was excited to reach out and meet her niece.
The pair went on trips together and bonded. "We just hit it off," Meghan says of their instant connection. Photos of Meghan and Ashleigh's excursions are featured in the docuseries.
"I think she takes on a lot of roles for me," Hale says of her relationship with Meghan. "There's like a sister element. There's something maternal. She's a best friend. She's kind of all the things."
"I think we both craved the same thing," Meghan adds. "I wanted a sister, and she was like a little sister . . . Ash was put through quite a bit by the media just by association. I didn't want her life to be plagued with all that drama."
When Meghan began dating Harry, Hale noticed that Samantha became resentful of Meghan. No matter what Hale said, her mother would just get angrier and angrier, until they eventually stopped talking. "Some people, you just can't reason with," Hale said.