By Josh Saunders
A hairdresser confused for Meghan Markle says she’s can’t for their ‘Big Day’ as she will be mistaken for the future royal even more and could become a lookalike.
Ashleigh Ridding, 20, from Bristol, started getting told she looked similar the future-Mrs Windsor when hers and Prince Harry’s relationship hit the headlines earlier this year.
She believes she has similar almond eyes, hair, lips and mixed-heritage skin tone as her American idol Meghan Merkle, 36, from Los Angeles, California.
As the royal romance continued to bless, Ashleigh’s friends and strangers noticed her likeness to the actress and humanitarian too.
Eventually culminating in her entering a competition to become a professional lookalike for Meghan and featured on ITV’s Lorraine TV Show.
Now the trainee hairdresser, who has played the role of princess numerous times working as at a children’s party company, hopes to become a professional lookalike.
Since the engagement announcement earlier this week, Ashleigh can’t wait for the ‘big day’ as she’ll be confused all the more for the future royal as her popularity soars.
Ashleigh said: “I started hearing the comparisons when Prince Harry and Meghan got together.
“Especially when it hit the headlines and was one everyone’s phones, people would say ‘Ashleigh you look so similar to her’ which I loved.
“I would say my facial features make me look like her, I’m also mixed race, I’m half-Jamaican from my mother’s side and generally look like her.
“We have a similar hair, skin tone, lips and other similar facial features, also, my eyes are very similar to hers, they are the same colour and shaped very similarly.
“I really am very much alike to her, we are similar looks wise, also I’m very confident and just like Meghan she’s really funny and has a great personality.
“Personally, I will embrace being called or compared to Meghan, it’s such an honour to be told that I even slightly resemble her
“I think I will only be compared to her more in the coming months and years, as the publicity increases.
“I definitely hope that I can use my likeness to be a lookalike for Meghan in the future, that would be a dream come true.
“To be treated like a princess and live that life as Meghan even for a little snippet would be incredible.
“I worked for a children’s party company for a little while, where is dressed as princess so I have experience as princess already.
“But while Meghan has found her Prince Charming, I hope too I will find mine too.”
Ashleigh entered the competition to find a Meghan Markle lookalike earlier this month, after regularly being compared to her and a push from her mother.
The winner would be given a one-year-contract with a professional lookalikes agency.
Ashleigh said: “I’ve been I looked like her a lot, my parents always said that we looked similar, as did my friends.
“But my mum, was the reason why I entered a competition on ITV’s Lorraine and the Meghan Markle lookalike competition, my mum said you have to enter, so I did.
“I was in the finale and a runner-up to the entrée who was given a full-time contract, I was still pleased with the result.
“For me it was not about winning but the whole experience, I got on tv and got to feel what it was like to be Meghan.”
Although Ashleigh did not win the competition she believes she bears such a similarity to Meghan that she may become a lookalike in the future.
Ashleigh said: “I would love to be a professional lookalike for Meghan, I think we look very similar.
“She is such an inspirational woman and is into charity work so to even be compared to someone like that is such an honour and I really enjoy that.
“People and friends say Meghan and I really look alike and even strangers online who live near me were surprised I didn’t win the competition.”
As the excitement around for the future Royal Wedding continues to exacerbate, Ashleigh expects more people will confuse her for the Prince of Wales’ future bride.
Officials revealed the wedding will take place in May next year at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which hosts a capacity of 800 people.
Ashleigh confesses, she’s obsessed by each detail that trickles out.
She said: “As soon as I saw the engagement was announcement I wanted to hear all the details, she looked stunning and her coat was beautiful.
“I am a little bit obsessed with them both, as most people are the moment.
“I wanted to extend my congratulations to Meghan and I look forward to the wedding.”