The cute family image shows Meghan, 40, holding up their giggling daughter, while smiling Harry, 37, looks on with his arm around their two-year-old son Archie in the portrait by Alexi Lubomirski, who shot the couple’s engagement photos and the official family portraits on their wedding day.
Archie, who looks just like his dad with a shock of red hair, is casually dressed in jeans like the rest of the family, and his face is on show. After his first birthday, Harry and Meghan stopped sharing photos with his face, and only released pictures of the youngster from behind.
The Sussexes, who are currently residing in a $14.7million mansion in Montecito, released the card to announce they’ve made a donation to several charities, including an organisation that supports Afghan families left behind after the US withdrawal and Paid Leave For All, in line with the Duchess’ recent campaigning for a paid family leave law for all Americans.
‘This year we welcomed out daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a “Mama and Papa” and Lili made us a family,’ their message read. ‘As we look forward to 2022 we have made donations on your behalf to several organizations that honor and protect families – from those being relocated from Afhghanistan to American famiilies in need of paid parental leave.’
It comes as the couple – who used the American ‘Happy Holidays’ phrase rather than the British ‘Merry Christmas’ in their card – prepare to spend their third festive period outside of the UK, and away from Prince Harry’s family.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have finally shown the first photo of their daughter Lilibet Diana, six months after she was born, in their family Christmas card (pictured)
The Sussexes, who are currently residing in a $14.7million mansion in Montecito, released the card (pictured) to announce they’ve made a donation to several charities, including an organisation that supports Afghan families left behind after the US withdrawal and Paid Leave For All
In the photograph, Harry, Meghan and Archie all opt for a low-key look in denim jeans, with the Duchess teaming hers with a navy jumper, while the Duke wears a blue shirt and his son a white one. The couple’s daughter giggles while wearing a white ensemble.
The only previous picture of Lilibet (centre) that’s been seen is a very grainy black and white photo on Meghan’s desk during her 40th birthday video call with Melissa McCarthy
The look was decidedly low-key for the Duchess, who is known for her love of designer clothes and expensive personalised jewellery.
Today’s card marks a change for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have hidden their children’s faces in recent photographs.
Archie has rarely been seen since the couple stepped back as senior royals in March last year, with the most recent picture of him released to mark his second birthday this May showing him with his back to the camera.
During the Oprah Winfrey interview and Prince Harry’s mental health documentary, he made an appearance but royal fans were only be able to get a glimpse of the youngster’s face.
It also marks the first time royal fans have been able to see Lilibet’s face. Meghan is thought to have revealed a grainy first photograph of her second child after a framed picture of Prince Harry kissing a newborn baby took pride of place on her desk in a video for her 40th birthday.
Three further black and white photos could be seen in a connected frame in front of this, with the central one seeming to show Harry kissing a baby and one on the right potentially showing Meghan holding a young child.
So just when HAVE Harry and Meghan shared a glimpse of Archie and Lilibet with desperate royal fans?
8 May 2019 – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appear in photo-call for Archie at Windsor Castle.
When asked to expose more of their baby’s face to the cameras, the Duchess laughed as Harry joked: ‘He’s already got a little bit of facial hair as well, wonderful.’
6 July 2019 – Meghan and Harry hold private christening for Archie and release two images of the event on Sussex Royal. It offers royal fans their first real glimpse at Archie
10 July 2019 – Meghan cradles Archie in her arms as they join Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a polo match
September 25 2019 – Meghan and Prince Harry appear in front of cameras with Archie as they meet with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah at the Tutu foundation in Cape Town
24 December 2019 – Meghan and Harry release their holiday card for the year, with their son taking centre stage in the black-and-white snap
31 December 2019 – Duke and Duchess also share a snap of Prince Harry cradling Archie during their ‘break’ in Canada on Vancouver Island on their Instagram page
6 May 2020 – Meghan and Archie appear in a video for Save the Children to mark youngster’s first birthday where Duchess reads Duck or Goose
23 December 2020 – Duke and Duchess release an illustrated Christmas card in which Archie’s face is not visible
8 March 2021 – Archie appears briefly in Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Winfrey interview as he runs along beach, but his face is barely visible
9 March 2021 – Meghan and Harry share a snap cuddling with Archie in their garden – but his face is buried in Meghan’s shoulder
6 May 2021 – Meghan and Harry release photograph of Archie from behind for his 2nd birthday
21 May 2021 – Archie, from behind, appears on swings with Prince Harry in The Me You You Can’t See documentary
6 June 2021 – Meghan releases her children’s book the bench, in which both her children are illustrated
7 June 2021 – Meghan and Harry announce their daughter Lilibet has been born, but do not release any photographs
4 August 2021 – Meghan releases video to mark her 40th birthday, in which there appears to be a blurry image of Harry kissing a newborn in the background, thought to be Lilibet. There are also several blurry images of Archie.
