Thursday, 23 December 2021

The Sussex Christmas Card: 'Archie Made Us a Mama & Papa, Lili Made Us a Family'

What was at the top of our wish list regarding the Sussexes this Christmas? A new family photo featuring Archie and our first look at Lili? That wish was granted with the release of a beautiful photo of the family taken by Alexi Lubormirski over the summer. Meghan is pictured holding her darling baby girl whilst Harry holds adorable Archie who is becoming more and more like his dad every time we see him (look at his hair!).

My main observation from the photo is the smiles. They look incredibly happy, content and excited for the future.

The digital card opens with a heartfelt message: "This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a ‘Mama’ and a ‘Papa’, and Lili made us a family." The couple added: "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 Afghanistan, to American families in need of paid parental leave." It was first shared by Team Rubicon, an organisation mobilising veterans Harry has supported for years. It's one of a number of charities the couple have donated to this Christmas. Others include Welcome.US, Human First Coalition, Humanity Crew, Paid Leave for All, PL+US, and Marshall Plan for Moms.


'A spokesperson for the Sussexes explained that the couple connected with the organization earlier this year while visiting Join Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. "They were moved by Task Force Liberty, home to 10,000 Afghan refugees, and their donation will support resettlement sites like TF Liberty across the country, particularly as they find permanent homes for Afghan refugees in 2022," the spokesperson said in a statement.

In addition to supporting Afghan refugees' resettlement, the duke and duchess are also supporting families through paid leave, a cause that Meghan has been known to advocate for.'

Four years ago, Alexi Lubormirski took Harry and Meghan's official engagement portraits at Frogmore House. At the time, it very much looked as though Windsor would be their family home for much of their lives. It's been a journey filled with joys but also unexpected heartache. So much has happened since, it is truly wonderful to see them settled and happy now. On Instagram, the renowned fashion photographer wrote: "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."

I want to wish you all a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas. Thank you for stopping by this year! :)

57 comments:

  1. What a delight to see Harry and Meghan, Archi and Lili all looking so happy! I am thrilled for their great joy, and that they shared it with us. What a beautiful family!

    Thank you for covering this for us, Charlotte, and for your wonderful coverage of their journey this past year. Wishing you and all your readers a Joyous, healthy and peaceful Christmas.

    R

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  2. Amazing, adorable -- those little kids are really beautiful! I am amused that they seem to have Harry's slender feet! :) Everyone probably knows I have never said a word other than praise for H&M but I do wish they had said that Lili "completed" their family. It sounds rather like a family must be four members and of course that is not true. An odd misstep for Meghan, but no one's perfect! Archie's photo is the first for me that really shows him and he is SO cute! He also looks wiggly. I like their attire, too. Just so happy for them!

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    1. Thank you for saying this. As a parent of one child who wished I had more...but couldn’t...I internally winced when I read what was written. I am happy for them though.

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    2. The card in question is THEIR (Meghan and Harry's) card...its THEIR family, its THEIR children, its THEIR family planning, its THEIR words..

      It is not "OUR" lives, its theirs that they're choosing to share with us!

      People need to sit

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    3. It’s not a misstep and even if it was why would it be Meghan’s? Harry had no say over this card? Literally nowhere do they imply a family must be 4 members and if that’s what you took from their phrasing that’s your own interpretation. This is THEIR family wish coming true. No commentary all about how others view their family.

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    4. Yes, I felt the same. People with no children are still part of a family. People with one child are still a family. I felt it was a misstep too.

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    5. You have always been a strong and positive supporter of Harry and Meghan, Allison and your comment is a very honest one and very appreciated Even the most articulate of us make missteps and I share your thought. Sometimes Meghan seems to try too hard to come across 'waxing poetics and she truly doesn't need to. This photo says it all, they seem truly happy and complete! Their children are beautiful!

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    6. I totally agree, big fan as well but she said the same thing at ellen and i can imagine it can be hurtful for some. As you said, no one is perfect. Happy for them they found their happiness! Merry christmas to all!

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    7. I think some people will say something to Meghan about what she wrote and she will see the problem in what she said -- I hope. It even makes it sound like Archie wasn't sufficient to make them a family, although a family can be one or two people. I am giving the credit to Meghan rather than Harry because she is so much more eloquent than he; I agree with the poster who said they didn't have to say anything at all. Two adorable, healthy, happy children who are obviously special require no words to explain how so. (The remark on Ellen about "just" one child being a hobby was, I hope, just meant to be funny.) On another topic, I hope Archie's hair stays as gorgeous as it it and I hope Lili gets some of it later.

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    8. Marisol E, respectfully, how is that a valid argument? The tenet of the movement of political correctness, which is founded on respect and consideration for others' feelings, and for which Meghan and Harry have been advocating, is that you need make sure that your words do not cause harm. Even if they do not personally agree that this phrasing can be offensive to other forms of families, they should have been wise enough and considerate enough, to think about how their words might be read and interpreted.

