Aaaaaaanddd FINALLY! Meghan and Harry spoiled us more than we could have ever wished for with the release of their Christmas card today. In the photo, the family of four smiles widely as Meghan holds Lili up in the air and big brother Archie sits on Harry’s lap.
The card reads: “Happy Holidays”
“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 card continues detailing several organizations the Sussexes are supporting this year. “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 charities are:
Team Rubicon, a nonprofit organization “that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.” The charity was founded in 2010 and “has deployed across the United States and around the world to provide immediate relief to those impacted by disasters and humanitarian crises.”
The charity shared the following tweet when the Christmas Card was released:
Welcome.US – a nonprofit organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs, including immigrants.
Human First Coalition – A nonprofit charity that assists American Citizens and allies reach safety in the aftermath of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
Harper Bazaar reported:
“A spokesperson for the Sussexes explained that the couple connected with the organization earlier this year while visiting Join Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. “They were moved by Task Force Liberty, home to 10,000 Afghan refugees, and their donation will support resettlement sites like TF Liberty across the country, particularly as they find permanent homes for Afghan refugees in 2022,” the spokesperson said in a statement.”
Humanity Crew – A international charity that specialized in the provision of first response mental health interventions to refugees and people in crises. They “work to deploy mental health and psychosocial support to people in crisis zones in order to improve their wellbeing, to restore order in their lives, and to prevent further psychological escalation.”
Paid Leave For All – a national campaign of organizations fighting to win paid family and medical leave for all working people. You will recall Meghan has advocated on behalf of paid leave for all, among other things, by writing a powerful letter addressed to Congress. Read it here
PL+US is another national campaign fighting for paid family and medical leave by 2022. The campaign was founded by Katie Bethell “who Fortune Magazine named one of the world’s greatest leaders, the organization in partnership with employees, employers, consumers, and investors has won paid family leave for nearly 8 million at companies like Walmart, Starbucks, CVS and more.”
Marshall Plan for Moms – an organization that seeks to “revitalize and restore mothers in the workforce” and pay moms to do the work they’re already doing at home or support them if they wish to return to full-time jobs.
Now, let us get back to the adorable Christmas card photo Meghan and Harry released today! The sweet snap was shot this past summer at their home in Santa Barbara, California by Alexi Lubomirski. You’ll recall Alexi was the photographer behind Meghan and Harry’s official engagement portraits at Frogmore House and their official wedding portraits. During an interview with Vogue in 2019 Alexi revealed how lovely it was to photograph the Sussexes:
“When I was taking pictures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement, it was the same thing. When I went to meet them to talk about the shoot, they asked: ‘How would you go about this? How do you see the shoot happening?’ And I said: ‘I don’t want it to be a still life. I know we have to show the ring and there are certain restrictions we have to adhere to, but I really want to keep it as natural as possible.’
There were a few of us in the room and every time Harry or Meghan would talk, one of them would look at the other and there would be this little sparkle, this little giggle, this little nudge of the elbow, and it was so cute. I said to them: ‘Listen, stop. This is exactly what I want to do. You’re so adorable together, you’re obviously so in love and all I want you to do is this.’
There is this black and white shot where they’re cuddling, and she was wrapped up in his jacket. I remember it was the last shot of the day and the light was going down. He was wearing this big overcoat and I said: ‘Wrap her up in your jacket. Turn around so you’re facing each other.’ The hairs went up on the back of my neck as I was taking the pictures. She looked up at him and they were giggling, and the ring came out of the jacket, and I was snapping and I’m like: ‘Yes, yes, yes, this is amazing. This is it.’ I think they were laughing at my over-ecstatic behavior and then again, they were giggling with each other – they get in their own little world. That was it, and I got the shot.
Photographing the wedding was fantastic as well, but it was a different kettle of fish. There was less time to really get into it, whereas with the engagement it was just them and me. We were exploring and enjoying it and finding different angles. I was watching them as they walked through the garden, and then picking moments out of it.”
Alexi shared the following post on Instagram captioned:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie and Lilibet.
This is one of those rare and special projects, that one is fortunate enough to be a part of.
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.
Anyone who has seen my #AllLoveSeries, will know that one of the greatest joys I receive from photography, is when I am able to photograph “love” in some form or another.
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.
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.
Meghan and Harry ended the Christmas card by saying:
Wishing you and your family health, happiness, peace, and prosperity this Christmas! Thank you so much for reading along.