18 November 2021 – Meghan shares another picture of Archie from behind as she appears on The Ellen Show
23 December 2021 – The Duke and Duchess share an image of their family, including Archie and Lilibet, in which their faces are all visible to the camera
Alexi Lubomirski, the photographer behind the Sussexes’ Christmas card, took to Instagram today to share his work.
He wrote in the caption: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie and Lilibet. This is one of those rare and special projects, that one is fortunate enough to be a part of.
‘To be able to continue the story of this family whom I first photographed as an engaged couple, then on the day of their wedding, as a married couple and now seeing their love manifest into two beautiful children, has been a delightful honour.
‘Anyone who has seen my #allloveseries, will know that one of the greatest joys I receive from photography, is when I am able to photograph “love” in some form or another.
‘To be trusted by your subjects enough, to open themselves up and have their connection documented and translated into an image, is one of the greatest gifts a photographer can have.
‘This day with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was one such joyous experience, and one that I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to capture. X’
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s second child, was born on June 4 in Santa Barbara, California, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and is eighth in line to the throne.
She was named after the Queen’s childhood nickname, while her middle name Diana was in tribute to Harry’s late mother. The baby weighed 7lbs 11oz.
No photographs of Lilibet were released following her birth, unlike her brother Archie, who had a photocall at Windsor Castle in 2019.
The charities Harry and Meghan have donated to ‘on your behalf’ include Paid Leave for All, a national US campaign fighting to bring paid family and medical leave for all working people.
Meghan, who has largely been on parental leave since the birth of her daughter in June, has been lobbying for US Congress to consider making paid family leave law for all Americans, citing her own experience as a new working mother.
In October Meghan wrote a letter to US congressmen Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer asking for paid parental leave, which said: ‘I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I’m writing to you at this deeply important time – as a mom – to advocate for paid leave.’
The 1,030-word letter asked the two Democratic leaders to consider her plea ‘on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry’.
The Duchess then caused controversy by cold-calling US senators on their private phones and using her royal title to urge them to vote in favour of the legislation.
Amid her lobbying, the duchess depicted humble beginnings, saying that her family struggled when she was young – despite her well-documented middle class upbringing in which she attended private primary and secondary schools on her Emmy award-winning lighting director father’s $200,000-a-year salary.
And she now lives in a $14million sprawling mansion in Montecito, California, complete with designer touches. She has also signed a series of lucrative deals with Spotify and Netflix thought to be worth well over $150million.
‘I grew up on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler,’ Meghan wrote.
‘I knew how hard my parents worked to afford this because even at five bucks, eating out was something special, and I felt lucky. I started working (at the local frozen yogurt shop) at the age of 13.
‘I waited tables, babysat, and piecemealed jobs together to cover odds and ends,’ Meghan said.
Royal fans expressed their annoyance over not seeing Archie’s face again after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry released a new picture of their son to celebrate his second birthday (pictured) in May this year
Last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opted to share an illustrated Christmas card – leading to some disappointed fans calling for the couple to show Archie’s face (pictured)
This photo of a pregnant Meghan in March 2021, was another example of when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to not show Archie’s face to the public
However, in 2019, the couple appeared more than happy to show their son’s face, making it centre stage in their festive greetings image
On his mental health series The Me You Can’t See, co-created with Oprah Winfrey, Harry showed several new images of his two-year-old son, seemingly showing his front (pictured left), while on Ellen, Meghan decided to share one showing Archie’s back (pictured right)
Prince Harry and Archie pictured in Canada in 2019. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son’s face can be clearly seen in the photograph, shared in an end-of-year review by the couple in a 2019 clip
However, she failed to mention the $750,000 California state lottery win her father scooped in 1990, which funded her secondary education at $9,412-a-semester Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles.
Revealed: The charities Harry and Meghan have donated to ‘on your behalf’
Founded in 2010, Team Rubicon is a disaster response non-profit, using the skills and experiences of veterans with first responders to develop emergency response teams. It has deployed across the US and across the World to provide humanitarian aids to areas impacted by disasters.
