THEY may have stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family in search of a more private life – but that hasn’t stopped Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from releasing their annual Christmas card.
Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex delighted royal fans when they shared a sweet illustration of themselves posing in the garden of their Montecito mansion with 19-month-old son Archie.
A spokesperson for the couple confirmed that the drawing – which was shared by animal charity Mayhew – was based on a photo Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland took of them at their £11m home in California.
Analysing the Sussexes’ latest card, body language expert Judi James claims the couple have made a conscious effort to protect their privacy while also presenting an idealised version of their new life in California.
She told Fabulous: “This digitalised picture seems to glorify the Enid Blyton-style childhoods of vintage storybooks, suggesting a very besotted-looking Harry and Meghan are set on creating a look of idyllic, rustic intimacy rather than posing up the garden in their multi-million dollar mansion.
“There is a suggestion from the pose that Meghan wants to contain and protect her precious family unit. Harry sits inside the tiny playhouse here, holding his face close to Archie’s and grinning at his son, who he holds with both hands.”
Body language expert Judi James says their new Christmas card suggests that the Sussexes want to maintain their privacy – in comparison to the one last year where Archie looked directly down the camera[/caption]
Describing Meghan as the “family protector”, the expert continued: “It is Meghan who sits cross-legged outside on the doorstep, looking very much as though she is guarding her two boys with the help of her dogs Oz and Guy.”
What’s more, Judi claims Meghan and Harry have made an effort to appear laid-back for their Christmas card.
She added: “The clothing is casual in a way that, like the miniature rustic setting, suggests they prefer to ignore their glamorous lifestyle or any sense of conspicuous wealth and opt for ‘back to basics’ instead.”
In comparison to their previous Christmas cards, Judi claims the stylised card suggests that the couple only want to share family moments on their terms.
Meghan and Harry’s first card was a photo from their wedding[/caption]
Judi continued: “Their first Xmas card as a married couple involved a back view as they gazed out at their wedding fireworks. Last year we saw Archie looking straight into the lens while Harry and Meghan looked focused on their son.
“This year we have the three of them absorbed happily together, avoiding any eye contact at all with the camera.
“This suggests that we are being treated to a glimpse of their lives rather than joining in any bonding session between the couple and their public and fans.
“There are no non-verbal greeting rituals in terms of smiling straight at the camera to wish us a happy Xmas from them direct and this, along with the stylised technique that has changed a photo into what looks like a book illustration, suggests there is still some ongoing wariness or avoidance of opening themselves up to any public criticism.”
Meanwhile, Judi says the illustration of Archie suggests that he’s an “energetic and playful” child.
She continued: “Archie looks happy and confident in this child-sized setting, clearly walking by now and looking keen to be on the move.
“Like the video of the storybook reading we saw him appear in last, where Meghan struggled to hold him on her lap as a very curious and impatient Archie wriggled his way through the film, trying to escape to the floor or turn the pages faster than his mother.
“Archie looks energetic and playful here, apparently intent on moving out of the house and toward his mother, with Harry using what looks like two hands to gently hold him in place for the shot.”
Most read in Celebrity
Meghan Markle & Prince Harry release Xmas card with Archie & their dogs
Weirdest Royal Xmas traditions revealed – including why Queen WEIGHS every guest
CHELLE OF A CUTIE
This is what Michelle Keegan & Mark Wright’s baby will look like
FROM NOUGHTIES… TO NICE
These 2000s icons have had an Adele of a transformation too
TIERS TO XMAS
Celebs' plans for Covid Christmas Day from Rhian's romp to Lauren's belfies
Maura Higgins & Christine McGuinness lead stars dressing as Sexy Santas for Xmas
In more Royal Family news, Meghan Markle & Prince Harry are ‘modelling themselves on the Obamas’ and will release tell-all book next, an expert has claimed.
And we took a look at the weirdest Royal Family Christmas traditions – including why the Queen WEIGHS every guest.
Plus Meghan Markle & Prince Harry ‘will be seen more in 2021’ but will shun traditional role as ‘working royals’, an insider has claimed.