NEWS
28/12/2017 18:52 SAST | Updated 02/01/2018 16:15 SAST

Prince Harry Describes Markle's 'Fantastic' 1st Christmas With The Royals

"The family loved having her there."

For most of us, the holidays probably involved lots of travel, late nights with family, too much wine, and kids screaming because it's past their bedtime. Meghan Markle's Christmas was a bit different.

The former actress, who is engaged to Prince Harry, spent her first Christmas with the Royal Family this year, making it the first time a fiancé or fiancée has spent Christmas with the Queen.

And while we saw the 36-year-old attend Christmas service with her future in-laws, we now finally know how her first royal Christmas went thanks to Harry.

On Wednesday, Harry was a guest editor on BBC Radio 4's "Today" program, where he discussed the couple's first Christmas together, and, no surprise here, it was a smashing success.

"It was fantastic! She really enjoyed it," Harry said in response to hosts Justin Webb and Sarah Montague who asked about the couple's time together at Sandringham, where they stayed with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

"The family loved having her there. I think together, we had an amazing time staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running around with the kids, it's the family she's never had."

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on Dec. 25, 2017.

But the prince's comments struck a nerve with Markle's half-sister, who took issue with his phrasing.

On Wednesday, Samantha Grant took to Twitter to defend Markle's "large family."

"Actually she has a large family who were always there with her and for her," Grant tweeted. "Our household was very normal and when dad and [Markle's mom] Doria divorced, we all made it so it was like she had two houses. No one was estranged, she was just too busy."

She continued, "Meg's family (our family) is complete with sister, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the glue of our family, our amazing completely self-sacrificing father. She always had this family,.. Marrying merely extends it.

"She has a large family. She always did. Our dad is amazing and completely self sacrificing. We made it so that she had two houses. How fun it was!"

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service.

No doubt Grant's comments might make it awkward when the family gets together at Harry and Markle's wedding, which is set for May 19, 2018, at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

When asked by former president Barack Obama if he's started the wedding guest list, Harry demurred, saying, "I don't know about that, we haven't even put the invite or the guest list together, who knows if he's going to be invited or not, I wouldn't want to ruin that surprise."

It's no surprise however that the young royal is looking forward to next year. "We're really looking forward to the new year and I'm looking forward to 2018," Harry said in his BBC interview.

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
Barack Obama and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto, September 2017.

Aside from the royal wedding, Harry and Markle will be kept busy next year. Markle will choose the charities she wishes to support, attend official events as a representative of the Royal Family, and support Harry's charitable endeavors. She also plans on travelling around the U.K. to learn more about her adopted country.

"[Markle] has made the decision that she wants to start with a clean slate and focus on the U.K., and getting to know this country, and travelling around the Commonwealth," Jason Knauf, Harry's communications secretary stated in November. "This is the country that's going to be her home now and that means travelling around, getting to know the towns and cities and smaller communities."

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With files from Chloe Tejada.