      And in any case, the fact that it's THEIR reality by no means justifies expressing it in an inconsiderate way. So if one said (this is a common example that I have met as a female attorney, I of course do not support such a statement) 'I don't like working with women because they are emotional', would that be ok because it's THEIR experience, their work, their co-workers? I hardly think so. I just dislike double standards, absolving the couple of any mistake feels unfair and blind to me.

      That being said, lovely picture and Merry Christmas to all, these are the best days in my opinion, may we all be healthy and happy with our families, whatever their form may be!

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    9. Wether it was Harry or Meghan who wrote the statement is irrelevant; they sent this greeting TOGETHER as a family to all the charities they sent a donation to. Please notice they stated about what makes THEIR family complete, NOT yours mine or anybody else's.

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  3. One word: Fabulous! This is even better than what I wished for …. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. A very happy Christmas to you and yours, Charlotte. Thank you for this lovely blog on the Sussexes. Their Chrismas photo expresses such happiness and joy of family. Love Archie's little white down shirt (looks like linen!) and rolled up jeans. Can a two-year old be a style icon? Lili seems to look just like baby Archie. I think, although both children will have the Spencer hair colour, I think there will be a lot of Meghan in them as they grow older. It's always fascinating to watch chidlren's faces change as they grow into themselves. Wonder if Lil has brown eyes like big brother Archie, mama and granny Doria, or blue eyes like papa and granny Diana. And is Harry barefoot around his estate becoming a theme?

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  5. Indeed Charlotte, it is the best gift of end of the year that one could receive from the Sussexes. He is so handsome Archie, he has a beautiful elegance in his stature. Lili! She is chewableπŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“
    Beautiful picture and family

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  6. So lovely to see this photo; love that red hair.

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  7. Love this! Happy holidays all, & thank you for the update Charlotte! -op

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  8. Oh my! Just...perfect. So happy they've decided to share this, although now of course we all wonder what does Lili look like now?
    PS...Just adore Archive's hair and eyelashes!!! Everyone looks so happy😎😎😎😎

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  9. Awww, this has made my Christmas! Such a beautiful family and the generosity that they show time and time again is so inspiring.

    Happy Holidays Charlotte to you and yours! And to everyone reading this post, I hope that 2022 will be your best year ever!!

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  10. Sheryl from BC Canada23 December 2021 at 20:03

    OH squeeeeeeee...look at Lilibets little toes. What a wonderful, relaxed happy photo. It just exudes their love and joy as a family. *sigh*. What a great end to the year with them releasing this. Thank you so much for your thoughtful, factual coverage Charlotte. Merry Christmas to you with much gratitude and a hope for a much better New Year.

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  11. Dear Charlotte,
    Thank you so much for sharing this joyous family picture. Everything about it is splendid. Archie has such thick red hair - how fun! I’m sure that H&M have been absolutely over the moon for months!
    Wow!
    Renee

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  12. My heart cannot take this level of cuteness omg! God bless 'em! Wishing this gorgeous family (and mama Doria, the real MVP) the happiest of holidays! Love the Sussexes so so very much.

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  13. I have no words to say!!! I am really very very happy for this family and I love them so much. What a happy family. Wishing them a Merry 'Xmas and a very happy new year full of good health and joy throughout.

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  14. A lovely picture, though I note they were careful to choose a shot that showed Archie's face only from the side. We don't really get a good view of it, of what he really looks like. Their caution is understandable, yet his hair may end up being unmistakable wherever he goes as he grows and ventures farther afield.

    I'm wondering whether there was a post about Meghan's shopping excursion in the brown coat? Did I miss it somehow? I was hoping to see some suggestions regarding what she might have been wearing underneath the coat.

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  15. It sounds rather like a family must be four members and of course that is not true.

    Thank you for that observation Allison in Us. I am a family of one--most can't begin to wrap their heads around the concept and it certainly isn't part of general perception--nd couldn't agree more. I also found the statement a bit weird, but perhaps two parents along with a boy and a girl might be the definition of family for them. However, I cast my net wider to include numerous possibilities.

    It's a beautiful photo of people who seem to have found their "happy place." I'm happy for them.
    Merry Christmas to all of you and a Happy New Year.

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    1. Thank you Philly for your perspective. I was a family of 1 for most of my life. So I think I understand the view from 1. I’m now a family of 3. One of us is a canine, the best family member. Cheers!
      Renee

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  16. Love this! Happy holidays all, & thank you for the update Charlotte! i hope you spending quality time with your love ones hmm love the description young family

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  17. A great portrait of a happy family!!

    Stay safe and stay healthy. Happy holidays.

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  18. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Keep doing you, love ❤️ it!

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  19. Denise in Virginia24 December 2021 at 02:36

    What a wonderful picture! Thank you so much Charlotte for the lovely update and all your hard work throughout the year. It's great to see how happy Meghan and Harry are, and omg! how adorable are Archie and Lili :) Hope everyone has a joyful Holiday, and I pray we all have some comfort and peace going into the new year.

