Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are notoriously private, especially when it comes to their children. Fans often do not get to see the Sussex kids, though the family usually will release some cute photos around Christmas time.

Back in 2019, Meghan and Harry released their first Christmas card as parents. It featured a photo of the couple with their son, Archie. Meghan’s friend, who took the photo, recently revealed how they managed to get Archie to cooperate in the shoot.

The Sussexes release Christmas photos of their family every year

The Sussexes release a Christmas card every year to send warm wishes to fans. The card often includes a photo of their family along with a sweet message.

In 2019, Meghan and Harry released a tradition-bucking Christmas card. It was a GIF that featured baby Archie up close to the camera while Meghan and Harry smiling in the background.

In 2020, the family celebrated their first Christmas after stepping away from the royal family earlier that year. The Sussexes released a card that featured an illustration of Meghan, Harry, Archie, and their dogs in front of a playhouse. The original photo was taken by Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.

Finally, in 2021, the Sussexes celebrated their first holiday season as a foursome after welcoming daughter Lilibet back in June. Their Christmas card includes a photo of Archie sitting on Harry’s lap while Meghan holds Lilibet in the air.

Meghan Markle’s friend reveals how they got Archie to cooperate in 2019

The Sussexes’ 2019 Christmas photo was taken by actor Janina Gavankar. According to Us Weekly, Meghan and Gavankar have been friends for over 15 years. 

Gavankar recently talked about the 2019 Christmas photo during an interview with Good Morning America.

“First of all, how lucky am I that I just happened to be there in that moment,” Gavankar said. “That’s just an iPhone photo, you know?”

She also shared how the Sussexes got Archie to cooperate in the picture, explaining, “These guys, they love each other so much. When you’re around people that just have this much love in their household, moments like this happen all the time.”

Janina Gavankar called out tabloids for allegedly editing the Christmas card

After the Christmas card was released, some news outlets speculated that there was manipulation going on with the photo. For example, the Daily Mail published an article titled “Was Meghan Markle’s face PHOTOSHOPPED onto Christmas e-card?”

The outlet cited a photographer who said, “Harry and Meghan are parallel, so if one is in focus, the other would be. They are side by side – it’s not like he’s further forward … [Markle’s] face has either been superimposed or enhanced considerably.”

Gavankar later took to social media to defend the Sussexes. She posted the “original” image and accused the Daily Mail of participating in a “campaign” against Meghan.

“Proud to have taken the Christmas photo for one of my best friends and her family,” Gavankar wrote. “Here’s the original that was sent out (cropped to fit IG)….and to The Mail, I see your campaign against my friend continues. Nice photoshop of my non-photoshopped image. Now may we all get back to the spirit of Christmas and not the spirit of maliciousness.”

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