The 'experts, family and friends' in Harry and Meghan's Netflix series

The 'experts, family and friends' in Harry and Meghan's Netflix series

December 8, 2022

From Meghan’s lawyer niece to Harry’s polo playing model friend Nacho, Serena Williams and TV historian David Olusoga: The ‘experts, family and friends’ who appear on Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Netflix series…but who’s missing?

  • The first three episodes of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series have been released 
  • Viewers have been introduced to a revolving door of unfamiliar faces in the show
  • Among them are Meghan’s lawyer niece and Harry’s polo playing model friend
  • Famous faces involved include Serena Williams and TV historian David Olusoga 

Viewers watching Harry and Meghan’s newly released Netflix show have been introduced to a slideshow of friends, family and experts giving their opinion on the couple.

In the first three episodes of the programme Doria Ragland, the Duchess of Sussex’s mother, spoke on camera about her daughter’s relationship with Prince Harry for the first time.

Fans were also introduced to a number of friends of the couple, with the likes of Serena Williams taking part, as well as Meghan’s lawyer niece Ashleigh and Harry’s polo playing model friend Ignacio.

Ahead of its release today, the streaming service promised that ‘friends and family’ would give interviews about the couple and their relationship. 

Speaking on camera for the first time, Ashleigh Hale revealed to the public she is Meghan’s niece

However, some well-known friends and allies of the couple have not appeared in the three episodes released so far.

The likes of Elton John, Vogue editor Edward Enninful and Prince Harry’s ‘surrogate Dad’, the music producer David Foster, were all absent.

Additionally Oprah Winfrey, who conducted a bombshell interview with the pair in 2021, and the Obamas, who are close to them, were also not present.

There were also no ‘talking heads’ from the Royals, not even Princess Eugenie, who the couple remain close to.

Below is the lowdown on all the family, friends, experts and employees who appeared on the first three episodes released this morning.

Family  

Doria Ragland 

Meghan’s mother has tried to stay away from the limelight since her daughter met Prince Harry.

The 66-year-old social worker lives in Los Angeles, and spent the majority of Meghan’s childhood raising her as a single mother following her divorce from Thomas Markle.

Ms Ragland has never spoken on camera about their relationship, although she remains close to the couple and often visits them and her grandchildren.

Doria Ragland has spoken about her daughter relationship with Prince Harry for the first time in their new Netflix documentary

Ms Ragland told the camera that she knew Harry was ‘The One’ for her daughter upon meeting him in person, and called him a ‘6ft 1in handsome man with red hair’ and ‘great manners’ 

She appeared in all three episodes released on Netflix today, and took centre stage in the second of these, talking about how she found out Meghan was dating a prince.

She tells the series she wanted to share ‘a little bit of my experience as her mom’ – including how she raised the Duchess ‘with a network of women’.

Ms Ragland told the camera that she knew Harry was ‘The One’ for her daughter upon meeting him in person, and called him a ‘6ft 1in handsome man with red hair’ and ‘great manners’.

In the third episode of the series she described her experience of dealing with paparazzi, saying she felt ‘unsafe a lot’ before hitting out at her ex-husband and Meghan’s father Tom Markle.

Speaking about his interactions with the press, she said: ‘I was absolutely stunned that Tom would become part of this circus.’

Ashleigh Hale

Speaking on camera for the first time, Ashleigh Hale revealed to the public she is Meghan’s niece.

Describing herself as an immigration attorney in the show, her LinkedIn profile says she was based in Richmond, Virginia, before moving to San Francisco last May where she is now an associate at a firm called Fragomen.

In the show the 37-year-old says she was raised by her grandparents instead of her mother, Meghan’s estranged half-sister Samantha Markle.

Ms Hale said she was raised by her grandparents instead of her mother, Meghan’s estranged half-sister Samantha Markle

In episode three she says how she only met Meghan for the first time as an adult, with the pair becoming close friends.

