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Meghan Markle's sister erupts after Prince Harry's comment on radio about her family.

It could have been deliberate. More likely, it was an off-hand comment that slipped from the tongue. But when Prince Harry told the BBC how Meghan Markle enjoyed Christmas with “the family she’s never had” on Tuesday, his words were instantly plastered across news sites everywhere.

Mostly, it was portrayed positively. It was the Californian actress’ first Christmas with the Royal Family, after her engagement to Prince Harry was announced in November, and the world was happy to hear she’d survived the countless traditional protocols and the anxiety that must come with attempting to eat Christmas ham in such close proximity to the Queen of England.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Image: AFP/Getty.

Prince Harry, 33, said Markle, 36, did "an amazing job" and that his "family loved having her there"... But then he spoke about her family, too. "It’s the family that, I suppose, she’s never had."

We know Markle's parents divorced when she was six. That her mum, Doria Ragland, lives in California and her dad, Thomas Markle, in Mexico.

Now, Markle's paternal half-sister Samantha Grant (also goes by the name Samantha Markle) has rebuked Prince Harry's statement, saying Markle has a "large family" that's always been there for her.

The tweets go from swinging between a tone that is loving and inclusive, to condemning Markle for being "too busy".

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In joining the Royal Family, Markle must feel as if she's being pulled between the institution that is the royal family, and the forcefield that is her own flesh and blood (has there ever been a family that is not a forcefield?).

With the exception of Grant - who is harnessing the media attention to promote her own book - Markle's family has shied away from media attention. Markle herself, even, was extremely private during her career as an actress. It was falling in love with a prince that catapulted her into the public spotlight.

LISTEN: Will Suits survive if Meghan Markle's forced to quit? We discuss, on The Binge. Post continues after. 

Now, she and her family have to live with public speculation around their inner workings; how they get along; what it was like for the Markle and her siblings growing up. Meghan's relationship with her dad has been questioned by tabloids. Photographers are out the front of her mother's house, snapping away as Ragland takes the dogs for a walk.

And, just like that, the strength of their family - or the idea that Meghan's "never had a family" - is the topic of dinner conversations around the world.

It's time we - Prince Harry perhaps included - gave them some peace.

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