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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle broke tradition with this year's Christmas card photo

The Sussexes spent their first Christmas in the US

sussexes xmas tradition
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a festive family card on Wednesday as they celebrated their first Christmas in the US.

In a break from tradition, the picture featured an artistic rendering of Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie and their pet dogs, Guy and Pula, as they played in the garden of their Santa Barbara home.

The colourful photo was very different to the Sussexes' previous Christmas card photos, which were shot in black and white.

READ: 10 photos of the royals looking thrilled at Christmas to put a smile on your face

WATCH: Harry and Meghan launch their own podcast - listen to their cute interaction

In 2018, Harry and Meghan shared a stunning portrait from their wedding day showing them with their arms around one another and their backs to the camera as they watched a fireworks display over the lake at Frogmore House in Windsor.

The previously unseen photo was taken by photographer Chris Allerton.

And last year, the Sussexes celebrated their first Christmas as parents to their son Archie, who was seven months old at the time.

sussex christmas card

The couple's card is based on a photo by Meghan's mother

The tot was front and centre of their 2019 Christmas card, which was again shot in black and white, as Harry and Meghan beamed at their son in the background.

The family snap was taken by one of the Duchess' friends Janina Gavankar during their break in Canada.

On that occasion the couple were drawing attention to the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, who were the first people to share the card, being sent out by their patrons. 

MORE: Most festive royal family Christmas card photos from around the world

MORE: 12 adorable photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son Archie

harry meghan archie christmas card

Harry and Meghan's first Christmas card with Archie (Photo: Janina Gavankar)

This year, Harry and Meghan's festive family photo was shared with one of the Duchess' patronages, the Mayhew animal charity.

The picture is based on a photo taken by Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, marking the first time the Sussexes have shared a personal Christmas portrait captured by a family member. 

On the organisation's website, a statement from Meghan read: "This year we, as a family, have made donations to several charities with you in mind.

"From a local California organisation that helps families transition out of homelessness, to two of our U.K. patronages: one that supports animal and community welfare, and the other, a memorial fund for a cherished friend that helps to educate children and fight poverty in Uganda, we have honoured their work on behalf of all of us."

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