Britain's Duke and Duchess of Sussex hold their baby son Archie. AFP
Gulf Today Report
To mark their son Archie’s second birthday on Thursday, April 6, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a picture with the toddler’s face obscured.
The sepia-toned image, released on the couple’s official Archewell website, shows the 2-year-old in a garden wearing a jumper, jeans and trainers, and holding on to a large bunch of balloons with his back to the camera.
The picture accompanied a plea by Meghan and Harry urging people to mark their son’s birthday by donating funds for Covid vaccinations in poor nations.
In a joint statement on their website, the Sussexes — who are expecting their second child — said: "We will not be able to truly recover until everyone, everywhere, has equal access to the vaccine.
"We cannot think of a more resonant way to honour our son's birthday. If we all show up, with compassion for those we both know and don't know, we can have a profound impact."
“And what that intention, we are inviting you to contribute whatever you can - if you have the means to do so - to bring vaccines to families in the world’s most vulnerable places.
“We cannot think of a more resonant way to honour our son’s birthday. If we all show up, with compassion for those we both know and don’t know, we can have a profound impact,” added the couple.
However, instead of celebrating Archie’s new milestone, some fans of the royal family have taken to social media to complain that they can’t see his face in the new photo.
In order to respect his privacy, Harry and Meghan have released photographs before in which Archie’s face is not visible.
On International Women’s Day, an official picture shared by the Duke and Duchess showed Archie with his head on his mother’s chest.
The couple’s Christmas card last year also did not feature a photograph of the toddler and was instead an illustration of the family, created from a picture taken by Meghan’s mother.
Archie, who rarely is seen in public, lives with his parents in California, following Prince Harry and Meghan's decision to step back as senior royals and move to the US.
Some critics accused Harry and Meghan of being “pretentious” for not showing his face. One person said: “Why bother posting this at all?”
Another wrote: “That can be any child. A waste of time posting this ridiculous picture.”
However, others defended the couple’s decision and pointed out that Archie deserves his privacy.
One person said: “Why would they show his face with all the scrutiny he has already been through, his hair, his skin, leave that little baby alone.”
“They want to keep him safe from the paparazzi,” added another. “Well thought-out pic.”
This comes after Meghan revealed she was publishing a children's book in June titled "The Bench" about the relationship between a father and son, inspired by the bond shared between Harry and Archie.
The proposal comes in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claiming in an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey that a member of the family — not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh — had made a racist comment about their son Archie.
Winfrey initially approached the duchess for an interview in February or March 2018, before her wedding to Prince Harry. Meghan said, 'I’m sorry it's not the right time.'
Harry said, “There were no distractions, and that was great, it was an amazing thing. We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”
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