Welcome.US is an organisation that provide supports to welcome refugees in the US or helping resettle. It counts several high profile chairmen and chairwomen, including George W. Bush, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Human First Coalition
This non-profit is led by volunteers and has been helping American citizens and allies following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It has been working hard to provide shelter for citizens who have been left behind following American forces’ withdrawal from the country this summer. It has also been focusing efforts on offering safe passage into the US for those who are still in Afghanistan.
This international organisation has been providing mental health and psychological support for refugees and victims of humanitarian crisis all around the world.
Paid Leave for All
A national US campaign fighting to bring paid family and medical leave for all working people. Meghan wore a letter in October advocating for paid leave. The extraordinary 1,030-word letter – given to supportive media to share – asked the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and the Majority Leader in the US Senate Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, to consider her plea ‘on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry’.
Pl+us is another campaign advocating for paid leave in the US. It was founded by Katie Bethell, who was named as one of the World greatest leaders by Fortuna Magazine. It works in partnership with employees, employers, consumers and investors. So far, it has won paid leave for nearly 8million working for companies like Walmart, Starbucks, CVS and more.
Meghan also studied a private primary school – Hollywood’s Little Red Schoolhouse nursery, which she attended from the age of two.
The primary school now costs between $20,000 and $28,300-a-year, and was paid for by her father Thomas and her airline steward mother Doria’s salaries.
She went on to study at Northwestern, a college in Illinois, that would have cost $24,000-$28,000-a-year for tuition when Meghan studied there from 1999-2003.
She later spoke about the letter, which included the claim her family were impoverished even though her father was an Emmy award-winning lighting director and she was educated at private school, on Ellen.
Last month Meghan told The Ellen Show: ‘I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave programme.
‘Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks if not months to be together as a family.
‘And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now as a mom of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.’
Last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opted to share an illustrated Christmas card – leading to some disappointed fans calling for the couple to show Archie’s face.
In the 2020 festive greeting, the couple were seen playing with Archie in the garden of their £11million ($15million) home in Montecito, along with dogs Pula and Guy. The card was a drawing of a photograph taken by Meghan’s mother Doria.
It was released via Mayhew, the London-based animal charity for which Meghan is a patron and read: ‘Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.’
A tiny Christmas tree in the picture was decorated with ornaments selected by Archie. The Mayhew tweeted the image along with a thank you for an undisclosed personal donation from the royals.
The card offered a sneak peek into the family’s home and Archie’s playhouse. A spokesman for the couple at the time said: ‘The original photo of the family was taken at their home earlier this month by the Duchess’s mother.
‘The small Christmas tree, including the homemade ornaments and other decorations, were selected by Archie, and the tree will be replanted after the holidays.’
Mayhew, which is based in Kensal Green, West London, said on its website that the money would help it ‘weather the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and enable us to reach the animals and people who are struggling’.
Caroline Yates, Mayhew’s chief executive, said: ‘We are delighted to have the Duchess of Sussex as our patron, and she has shone a huge light on our community-based animal welfare work over the last two years.
‘We were especially honoured to recently receive a personal donation from the Duke and Duchess, which will enable us to help even more cats, dogs and pet owners in need over this tough winter period.’
Family affair! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released their Christmas card recently, pictured. The family were photographed on a secret trip to Jordan this year
Supportive husband! Prince Charles chose a somewhat unusual image for his Christmas card, featuring himself and the Duchess of Cornwall at Royal Ascot. The image shows Charles helping his wife with her face mask, in a nod to the ongoing Covid pandemic
Seasons greetings! Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex chose a smiling photo from a visit to Scotland for their 2021 Christmas card. The Earl and Countess of Wessex, known as the Earl and Countess of Forfar in Scotland, are pictured smiling at Forfar Golf Course in June, above
Who is photographer Alexi Lubomirski?
New York based fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski is famed for his portraits of the Hollywood elite, and was chosen to shoot Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement photos and the official family portraits on their wedding day.
The father-of-two, who was born in the UK, was a protégé of Mario Testino who was beloved by Harry’s mother Princess Diana.
The star photographer is also a prince of the Polish House of Lubomirski, whose royal lineage stretches back 500 years on his father’s side and gives him the title: ‘His Serene Highness’.
Alexi is a firm favorite with celebrities, and has shot cover stars such as Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Beyoncé, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez, Selma Hayek, Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Emilia Clarke, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson.
