Harry and Meghan’s friend shares Archie birthday post as King and Queen crowned

Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Prince Archie turned four on same day as King and Queen’s coronation

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 08 May 2023 11:24 BST
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Related: Prince Harry leaves Westminster Abbey after coronation ceremony

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s friend and photographer Misan Harriman has wished the couple’s son Prince Archie a happy birthday with a poignant photo of the child touching a portrait of his late grandmother, Princess Diana.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son celebrates his fourth birthday on 6 May, which happens to be the same day as King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation.

The timing of the two events meant that Prince Harry made a brief solo trip to the UK to attend his father’s coronation, while Meghan remained in California with the couple’s two children, Archie and Princess Lilibet, one.

On Saturday, the Nigerian-born British photographer, who has photographed Meghan and her family on a number of notable occasions, shared the birthday tribute to Archie on Instagram, where he posted a screengrab of a baby Archie touching a black-and-white portrait of his late grandmother.

The screengrab was taken from Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, and captured the moment that the Duchess of Sussex held her son up to a photo of Diana that hung in his nursery.

“Who is that?” Meghan asked her son, with Archie then seen reaching out and placing his hand on the framed photograph. “Hey Grandma… That’s your grandma,” Meghan informed the child during the sweet moment.

On Instagram, Harriman shared the screengrab along with the caption: “Wishing you the happiest of birthdays Archie” along with a heart emoji.

Harriman’s choice of photo prompted some of his followers to speculate about the message the photographer was sending, with some suggesting he was “shading” the royal family on the day of the King and Queen’s coronation.

Princess Diana and now-King Charles were married from 1981 to 1996, during which time they welcomed sons Prince William and Prince Harry. Before their divorce, the couple both reportedly engaged in extramarital affairs, with Diana telling the BBC: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” in reference to the King’s now-wife Queen Camilla. In 1997, the late Princess of Wales died at the age of 36 from injuries sustained in a car crash.

“I see you @misanharriman… I see the subtle shade,” one person commented, while another said: “So poignant Misan. Thank you for sharing this with us!”

“My heart is with Harry and Diana today. The most important thing today is your birthday Archie!” someone else wrote.

Others took the opportunity to share their own birthday wishes to Archie, with one person writing: “Such a sweet pic! Happy birthday Prince Archie!! You are loved.”

“Happy birthday little one! May you be surrounded with love and joy on your special day!” another comment reads.

After arriving in the UK on Friday aboard a commercial flight, Prince Harry attended the coronation ceremony of King Charles and Queen Camilla solo. The Duke of Sussex was then seen leaving Westminster Abbey alone after the ceremony ended, with the father-of-two believed to already be on his way back to California.

Although the duke did not appear to have any interaction with his brother William during the ceremony, he was seen smiling at several points throughout the service, which saw him seated in the third row near his cousin Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.

At the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s home in California, Meghan is said to be hosting a “low-key party” for Prince Archie’s fourth birthday, a source told People. “They’ll have friends around them and Meghan’s mom, Doria [Ragland]. Meghan will definitely have support that weekend.”

Meghan recently shared a tribute of her own to Harriman, when she introduced her “dear friend” in a pre-recorded message ahead of his recent Ted Talk. In the video, the duchess took the opportunity to reflect on the “many meaningful milestones” he has captured for her family.

“Our next speaker has an unmatched eye for a good photograph. I’ve experienced his talent firsthand as he’s captured many meaningful milestones for me and my family, and I know there are many others who share in this experience,” Meghan said in the video. “His lens has photographed everything from events that have changed the world, invisible moments we all desperately needed to see, along with some of the planet’s most recognisable faces.”

In addition to capturing many of the Sussexes’ notable moments as a family, such as Princess Lilibet’s first birthday, Harriman is also widely recognised for the photographs he captured during the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Independent has contacted Harriman for comment.

Follow along for live updates from the coronation.

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