Meghan Markle and Harry’s Christmas card discussed by experts
The image features Prince Harry and Archie sitting at the front of a wooden children’s play cottage, with Meghan slightly further forward. Oz and Guy, the family’s dogs, are also included.
Alongside the group is a miniature Christmas tree complete with red ribbon on the top.
The play cottage has a thatched looking roof, which combined with plants and a wooden chair gives the scene a rustic aesthetic.
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, took the photo of the family on which the picture is based at their new £11.2m California home.
Body language expert Judi James spoke to Fabulous about what messages the picture conveys.
Meghan and Harry’s 2020 Christmas card
Meghan and Harry’s 2019 Christmas card featured Archie
She commented: “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.
“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.”
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Enid Blyton was a British children’s author renown for her romanticised and countryside based depictions of childhood life.
Ms James argued this makes Meghan look like the “family protector”.
The Duke and Duchess caused a global sensation in January by announcing their intention to step down as senior members of the Royal Family.
Instead Harry and Meghan said they would become “financially independent” and moved to North America with their son Archie.
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Meghan and Harry with Archie in 2019
Meghan and Harry announced their plan to step down as senior royals in January
After a brief spell in Canada they moved to California shortly before the state went into a coronavirus inspired lockdown.
Ms James compared this year’s card with previous ones released by the couple, including their 2018 card which featured a photograph from their wedding.
She said: “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.
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“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.”
Royal Christmas celebrations were severely disrupted by this year’s coronavirus pandemic.
Harry and Meghan are currently living in California
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the occasion at Windsor Castle, rather than their Sandringham estate with the wider Royal Family as is the norm.
Both Prince Charles and Prince William caught coronavirus in the spring before making a full recovery.
Ms James added Archie appears happy in the picture.
She stated: “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.”