Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have released their holiday card. And it didn’t just come with a photo – the Sussexes included a list of charitable organisations that they are supporting to go along with their family portrait, which obviously is the big headline right now.
A simple but meaningful digital Christmas card from Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan and their Archewell team this year. Alongside the card, the couple made donations to @TeamRubicon, @welcomeus, @GoHumanFirst, @HumanityCrew, @PaidLeaveforAll, @PaidLeaveUS and #MarshallPlanForMomsðŸŽ„ pic.twitter.com/c5alRJoFJr— Omid Scobie (@scobie) December 23, 2021
The Sussex holiday card was released through Team Rubicon, a non-profit working to help veterans extend their commitment to service beyond active duty:
We're grateful to Archewell Foundation and Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their support of our efforts to welcome Afghan families to the US. This generous donation will help the transition of families into new communities. https://t.co/vBKyU92YoF pic.twitter.com/H0DqCvJuZd— Team Rubicon (@TeamRubicon) December 23, 2021
This, of course, tracks with Prince Harry’s longstanding commitment to veteran outreach and it’s also a collaboration with Welcome.US and their resettlement efforts with Afghan newcomers to America:
We're humbled and motivated to join hands with Archewell Foundation and Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to ensure that Afghan newcomers are supported and welcomed. Thank you for your generosity and partnership! pic.twitter.com/Q4UA7Ebxmy— Welcome.US (@welcomeus) December 23, 2021
As for the photo, it was taken by Alexi Lubomirski who photographed Harry and Meghan for their engagement and at their wedding, and now has the distinction of producing the first public Sussex family portrait that includes all four members. Harry and Meghan’s holiday card was always, always going to be a huge story, but now we’re pouring even more extra on that because, of course, Lilibet is here – and this is her debut. And also it’s been a long time since we’ve had a good look at Archie.
It’s a great shot, an action shot, as opposed to a posed one, which has been very much the Sussex holiday aesthetic, as brief as that tradition has been. You’ll recall the digital card they released a couple of years ago, of Archie, less than a year old at the time, crawling towards the camera with Harry and Meghan smiling in the background:
Just sharing the sweetest Christmas Card from our President and Vice-President, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Very Merry Christmas, everyone! pic.twitter.com/McOcHALoGl— The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (@queenscomtrust) December 23, 2019
That also happened on December 23, so it’s all tonally consistent, of a set.
Here’s how Alexi described the experience:
Per Omid Scobie, the picture was taken at home in the summer. You’ll note that Archie is barefoot and wearing jeans, rolled up at the ankle – worth mentioning because according to uptight royal class rules, boys are supposed to only wear shorts, no long pants, until they’re eight years old, no matter the weather. This came up a few years ago, you’ll recall, when people wondered why Prince George was always in shorts. Per Harper’s Bazaar:
“There's a very specific reason for this. There's a tradition among the upper class, aristocracy and royals to dress young boys in shorts – it's often considered decidedly "suburban" not to do so.
"It's a very English thing to dress a young boy in shorts," explains the etiquette expert William Hanson. "Trousers are for older boys and men, whereas shorts on young boys is one of those silent class markers that we have in England. Although times are (slowly) changing, a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class – quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban. Even the Duchess of Cambridge."
That quote, by the way, is from 2018, not 1958.
Speaking of children’s attire, then, the next time we see Lilibet, could she be in pants too? Royal girls aren’t usually publicly presented in pants, it’s always dresses. That could be another occasion when Harry and Meghan decide to go “suburban”, lol.
This was an eventful year for the Sussexes. In February it was officially confirmed that they would not return as senior members of the British royal family. Then they announced they were expecting. In March it was the Television Event of the Year with Oprah and people are still talking about the bombs they dropped during that interview. Meghan came out with her children’s book. Harry announced his upcoming memoir. They took over New York for a few days. They made the TIME 100 list. It’s been a lot.
What’s your prediction for 2022? Will it be quieter? Or will it be MORE? The Sussexes are Hollywood now. “More” is Hollywood’s favourite word. I’m going with MORE.