Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared their first Christmas card as a family of three, prominently featuring a close-up of their 7-month-old son Archie. The photo was released as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrate the holidays in Canada and the U.S., far from Harry's family in the U.K. It also came out the same day as Queen Elizabeth II's annual Christmas message.
The Queen's Commonwealth Trust shared the photo, which features Archie up close, looking straight into the camera as Harry and Markle look on smiling. The photo was animated, so the Christmas tree lights behind the couple appear to be sparkling.
"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from our family to yours," the card reads.
The unusual Christmas card was teased earlier this month. A source told E! News the card was to break from royal traditions and include nods to both Harry and Markle's families.
"Harry and Meghan are said to want [to] ensure that some of their Christmas card images reflect that [Markle's mother Doria Ragland] is very much part of their family and of Archie's upbringing," the source explained. "It is a break with protocol from traditional royal Christmas cards, which haven't historically included grandparents. For instance, Kate's parents – Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton – have never appeared on any of their Christmas card images."
Last week, the couple confirmed reports they planned to spend the holidays abroad instead of at home in the U.K. They stopped in Canada first, then planned to head to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with Ragland. It is Archie's first visit to Markle's home country.
"As has been reported, their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are spending private family time in Canada," a spokesperson told Entertainment Tonight. "The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both."
The decision was reportedly controversial among the Royal family, since Harry's grandparents are both in their 90's. Queen Elizabeth's husband, 98-year-old Prince Philip, was also hospitalized on Friday.
On Monday, the Queen released her annual Christmas message, during which she spoke of the importance of reconciliation. "The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference," the Queen said.
The Queen, 93, delivered her speech next to a group of family photos. Notably, there was not a photo of Harry and Markle, notes PEOPLE.0comments
Harry and Markle welcomed Archie in May. The two married in May 2018.
Photo credit: Getty Images