MEGHAN, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX, and Prince Harry have issued an emotional statement after donations poured in to mark their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday. The Duke and Duchess celebrated Lilibet’s birthday with a picnic at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, during the Platinum Jubilee weekend. Photographer Misan Harriman attended the event and took an adorable photo of Lilibet dressed in a pale blue dress with a white bow in her hair.
The red-haired toddler sat on the grass in a candid snapshot taken on Saturday by Mr Harriman, who is a family friend of the Sussexes. A cake was also made for the occasion by Claire Ptak, whose Violet Bakery baked the Sussexes’ wedding cake in 2018. A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said in a statement that the Sussexes were touched by the birthday wishes for Lilibet and that people from around the world made donations amounting to more than £80,000 ($100,000) to not-for-profit World Central Kitchen in their daughter’s honour.
The Sussexes have continued working with the organisation since then, including in Ukraine and Uvalde, Texas, where 21 women and children were murdered in a school shooting. Chef José Andrés, who founded World Central Kitchen, has been quoted in Town and Country magazine, saying of the Sussexes: “For me, it is a pleasure to call them friends. “All my life I have been trying to learn what exactly we are missing because why is there still hunger? What are we missing?
“We have to make the most of the opportunities of goodness, and I believe that with people like Meghan and Harry, we can make it happen.” Lilibet’s photo sent royal fans into a frenzy on social media with praise for the tot’s beauty. Tessy Ojo CBE, who is Chief Exec of The Diana Award, tweeted: “On my! What a beauty. Lilibet Diana.” Fellow Twitter user Pagan Trelawney added: “Isn’t she beautiful and the spitting image of her dad! Happy birthday Lili!” And royal fan Kerryn Groves tweeted: “Oh she is absolutely adorable.”
Mr Harriman is the same photographer who took a series of black-and-white images that the Sussexes used to announce that they were expecting their second child in February 2021. The Nigerian-born snapper shared two other images from Lilibet’s party, including a black-and-white photo of proud Meghan holding her daughter in her arms, posing alongside Mr Harriman’s wife, Camilla Holmstroem, and their daughters.
His final image saw the photographer pose with one of his daughters in his lap. It showed the little girl wearing colourful face paint. Mr Harriman said it was a privilege to celebrate Lilibet’s first birthday with both families while sharing the images on social media. He commented: “Joy and face painting all around.” The photographs are only the second official set of Lilibet released by the Sussexes.
During the Sussexes’ visit to the UK, Lilibet is believed to have been introduced to her great-grandmother the Queen for the first time. The public did not see Lilibet or her brother Archie during the family’s trip where Harry and Meghan kept a low profile as the country marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.