She broke down in tears after revealing she was supposed to be invited to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, but the complicated relationship between her mother and Meghan meant she could not go.

Discussing the matter, Megan said: ‘How do we explain that this half-sister isn’t invited to the wedding but the half-sister daughter’s is. And so with Ashleigh, the guidance at the time was to not have her come to the wedding’.

Ms Hale said she was ‘hurt’ but ‘understood where it was coming from.’

Friends 

Nicky

In the first episode of the series viewers are introduced to Nicky, a school friend from Harry’s time at Eton.

Nicky, who seems to have kept a low profile during his friendship with the prince, reveals the pair met when they were 13 years old and used to ‘lean out of the windows and talk after lights out’.

He movingly spoke of how the public first got to see Harry ‘beyond just a snap or picture’ at Diana’s funeral, when he famously walked behind her coffin with his father and brother.

Nicky, who seems to have kept a low profile during his friendship with the prince, reveals the pair met when they were 13 years old and used to ‘lean out of the windows and talk after lights out’

In the second episode he reveals they spoke about who would be the ideal woman for Harry, and concluded it would be ‘somebody already had their identity, some successes and had carved their role in the world’.

Later in the series he gushes over Meghan and Harry’s relationship, saying they are ‘just so evidently really in love’ and that it ‘radiated out’ of them.

Serena Williams

The recently retired Tennis legend, who won 23 Grand Slams during her career, has been friends with Meghan since they met at a 2010 Super Bowl party.

Ms Williams, who has a daughter with American internet entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, was invited to Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018.

The 41-year-old expressed her joy at being present for their marriage and said she was ‘super excited’ to be part of it.

Serena Williams, who has a daughter with American internet entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, was invited to Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018

The star athlete, 41 – who was also the first guest on Meghan’s Archetypes podcast earlier this year – expressed her joy at seeing her friend be in love

Speaking in episode three of the series Ms Williams says the couple are ‘so so tight’ and are each other’s ‘best, best friends’.

Ms Williams previously appeared on Meghan’s Archetypes podcast during which she revealed Harry helped her wit the decision to retire from tennis long before it was announced.

Lucy Fraser

Lucy Fraser spoke about Meghan’s ‘single girl summer’ before meeting Harry, describing how she had ‘lots of plans of going to Europe’.

Later in the documentary, she said she ‘warned’ her friend about the British press. 

Ms Fraser described going to Harry and Meghan’s engagement party where everyone was dressed in animal onesies, with the Sussexes appearing as penguins because they keep their ‘mates for life’. 

She is British, but little else is known about her. 

Dhru Purohit 

An entrepreneur and author, Dhru Purohit also hosts a medicine podcast in which he discusses the brain and the body with experts.

He is CEO of the Dr. Hyman brand and a medical clinic based in Lenox, Massachusetts, that specializes in treating chronic disease through personalized medicine.

He was invited to Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and accompanied Oprah Winfrey into St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for the ceremony.

In episode two he reveals his surprise at Harry and Meghan’s relationship after being told about it by his sister, who is a friend of hers.

Jill Smoller

The 58-year-old is an American sports agent and former professional tennis player who once had Serena Williams as a client.

She was in a box with Meghan at Wimbledon shortly before she began dating Harry.

It is thought that tennis superstar introduced her long-time sports agent Jill, 58, to Meghan

In the opening minutes of her first on-camera interview, Jill describes attending Wimbledon with Meghan – just one day before the Duchess went on a date with Prince Harry 

‘We were talking about different dates and different people who were possibilities,’ she remembers.

‘And I remember seeing an adorable actor sitting in the front row next to someone I knew and said, ”Hey, how about him”.

‘And then I think the next day I found out that she was going to be going on a date with H.’

Vicky Tsai

Beauty entrepreneur Vicky Tsai is known for founding Tatcha, a Japanese-inspired skin care brand.

Ms Tsai sold the company, which was known for its cruelty-free and ethical products, to beauty giant Unilever for an estimated $500million in 2019.

