Archie turns 2: Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan post new picture, royals pay tribute
Royal toddler Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and his parents, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex, celebrated his second birthday on Thursday, marking the family's second year in California, far from the traditions of his royal relatives.
To mark Archie's birthday, Harry and Meghan posted a statement on their foundation website Archewell urging donations for their latest cause, global vaccine stake. They said they were "deeply touched" by many of their fans' past donations to charities on behalf of their son. They said a $ 5 donation could cover the cost of one dose for someone in need.
"We remain incredibly grateful," the statement said. "We can't think of a more sensible way to celebrate our son's birthday ... Even a small contribution can have a ripple effect."
Duchess Meghan of Sussex reads to son Archie. The image is from a video posted on the @SaveChildrenUK campaign Instagram page.
Later on Thursday, the Sussexes posted a black and white picture of Archie on their website, which soon appeared on an Instagram fan account, showing him from behind with a bunch of balloons. The toddler now has a lot more hair than in the previous photos.
Harry and Meghan's Los Angeles-based rep Toya Holness declined to discuss details of Archie's private birthday parties. Given that California is still largely subject to pandemic restrictions, it is unlikely to host an indoor party.
But Archie was getting family birthday wishes from the Queen and other kings across the pond. The royal family's social media accounts wished Archie a "very happy 2nd birthday" with a photo of Harry, Meghan and their newborn baby shortly after Meghan gave birth in 2019.
Harry's brother, Prince William, and his wife, Duchess Kate, shared the same message with a group family photo of Archie's christening in 2019. The official Twitter account for Prince Charles, Harry's father and Duchess Camilla shared a black and white photo of Charles, Harry and Archie, also at baptism.
Soon to be the big brother of a little sister, Archie enters the age of the "terrible twos" just as his parents move from British royals to Hollywood royals and sign lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify for entertainment and documentaries produce podcasts and children's programs.
Baby on the go: Duchess Meghan appears in a maternity photo with Prince Harry, Archie
On Tuesday, Meghan announced that she had written a children's book, The Bench, about a father and son, inspired by Harry and Archie, which will be released in June.
This weekend, the two will be featured on the live broadcast of a star-studded live vaccine justice concert, "Vax Live: The World Reuniting Concert" by Global Citizen, for which the Sussexes are campaign leaders.
More: 'Vax Live' must-see moments: Jennifer Lopez's emotional duet, Prince Harry's greeting and the surprise guest from Foo Fighters
When Archie turned 1 last year, a few months after his parents arrived in Southern California, the Sussexes posted a birthday video and picture of the baby that hadn't been seen publicly since the family's tour of southern Africa in September 2019.
Inspired by Prince Harry and Archie: Duchess Meghan publishes children's book 'The Bench'
The video showed Meghan writing a picture book called "Duck! Rabbit!" Reads out and held Archie on her lap with Harry behind the camera. As has become customary for the couple, the video had a charitable component: it was meant to promote the Save the Children's Save with Stories project.
Archie has been seen rarely since his last birthday, including on the couple's 2020 Christmas card and in a black and white photo posted on Missan Harriman's Instagram in March showing Harry and Meghan barefoot and standing with Archie in front of a tree in Meghan's arms above her visible baby bump.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex play with their son Archie and their dogs in their 2020 Christmas card picture.
Archie was also seen in a black and white video in which he frolicked on a California beach with his mother and family dogs Guy and Pula and Prince Harry was back behind the camera.
The video was shown during the broadcast of Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS on March 7th, which contained so much news that the look at Archie may have been overlooked in the riot that followed.
Fortunately for Archie, he's too young to be aware of the turmoil in his family's last year when his parents broke off their royal roles to seek more freedom and financial independence in America in March 2020.
Speaking to friend Winfrey in a two-hour interview that was watched by millions around the world, the couple revealed they had broken up the UK over racism in the UK media and in his family, as well as alleged lack of support from palace officials in the fight against Meghan had to leave suicidal depression under pressure to be in the royal family.
"I didn't want to be alive anymore": Duchess Meghan opened up other important moments in the Oprah interview
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex pose with son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on March 8, 2021. The couple are expecting a little girl this summer.
In the meantime, let the good times roll for little Archie, one of the Queen's 10 great-grandchildren.
Archie was born on May 6, 2019 at Portland Hospital, an American-owned London hospital that Meghan was brought to in the early hours of the morning from Frogmore Cottage, her home on the Windsor Castle estate about 25 miles from London.
Meghan, 39, and the new baby weren't seen until two days later when they posed with Harry, 36, in a large corridor of Windsor Castle and introduced Archie to his great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Prince Harry Duchess Meghan of Sussex speaks to Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired on March 7, 2021.
The meeting was private, but the picture, which included her mother Doria Ragland, was posted on her Sussexroyal Instagram, which has not been available since she moved to California.
The baby's name was announced later that day. Under current royal rules, the baby was not given a title (although it could get one once his grandfather, Prince Charles, ascended the throne), and his surname Mountbatten-Windsor pays homage to both great-grandparents: the Queen and the late Prince Philip, whose last name was Mountbatten.
At the beginning of the Queen's 69-year reign, she decided that descendants who were not in close, direct line to the throne would bear the name of Mountbatten as well as the name of the Windsor dynasty. Harry is sixth on the throne and Archie is seventh.
The Queen's youngest grandchildren, daughter and son of her youngest child, Prince Edward Earl of Essex, and his wife, Countess Sophie, also have no prince or princess titles: they are Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, 17 and James Viscount Severn, 13 ).
Christmas card 2020: Harry & Meghan publish a picture with the red-haired Archie and their dogs
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry celebrate royal baby Archie, who turns 2
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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
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