Meghan Markle, Prince Harry share first photo of baby Lilibet in 2021 family Christmas card

·3 min read

The wait is over!

Just two days before Christmas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released their family Christmas card featuring the first photo of their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

In the photo, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are sitting in a doorframe while Archie, 2, sits on his dad’s lap and Lilibet looks adoringly at her mom as she's held in mid-air. The family decided to go for a more casual look as the parents and Archie opted for jeans for their annual card.

The greeting also highlighted the multiple charities that they've donated to, all of which are meant to "honor and protect families."

"Happy Holidays," the card began. "This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a 'Mama' and a 'Papa', and Lili made us a family."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released their Christmas 2021 card, featuring the first released photo of baby Lilbeth. (Courtesy the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Photography by Alexi Lubomirski)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released their Christmas 2021 card, featuring the first released photo of baby Lilbet. (Courtesy the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Photography by Alexi Lubomirski)

"As we look forward to 2022, we have made donations on your behalf to several organizations that honor and protect families — from those being relocated from Afghanistan, to American families in need of paid parental leave," the message continued before listing some of the charities, which include Team Rubicon, Human First Coalition, Humanity Crew and Paid Leave For All.

The photo is the long-awaited reveal of baby Lilibet, named after Queen Elizabeth's nickname among close family members. Her middle name is in dedication to Harry's late mother Princess Diana. Lilibet is the queen's 11th grandchild.

Since deciding to leave the royal family in January 2020, announcing the news in a lengthy Instagram post, Harry and Meghan have moved to the United States to continue their philanthropic work.

After welcoming Lilibet this summer in Santa Barbara, Calif., both parents took a few months off for parental leave, which prompted Meghan to advocate for paid parental leave for all in an open letter to Congress.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Markle called upon lawmakers to help those achieve "the dream of stability" by giving them the opportunity to continue in the workforce by guaranteeing paid leave.

"Like fewer parents, we weren't confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work," she wrote. "We knew we could take her home, and in that vital (and sacred) stage, devote any and everything to our kids and to our family. We knew that by doing so we wouldn't have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day."

Following the release of the image, photographer Alexi Lubomirski also took to Instagram to discuss the process of working with the couple, which he called a "joyous experience."

"This day with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was one such joyous experience, and one that I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to capture," Lubomirski wrote. "To be able to continue the story of this family whom I first photographed as an engaged couple, then on the day of their wedding, as a married couple and now seeing their love manifest into two beautiful children, has been a delightful honour."

He continued, "To be trusted by your subjects enough, to open themselves up and have their connection documented and translated into an image, is one of the greatest gifts a photographer can have."

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