She is reported to own a villa in Montecito, which is close to Santa Barbara in California, where Harry and Meghan have laid down their roots in the United States.

She told the cameras that when Meghan and Harry started dating it ‘looked like a fairytale’. 

Vicky Tsai is reported to own a villa in Montecito, which is close to Santa Barbara in California, where Harry and Meghan have laid down their roots in the United States

Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Figueras

‘Nacho’ Figueras, a polo player and model, is a longtime friend of Harry.

The Argentinian, 45, has been a vocal supporter of the Sussexes and in 2019 told Town and Country magazine: ‘What I like the most about him is how real he is and how serious he is about improving life for kids that have not had the blessings that we’ve had.’

The same year, Nacho appeared on The Ellen Show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and announced he would ‘defend his friends’ with his life.

The Argentinian, 45, has been a vocal supporter of the Sussexes and in 2019 told Town and Country magazine: ‘What I like the most about him is how real he is’ 

During the interview he also described Meghan as ‘incredible’, and revealed how she ‘gave up everything for the man she loves’.

On the Netflix documentary, he described going for dinner with his wife and Harry shortly after he met the duchess.

‘He looked at us and said ”guys, I met a girl, we’ve just met but I think this might be the one”,’ he said.

‘You could tell right away that those eyes were those of someone who’d fallen in love.’

Discussing the couple’s trip to Africa in the early months of their romance, he said: ‘They were both going to spend real time with each other so he said it was either going to work or not.

Daniel Martin 

The couple’s long-time make-up artist appears in the programme where he remarks he has been friends with Meghan for around a decade.

Mr Martin did the Meghan’s make-up for her wedding in 2018 and has previously said he ‘couldn’t be more proud’ of them.

Yesterday he posted an image of the couple after they accepted a human rights award, captioned: ‘Back together to honor their commitments to racial and social injustices around the world and advocacy for mental health awareness.

‘Congratulations #harryandmeghan on your @rfkhumanrights #RippleofHope award.’

Outside their friendship he is the Global Director of Artistry & Education at Tatcha, a company set up by another of Meghan’s friends, Vicky Tsai.

Silver Tree 

Another friend of Meghan’s, Silver Tree is a film writer and producer from Petaluma, California.

The 45-year-old recalled the time when Meghan met Harry.

‘Meghan texted me from London and said ”Silver, you’re not going to believe this”,’ she said.

‘We thought it was really funny, in what world does this happen! Then she texted me after and said, ”Silver, I am crazy about him”. 

Silver Tree is described in the Netflix documentary both as a ‘friend’ of the couple – and as a producer on Meghan’s TV series Suits

Mandana Dayani

The former president of Archewell, Harry and Meghan’s charitable organisation, makes a brief appearance in episode three.

While the Duke and Duchess get ready for an engagement she can be seen asking the couple what a ‘royal expert’ is prompting Harry to discuss the relationship between the Royal Family and the media.

The 40-year-old was born in Iran but has made the United States her home and has perviously been involved in a number of activist campaigns. 

After graduating from law school in California, she worked in the field before moving onto work as a talent agent and eventually becoming a head of Archewell while the couple were on parental leave following the birth of their daughter Lilibet.

Ms Dayani left the organisation earlier this month.

Lindsay Roth

A producer and author, Lindsay Roth is one of Meghan’s best friends from Northwestern University.

She made a passionate defence of her on Instagram last year, writing that her ‘MO has always been kindness’ and ‘goodwill runs in her bones’.

Author and producer Lindsay is one of Meghan’s oldest friends, having studied at Northwestern University with the Duchess

Their close bond was further cemented when Lindsay asked Meghan to serve as her Maid of Honor at her wedding

Ms Roth added: ‘I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship. I have seen firsthand how she treats her friends and their families, and her colleagues.’

She appeared on the Netflix documentary to describe the intense press coverage faced by Meghan.

‘We knew that they would contact people that Meg was close to – I didn’t know the lengths that they would go,’ she said.

