Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are bending yet another royal tradition — this time, by ensuring that son Archie and daughter Lilibet are largely concealed from the public.
“A lot of people have decided that it is kind of not worth the hassle,” Giles Harrison, CEO of photo agency London Entertainment, recently told the Daily Beast of pursuing photos of the Sussexes. “It is not worth the fall-out that comes from it. If you get the pictures of them, they are gonna try and sue you no matter what happens, no matter where you were, no matter if you were in the most legal, public place on the planet. And they can afford to sue you a lot more than you can afford to defend yourself.”
The fear is well-founded, considering how fiercely the Sussexes guard their privacy. Unlike peers Prince William and Kate Middleton, who are dutiful to royal protocol by posing for photos with children Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, — only hours after birth — followed by their release of official portraits and christening itineraries, Markle and Harry are more controlled when exposing their children to the world.
After Archie was born in 2019, Harry assured reporters that more information about the newborn would come in subsequent days “so everyone can see the baby.” While Buckingham Palace released this statement: “Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”
The couple did introduce Archie at St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle and though the press was not invited to his christening (and the names of Archie’s godparents weren’t publicly disclosed), the boy’s face was front-and-center in a family photo taken that day. Since then, the couple has shown Archie on a case-by-case basis — on his first birthday, he stole the show in a video for Markle’s “Save With Stories” initiative however, his second birthday photo depicted him with his back to the camera.
Meanwhile, the public has seen even less of Lilibet — no official photo of the girl has been released, however in August during Markle’s video to promote her “40×40” project, internet fans zeroed in on a black-and-white desktop photo of Harry kissing his daughter in the background of the footage.
Seclusion was central to the couple’s decision to detach from the monarchy and move to California in 2020, with Markle claiming that her family has a “basic right to privacy” in her and Harry’s March Oprah interview. It’s a matter that’s haunted the couple even during their courtship. In 2016, Harry said in a statement that his then-girlfriend was subjected “to a wave of abuse and harassment” by the press which he blamed on “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” His speech preceded a string of lawsuits filed by the couple against the British tabloids for publishing a letter from Markle to her estranged father (which they won in May).
So, we’ll get treated to photos of the Sussex children on their parents’ timetable. Sounds reasonable, right?
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