New York based photographer Alexi Lubomirski (above)
The photographer was born in England to a Peruvian/English mother and a Polish/French father and at the age of eight, he moved to Botswana with his mother and English stepfather.
He was introduced to star photographer Mario Testino and joined him in Paris as his assistant for four years and has worked regularly for Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.
He has also published books including ‘Princely advice for a happy life’ – a tribute to his two sons – and ‘diverse beauty’ about models not usually used in fashion magazines and campaigns.
All proceeds from his books are donated to the charity Concern Worldwide – which fights world poverty – of which Alexi is an ambassador.
The photographer had never done an engagement shoot before taking on the prestigious commission from Harry and Meghan.
‘It was one of the easiest, most joyful jobs because they were so deliciously in love,’ he told E! News.
He added that there was no effort needed to capture the couple in a variety of romantic poses, after telling them to just be themselves while he took their pictures.
‘It was nutty. It was a very surreal end to the year because it came out of nowhere,’ he recalled.
‘I think one of Meghan’s friends saw me on Instagram that I was in England during the announcement of the engagement.
‘I was told later that this person said to her, “You should meet Alexi. He’s great. You’d love him”, and that was it.’
In a statement released after the engagement shoot, Alexi said: ‘It was an incredible honour to be asked to document this wonderful event, but also a great privilege to be invited to share and be a witness to this young couple’s love for one another.
‘I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together’.
It comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex donated to the first ever Annual Montecito Holiday Car Parade, which took place in their local California neighbourhood this week.
Prince Harry and Meghan showed their support for their new hometown as they joined a select few donors in supporting the festive car procession.
The couple, who live in an impressive $14.7 million mansion in the exclusive neighbourhood with Archie, 2, and Lilibet, seven months, got into the Christmas spirit for the parade, which was themed ‘holiday magic’.
According to the Montecito Journal, brightly-lit cars decorated with garlands, tinsel and wreath made their way down the parade route, watched by locals as Santa Claus handed out candy from a truck complete with Christmas star.
The local paper wrote: ‘ As the merriment still lingers in the air, here’s to a new Montecito holiday tradition! Thanks to the many parade sponsors including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who were first to donate’.
This week Meghan was seen Christmas shopping in Montecito at some of her favorite stores, including nearby Pierre LaFond & Co and kids’ clothing boutique Poppy.
The mother-of-two looked stylish in a Massimo Dutti wool coat, Tamara Mellon boots, Bottega Veneta clutch, LeSpecs Air Heart sunglasses, along with a brown beanie and blue face mask.
Meghan was said to be out for around an hour with her bodyguard, and was seen carrying a few shopping bags before returning home.
Meanwhile, other members of the royal family, including Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his brother Prince William, have released their Christmas cards for 2021 in the run-up to the holidays
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children were photographed on a secret trip to Jordan earlier this year.
Kate looks glowing in a khaki dress, while Princess Charlotte looks all grown up as she perches on a stool in a gingham dress from Mango. Prince George beams as he poses in a £14.95 camo t-shirt from GAP and grey shorts.
Meawhile, Prince Louis sits cross-legged at the front in a stripey £32 polo shirt from Rachel Riley – a bigger version of the top Prince George wore from the brand during an official visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney when he was nine-months-old, as well as laceless slip-on sneakers by Hampton Canvas, which have been worn by both his older brother and sister.
It’s not been revealed exactly when the family travelled to Jordan, but the visit is likely to have taken place in the later part of the year when travel restrictions were relaxed.
Jordan holds a special significance for the family because the Duchess of Cambridge spent part of her childhood in the country where her father worked as a flight dispatcher for British Airways, and when William visited the Middle East in 2018 on an official tour, he spoke of their intention to come back with their children in the future.
The Cambridges were not the only royals to share their Christmas card, with Prince Charles releasing an image of himself fixing the Duchess of Cornwall’s face mask at the races for his festive offering.
The picture, taken on the second day of Royal Ascot in June, shows the heir-to-the-throne, 72, helping his wife, 73, to adjust her face mask beside the racetrack.
The snap, which will be the Prince of Wales’ festive greeting this year, seems especially fitting in light of new restrictions requiring people in England to wear masks on public transport, shops and indoor public spaces such as post offices, theatres and hairdressers.
But it also depicts Charles as a loving husband to Camilla, whom he married in April 2005.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, known as the Earl and Countess of Forfar in Scotland, are pictured smiling at Forfar Golf Course in June.