‘There were journalists outside my apartment building, there were journalists trailing us in London. It was intense.’

Prince Seeiso of Lesotho

Prince Seeiso is the younger brother of Lesotho’s King Letsie III. He is friends with Prince Harry after the pair met while he was visiting the African country in 2004.

He told Netflix: ‘In the beginning he was a young man straight from Eton, having had massive negative headlines about him.

‘I didn’t know the boy but I thought I’d see what we could do with this young man.

‘I think he came here wanting to have time out from that very aggressive treadmill. I felt a warmth, an acceptance that he was here to learn, not tell.’ 

Abigail Spencer 

The actress, 41, appeared alongside Meghan on Suits, and is a close friend – having attended her baby shower and wedding.

Recalling the May 2018 nuptials, she said: ‘I felt honoured to be there. She’s incredible, and everything was an extension of them and their love.’

Ms Spencer spoke about Meghan’s early years as an actress, saying she ‘had a whole life before she met Harry’.


Abigail, 41, spent years appearing alongside Meghan in Suits – with the two forming a close friendship during their time on-set together

Abigail revealed that she was one of the first people to learn about Meghan’s then-secret relationship with Harry during a 2016 trip to New York, even sharing a selfie from that visit

Heather Dorak

A longtime friend of Meghan and the owner of Pilates Platinum, a fitness studio.

She’s regularly spoken out in support of Meghan on Instagram, writing recently about her podcast: ‘So proud of you… love you beautiful girl’.

In a post on Instagram hitting out at press criticism of Meghan, she described the actress as ‘one of my brightest sources of light’.

She told Netflix about the duchess’ struggles getting roles as an actress.

Chantelle Humphrey

Meghan’s personal assistant from while she was on Suits.

On episode two, she talks about the intensive level of press scrutiny during the early months of her relationship with Harry.

She recalled how Meghan ‘had such a beautiful life before it exploded’.

Chantelle Humphrey Meghan’s personal assistant from while she was on Suits

Steve Davies 

A British military veteran of nearly 10 years, Mr Davies provided security for Meghan while she was going out with Harry.

He described it as one of the most intensive experiences of his career and recounted numerous instances of threats and intrusion.

Susan Williger 

A childhood friend of Meghan from their time together at Immaculate Heart high school, Susan Williger said the pair bonded over the same extracurricular activities such as theatre.

She revealed that Meghan displayed an early aptitude for campaigning, saying the future Duchess of Sussex was her campaign manager when she ran for student council.

In episode three she decries the media, calling them ‘ruthless’ and accused them of printing ‘things that never happened and weren’t true at all’.

Susan and Meghan met when they were in seventh grade and became ‘fast friends’, with the duo bonding over their shared love of ‘extracurricular activities’

‘Miss Debbie’

 The ex-principal of Hollywood Schoolhouse, where Meghan was a pupil as a child, greeted the Duchess as made a return visit as an adult.

In one of the episodes she shows Meghan a message she wrote in a leaving book at the age of 11.

It read: ‘When I am rich and famous and I write my life story, I will talk about you and the school so you will be known worldwide.’

According to the Hollywood Schoolhouse site, Debbie Wehbe took over the school in 1970 from her mother Ruth Pease, who had set it up in 1945.

Experts

David Olusoga

Professor David Olusoga is a historian at the University of Manchester and the author of Black and British – a bestselling account of the role black people have played in Britain’s history. 

He appeared at the end of episode two to revisit the debate around Brexit. 

Mr Olusoga said that the ‘fairy tale’ of Harry and Meghan was ’embedding itself in a nation that is having a pretty toxic debate about the European Union.’

He argued that ‘immigration was at the absolute centre’ of that debate, and that ‘immigration is very often in this country a cipher for race’.

He also criticised ‘racism’ in the process and said that the fact that slave owners were compensated ‘for their human property’ is often ‘left out’ of history lessons. This was an example of slavery being ‘airbrushed’ out of Britain’s past, he said. 

