Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Harry and Meghan release new picture of Archie for his birthday
6 May 2021, 14:58 | Updated: 6 May 2021, 18:49
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released a new picture of their son Archie in celebration of his second birthday.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born on 6 May 2019 at 5.26am and weighing 7lb 3oz, has spent much of his life living in north America with Harry and Meghan after they decided to leave royal duties and start a new life together in the states.
Members of the Royal family, including his great-grandmother the Queen and his Aunt and Uncle the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also wished him a happy birthday.
A tweet from the official royal family account, accompanied by a photograph of the Duke and Duchess with their son days after he was born, said: "Wishing Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a very happy 2nd birthday today."
The couple released two pictures of their son on Thursday - one in colour showing him, Meghan and Harry relaxing at their Montecito home in California.
The other photo, in sepia, shows Archie holding a bunch of balloons in the family's garden.
The little boy has only been seen rarely during the past 12 months, but did feature in a black and white video clip released in March, showing him walking along a beach watched by his parents and the family's pet dog, Guy.
As he walked towards his father, who filmed the moment, the youngster ducked down and walked through the gap in his legs.
Wishing Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a very happy 2nd birthday today. 🎈— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 6, 2021
📸 Dominic Lipinski / PA Images pic.twitter.com/dLssyrVSor
Archie also made a surprise appearance in the Sussexes' first podcast for Spotify in December, his American accent could clearly be heard as he was encouraged to say a few words for the audience.
The Duchess revealed her special bond with Archie and Harry was the inspiration behind her first children's book, The Bench.
Also sending best wishes to the couple and their son was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, tweeting a similar message with an official picture of the royals and baby Archie.
He also featured on the Sussexes' Christmas card, which wass decorated with a stylised image of Archie and his parents sitting in front of a Wendy house, thought to be at their Californian home, with the couple's pet dogs.
The image was based on a photograph taken by Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, and a tiny Christmas tree in the picture had been decorated with ornaments selected by Archie.
Wishing Archie a very happy 2nd birthday today. 🎈🎂— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 6, 2021
📷 Chris Allerton pic.twitter.com/7XMXIKs1Qv
Meghan's mother, a yoga instructor and social worker, was pictured at the gathering and she has been a constant presence in the Sussexes' lives, living in Los Angeles where Meghan grew up and went to school.
Since stepping down as working royals and moving to the US the Sussexes have forged ahead with their lives.
The couple have signed lucrative deals - thought to be worth well over £100 million - with Spotify and Netflix, that have given them the capital to pursue their new lifestyle and public goals.
They have also bought a multi-million pound home in the celebrity enclave of Montecito in California, launched a non-profit foundation and announced Meghan's pregnancy - with the baby girl due in the summer - after a miscarriage last year.
Harry and Meghan's recent interview with Oprah Winfrey left the royal family in crisis after they alleged the monarchy was a racist and uncaring institution.
The couple claimed a member of the family - not the Queen or late Duke of Edinburgh - made a racist comment about their son, and how the duchess had suicidal thoughts but her approaches to the monarchy for help were turned down.