Palace told Meghan she couldn't invite much-loved niece to her wedding to Harry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured on their wedding day, her niece was unable to attend. (Getty Images)
Meghan Markle has revealed the reason her niece was unable to attend her wedding to Prince Harry. (Getty Images)

Meghan Markle has revealed the reason her niece, who she describes as being "like a little sister" to her, wasn't able to come to her wedding.

The first three episodes of Prince Harry and Meghan's bombshell Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, launched on Thursday, giving "behind closed doors" insight into the couple's lives.

Revelations come from both the couple themselves, as well as their friends and family, many of whom have never spoken out before, including Meghan's mother Doria Ragland.

In episode three of the six-part series, we hear from Meghan's niece, Ashleigh Hale, who describes her close relationship with her aunt and how it felt to be told she couldn't attend her wedding to Prince Harry.

Hale is Meghan's niece, the daughter of Meghan's half-sister, Samantha Grant, who goes by the name of Samantha Markle on Twitter.

While Meghan's somewhat troubled relationship with her half-sister has been well-documented, it seems she is extremely close to her niece, who was raised by her grandparents.

At the beginning of the episode, Hale, an immigration lawyer, explains that she was brought up, then adopted by her paternal grandparents after going to live with them from the age of two.

Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship timeline, as their Netflix documentary arrives

Having reconnected with her estranged mother around 2007, Hale and Meghan started talking, via email at first, growing close after that, until they were speaking and texting several times a week, with Meghan also taking her niece away on holiday to New Orleans.

"I think she takes on a lot of roles for me," Hale says of their relationship. "There's like a sister element, there's something maternal. She's a best friend. She's, you know, kind of all the things."

Meanwhile, Meghan has a similar view of their closeness. "I think we both craved the same thing," she says. "You know, I wanted a sister and she was like a little sister."

Watch: Meghan and Harry enjoyed big night out before romance was exposed

So it was somewhat "painful" for Meghan to learn her niece would be unable to be part of the congregation for her wedding to Prince Harry.

Meghan reveals that Hale was removed from the guest list under guidance from the couple's team, due to the fact her estranged mother, Samantha Markle wasn't invited.

"I don't think anyone understands what that very small comms team was dealing with," Meghan explains.

"They just couldn't wrap their heads around... and I have compassion for it... how do we explain that this half sister isn't invited to the wedding but that the half sister's daughter is?

"And so with Ashleigh, the guidance at the time was to not have her come to our wedding."

Read more: As Harry and Meghan's documentary lands on Netflix, here's everything we know about the Duke of Sussex's memoir

Meghan Markle's niece, Ashleigh Hale, has spoken about not being able to attend her aunt's wedding to Prince Harry. (Netflix)
Meghan Markle's niece, Ashleigh Hale, has spoken about not being able to attend her aunt's wedding to Prince Harry. (Netflix)

Meghan went on to explain how she broke the news to her niece.

"I was in the car with H. I had her on speaker phone and we talked her through what guidance we were being given and why this assessment was made and... and that's painful"

Of course, Hale was also disappointed to learn she would not be able to attend, and was moved to tears as she spoke about the decision.

"I think I said I was hurt on some level but I understood where it was coming from," she reveals in the episode.

"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.

"It's been hard," she added.

Read more: Meghan's Hermès blanket sparks huge surge in searches for the £1,260 throw

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured in 2021 - their new Netflix documentary launched this morning. (Getty Images)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's tell-all documentary series on Netflix has been released. (Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the episode Hale also revealed that she stopped talking to her mother due to her behaviour towards Meghan.

"After the news first broke Samatha pretty quickly began expressing a lot of angry words about Meg towards me," she explained.

"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."

Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, who is also her half sister's father, was not in attendance at her wedding to Prince Harry either, with King Charles III walking her down the aisle instead.