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  20. Lovely photo. Meghan looks like Zhe might be getting a volley of Lili drool in a second!

    Merry Chridtmas, if you celebrate, everyone.

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  21. It looks like the front cover of a beautiful romance novel, their photo is so beautiful and so alive.

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  22. What a beautiful family! May 2022 see them draw closer to each other and continue to grow in love, happiness, strength and health. Sad they are not in the UK but happy they have a life and environment they can thrive in.

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  23. Just a beautiful family! I always adored Harry from he was a little boy - And, I love Meghan! Cutest kids!

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  24. Such a beautiful photo. The kids are so adorable. I love Archie’s ginger hair. Most importantly they are happy and relaxed in their environment.

    Lucia

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  25. Gorgeous family. Beautiful parents inside and out and adorable children. Merry Christmas and happy new year to the Sussexes! So grateful they decided to finally share a family portrait. Happy holidays everyone!

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  26. What a lovely pic..... My new slogan from Sussex book is my peace of mind is not negotiable

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  27. Radiates happiness. Beautiful family. Happy holidays to all.

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  28. Gorgeous card. Lovely parents, adorable kids, just beautiful family. Love how they showed the kids without really showing them because we all know they're the royals with the highest security risk given what they represent and stand for as the only mixed race royal family of the european royal family with the highest profile. Safety first. Wish them lots of health and happiness.

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    1. They are not the only mixed race royals in Europe though? There have been many before. But they are the ones with the highest public attention.

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  29. Thanks Charlotte. This is one beautiful family. So happy to see Lilibet and the whole family.

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  30. Beautiful picture. I've been staring at it every day since it was released. Love this family so much. I'd like to take a moment to remember Archbishop Tutu who met sweet Archie along with his parents two years ago, I was very sad to hear about his passing. He was a true modern hero, may he rest in peace.

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    1. Archbishop Tutu was one of those rare persons whom I thought could truly be trusted to do the right thing. He will be sorely missed.

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  31. Harry looks so much happier now ❤️

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  32. Beautiful family! So nice to see this wonderful Christmas card. Happy holidays to everyone!

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  33. Can't get over this pic *sighs*

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  34. Hi Charlotte! Will you posting a Sussex Year in Review? Please!

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  35. Lili looks like Archie's twin! I wonder if they will both look a lot like Meghan but have Harry's colouring. That would be a very interesting mingling of great genes!

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  36. Charlotte,

    I am gobsmacked by how cold blooded and cruel the Royal family is to deny Harry the ability to pay for his own much-needed security so that he can return to his homeland. Whew! The Queen said that he remained a "much loved member of the family." Hollow words. I hear all sorts of "royal experts" saying this has never been done before and therefore cannot be allowed now. But if the Queen herself has no control over the grey suits, what kind of sham is this "monarchy?"

    I just had to get this off my chest. I simply cannot believe it. After he lost his mother who didn't have protection, and his security was breached when he was home for the unveiling of his mother's statue.

    The cruelty in this is beyond my belief. The "Firm" is a really cold-blooded institution. I don't see how it can be so revered, when it members seem so dark, dank and hollow inside.

    Thanks for listening. I don't mean to offend you personally.

    R

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    1. This has nothing to do with the BRF, the Queen, the firm or the grey suits. Security is a matter for the police, the RF cannot decide who is going to be protected and how. Harry is threatening to sue the government about his protection, not the Royal family.
      Ranting about cruelty and cold-blooded institution when they themselves have seen their protection reshuffled recently is very unfair.

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    2. Thanks for you good comment. I agree.
      Excuse me it' s a shame.

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    3. R
      Thank you for expressing your reaction to this.
      I was in a state of confusion over this because it does not make sense. It is indeed Harry’s homeland and he needs security.
      Renee

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  37. R, It's really exhausting to me. Half the headlines say that Harry expects protection, without mentioning that they would be paying for it. Sigh. I suspect H&M feel they have no friends in the UK, other than Eugenie, and have no trust. I also think he must be completely enamored with his family and not willing to take any risks. Harry's "crime" was that he was born to support the heir and instead wanted to live like his cousins.

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  38. Hi R. I understand your concern about security, but please know that neither the Queen/Royal Family nor the "grey suits" determine who gets Royal security. That decision is the purview of the Met Police. Also, Diana refused Royal security after her divorce. As for the Sussexes willingness to reimburse the government for their Royal security costs, it doesn't work that way. Similarly, as an American, I cannot request Secret Security protection even if I wanted to pay for it myself. My ex is in the security profession and I find the topic interesting. You may want to go to "theroyalforumsdotcom" website; it has a section on royal security in the British Forums that you might enjoy digging into.

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  39. Just thought I'd come and look at those two cute Sussex kids again, after checking in at the Duchess Kate blog.

    I agree with you completely Anonymous @8:27. The whole situation seems so wrong. I don't think it's true that it's against government policy to allow Harry to pay his own security, since it appears Met police provide security for former politicians, and private persons are able to hire security services for private functions.

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