David Olusoga appeared at the end of episode two to revisit the debate around Brexit

Robert Hazell

A professor of Government and the Constitution at University College London (UCL), Robert Hazell appears in two episodes of the series to discuss the monarchy.

The 72-year-old started his career as a barrister before working as a civil servant in immigration, police, prisons and race relations. He became an academic in his 40s. 

In episode one he tells viewers about the enduring popularity of the Royal Family, saying it is ‘something politicians would die for’. 

He adds that that it’s ‘hard to overstate the cultural significance of the British monarchy’ in the United Kingdom.

As episode three discusses the Commonwealth he tells the camera that it the ‘international monarchy’ is what sets Britain apart from other Royal Families. 

Afua Hirsch

The former Guardian reporter, 41, is best known for her best-selling book Brit(ish), a discussion about race and identity that was published in 2018.

She’s previously written about how Meghan needed ‘defending’ from ‘relentless media attacks’, suggesting these were partly due to her being a ‘woman of colour’.

Appearing on Harry & Meghan, she described the ‘racist imagery’ in royal iconography and criticised the Commonwealth, calling it ‘Empire two point zero’.

Author Afua Hirsch (pictured) brands the Commonwealth Empire 2.0 in Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary, before describing Harry as ‘anti-racist’ 

‘The roots of the poverty [in Commonwealth countries] are based on the extraction of their wealth elsewhere,’ she says.

‘Those from whom it was extracted continue to be inter-generationally poor. It’s a very clear economic relationship.

‘It’s incredibly painful for the very many millions of British people who have a different memory of empire in their personal background.’

Kehinde Andrews 

 An academic and activist, Kehinde Andrews appears in episode three where he talks about the Commonwealth.

Andrews, who is Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University said the Royal Family has not changed since the days of the slave trade. 

He tells viewers: ‘It’s not changed a thing, they’ve just got better PR. If you look at the black people in the Commonwealth, well their conditions are almost just as bad as they were 50 or 100 years ago.’

The 39-year-old has published a number of books, including The New Age of Empire and Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century.

Misan Harriman

Misan Harriman is a photographer and activist who currently serves as chair of the Southbank Centre.

He rose to global acclaim when he became the first black male photographer to shoot a British Vogue cover in September 2020 – and took a ‘candid, spontaneous’ shot of Meghan and Harry’s daughter Lilibet to mark her first birthday.

According to Finding Freedom, a biography written about Meghan and Harry by their journalist friend Omid Scobie, Harriman even enjoyed dinner with the Duchess of Sussex the night before she went on her first date with her future husband, Grazia reported.

He appeared on episode three of the Netflix programme to discuss Harry’s childhood of privilege and say how Meghan’s engagement to him made black people in Britain ‘feel seen’.

Nick Collins

Meghan’s former agent represented the actress while she appeared on Suits.

The pair parted ways after she quit acting in 2017 when her relationship with Harry became more serious, but have since remained friends.

Appearing on one episode of Harry & Meghan, Mr Collins discusses how he tried to find roles for her as an agent and how she got her big break on Suits.

He then goes on to talk about how his phone went ‘crazy’ when she was found to be dating Prince Harry, comparing it to a ‘tidal wave’. 

The Netflix documentary also charted Meghan’s struggles in the earlier years of her career as an actress, with her former agent Nick Collins opening up about her battle to land roles 

James Holt 

An executive director at Archewell, James Holt accompanied the couple after they quit the Royal Family and moved over to the United States.

He was by their side as they underwent royal engagements and was formerly a spokesman for Buckingham Palace.

Speaking about the Royal Family and their role in public life, he said: ‘When you actually put it under pressure and say there is a family annointed by God, by blood, to rule over this country and other countries around the world, it’s a difficult conversation to have.   

‘We’re in a very different generation now. As new generations may come through, people may start to question it.’

In a later episode he claimed he ‘wholeheartedly’ regretted attempting to get Harry and Meghan to ‘perform’ for the press during their walkabouts. 