A snap of the card was shared on Instagram by Shutterstock royal photographer Tim Rooke, who took the photo.
In the photo, Sophie, 56, is seen beaming in a navy blazer and navy dress printed with a vibrant floral design.
She is holding a light blue clutch bag and finished the look with a pair of drop earrings.
Duchess in denim! Meghan Markle makes nod to her first official appearance with Prince Harry in relaxed jeans as the family poses in denim for Christmas card snap
Meghan Markle cut a relaxed figure as she posed in a navy polo neck and casual jeans in a Christmas card photograph released today.
In the photo, which is believed to have been taken at their $14 million Californian mansion, the mother-of-two wore her hair in loose waves across her shoulders and opted for a soft smokey eye.
The look was decidedly low-key for the Duchess, who is known for her love of designer clothes and expensive personalised jewellery.
Meghan Markle, 40, cut a relaxed figure as she posed in a navy polo neck and casual jeans in a Christmas card photograph released today
The outfit was similar to the one Meghan wore during her first appearance with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in 2017.
The outfit was similar to the one Meghan wore during her first appearance with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in 2017.
In the snap, the Duchess can be seen in a navy polo-neck jumper, which is tucked into a pair of darkwash jeans. Meanwhile she appeared to be wearing a pair of nude pumps for the occasion.
Prince Harry was matching his wife in denim, opting for a pair of jeans and a blue linen shirt.
The couple also dressed Archie to match them in a pair of jeans and a white shirt, while their daughter Lilibet can be seen wearing a white babygrow in the snap, her first official photograph since she was born six-months-ago.
The ensembles were perhaps a nod to their first public outing together, when the Duke and Duchess both wore denim jeans and relaxed shirts to attend the Invictus Games in Toronto.
At the time, the then-Suits star made an intriguing outfit choice, sporting a a £221 (retailing for $185 in the States) white shirt named The Husband, designed by her friend Misha Nonoo whose former spouse went to Eton with William and Harry, along with sunglasses and ripped blue jeans.
Meghan is now better known for her love of expensive pieces from luxury designers, and has rarely worn the same outfit twice.
Prince Harry bares his sole! Duke of Sussex goes barefoot AGAIN in trendy Christmas photoshoot showing baby Lilibet and Archie
Harry and Meghan today shared the first photo of their daughter Lilibet Diana, six months after she was born in a family photoshoot with their two-year-old son Archie.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been portraying themselves in a more laidback manner since stepping down as senior royals in January last year, and today was no exception.
Leaning into their LA image, Harry, 37, was seen smiling at his wife – who was holding up their giggling daughter – wearing ripped denim jeans, a casual shirt, beaded bracelets and no shoes.
Prince Harry (pictured) has once again showed how well he’s embracing his relaxed LA lifestyle by going barefoot in a trendy Christmas photoshoot
Harry’s more relaxed approach to his image was made clear after he bared his soles in a photo announcing he and Meghan, 40, were expecting their second child in February
The Sussexes, who are currently residing in a $14.7million mansion in Montecito, released the card to announce they’ve made a donation to several charities, including an organisation that supports displaced Afghan families.
The relaxed family photograph shows Archie, who has inherited his dad’s red hair, casually dressed in jeans like the rest of the family smiling at his mum as Meghan holds up baby Lilibet.
Harry’s more relaxed approach towards his image was made clear after he bared his soles in a photo announcing he and Meghan, 40, were expecting their second child in February.
The couple revealed they were expecting with a black-and-white photo of themselves sat near a tree with Harry’s hand placed under Meghan’s head as she lies on his lap with her hand resting on her bump.
The relaxed approach is a world away from the rigid rules of the Royal Family, which saw the couple bend royal protocol as they hugged in public and walked barefoot along Bondi Beach in 2018
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – named after the Queen’s childhood nickname – was born on June 4 in Santa Barbara, California, and is eighth in line to the throne.
The baby – a younger sister for the Sussexes’ two-year-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor – was born at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital weighing 7lbs 11oz.
A statement from the couple’s press secretary said: ‘It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world.
‘Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11.40am in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.
‘She weighed 7lbs 11oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home. Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.
‘Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales. This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
‘The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.’
The relaxed approach is a world away from the rigid rules of the Royal Family, which saw the couple bend royal protocol as they hugged in public and walked barefoot along Bondi Beach in 2018.