The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on Thursday shared the first image of their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, in a family portrait featured on their official Christmas card.
The photo shows the family of four laughing as Meghan holds her daughter in her arms. Six-month-old Lilibet, nicknamed "Lili," is the Sussexes' second child. Their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born May 6, 2019. As the Christmas card photo shows, Archie has inherited his father's distinctive red hair.
"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," Harry and Meghan said in their card.
"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."
According to the card and a statement from Harry and Meghan's charitable entity, the Archewell Foundation, the couple made contributions to: Team Rubicon; Welcome.US; Human First Coalition; Humanity Crew; Paid Leave For All; PL+US; and Marshall Plan for Moms.
"Wishing you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year, from our family to yours! As ever, Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lili," the Sussexes signed the card.
The picture was taken by photographer (and Polish prince) Alexi Lubomirski, who also took the couples' official engagement and wedding photos.
On Thursday, he shared the family portrait to his personal Instagram with a caption about his experience shooting the Sussexes.
"This is one of those rare and special projects, that one is fortunate enough to be a part of," he said. "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."
"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," Lubomirski wrote. "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."
This year's picture is different from the family's 2020 holiday card, which was a stylized image of Harry, Meghan, and Archie with the family's rescue dogs, Guy, a beagle, and Pula, a black lab.
“The original photo of the family was taken at their home earlier this month by The Duchess’s mother," a Sussex spokesperson told People at the time. "The small Christmas tree, including the homemade ornaments and other decorations, were selected by Archie, and the tree will be replanted after the holidays.”
Harry and Meghan have carefully guarded their children's privacy since moving to the United States in March 2020. They successfully sued a paparazzi agency for taking drone footage of their son, Archie, in the home where they first stayed in California, winning a settlement and an apology from X17, the company that took the photos and made them available for sale.
In the couple's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, Meghan talked about how scared she was to pose for pictures with Archie in front of the world's press soon after he was born, the way that her sister-in-law has done with each of her three pregnancies.
"I was very scared of having to offer up our baby," she said. The Sussexes would wait until two days after Archie's birth to appear before cameras with their son.
No longer working members of the royal family, Harry and Meghan have been able to keep their daughter away from the media for the first six months of her life.
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born June 4 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces. She is named after her great-grandmother, the Queen, and her paternal grandmother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
On June 6, Harry and Meghan released a personal statement alongside the news of the birth of their child.
"On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili," they said. "She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family."