An executive director at Archewell, James Holt accompanied the couple after they quit the Royal Family and moved over to the United States

Who hasn’t appeared? (at least so far…)  

Jessica Mulroney

The Canadian stylist, 42, had been best friends with Meghan Markle, with her daughter Ivy featuring as one of her bridesmaids at her wedding in 2018.

But this was followed by rumours of a rift between the pair after the Toronto native found herself at the centre of a Black Lives Matter race row.

Jessica Mulroney with Meghan in 2016. She did not appear on any of the three episodes of Meghan and Harry’s Netflix show 

She was accused of using her ‘white privilege’ to ‘threaten’ a black influencer, which saw ABC axe her from her role as fashion contributor on Good Morning America and marked the end of her reality show.

The influencer’s friendship was also subject to rumours of a rift, but a source later told the Daily Mail that the duo are ‘in regular contact’, blaming the distance between Canada and California for ‘making things difficult’.

The Obamas

Barack and Michelle Obama have previously been considered friendly with the Sussexes, but neither of them appeared in the first three episodes of their Netflix series. 

Last year, their ‘conspicuous’ absence from Mr Obama’s 60th birthday party was claimed by one royal expert to be a sign their ‘special relationship’ was over. 

Royal expert Camilla Tominey suggested that ordinarily, you would have expected Harry and Meghan to be ‘front and centre’ of the Obamas’ guest list, but some people within Democrat circles have suggested the Sussexes’ attempts to ‘ape everything the Obamas have done’ since they quit the Royal Family may have ‘jeopardised their once special relationship’. 

The Obamas are not thought to be taking part in the programme. Pictured: Prince Harry speaks to Barack Obama at a wheelchair basketball match during the 2017 Invictus Games

Oprah Winfrey

The US television icon dramatically convinced Harry and Meghan to sit down for their now infamous interview in March last year.

Oprah is known to be close to the couple – she attended their wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in 2018.

However, she is not thought to be slated to appear in the six-episode series about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Edward Enninful

Of all the absences, perhaps the most surprising is Vogue editor Edward Enninful. He landed a major coup when Meghan agreed to guest edit the September 2019 issue, Forces for Change.

It was the fastest selling edition in Vogue’s history and in an article for the publication, Meghan wrote that she and Enninful were ‘like-minded thinkers who have so much in common’.

The following year, Enninful said he felt she had been criticised unfairly in the media storm over Megxit – the couple’s move to California.

But sources close to the Vogue editor confirmed that he was not taking part. He recently praised the Princess of Wales for her ‘graceful’ fashion sense.

Vogue editor Edward Enninful is another who is not thought to be appearing. Pictured: Edward Enninful at Paris Fashion Week in October 2019

Elton John 

Another absent influential figure is Sir Elton, a great friend of Princess Diana’s who has gone out of his way to defend Harry and Meghan in the past.

He and husband David Furnish have had them for family holidays at his home near Nice in France and Furnish was among executives working on the proposed Archewell show Pearl, which was later shelved.

Last week Prince Harry sent the singer a video message thanking him for being a friend to the couple and their children, and to his late mother.

Sir Elton is regarded as an unofficial godfather to both William and Harry and was among the guests at William’s wedding. The Waleses had their first dance to Sir Elton’s Your Song.

David Foster

David Foster, a music producer who is just a year younger than Prince Charles, has been described by some as a ‘father figure’ to Harry, and also helped the Sussex couple find their Canadian hideaway before they moved to California. 

In May 2020, his wife Katharine told Access Hollywood that her husband ‘has a really, really beautiful relationship with Harry. They’re so cute. They’re like father and son.’

She explained how Mr Foster helped set the Sussexes up with their Canadian $14.1 million mansion hideaway before they moved to LA.

‘David is the resource guy,’ she said. ‘He knows all the places. He loves to help people. We just hope they end up somewhere where they feel like they can really settle down.’

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