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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle release surprising Christmas card with big omission

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared the message on Friday

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Harry walking in black
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their annual Christmas card — however, this year the couple have decided not to feature their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

The card was released on Friday with a message that read: "On behalf of the office of Prince Harry & Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archewell Productions and Archewell Foundation, we wish you a very happy holiday season. Thanks for all the support in 2023!" The card also featured a highlights reels of Harry and Meghan's best moments from the past year, with a focus on projects and events with their charitable Archewell Foundation.

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The couple chose not to include Archie and Lilibet in their card last year either, with the couple choosing a candid snap taken during their appearance at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights awards show.

"Wishing you a joyful holiday season," the card read on the right-hand side, with the picture aligned left. "From our family to yours, and on behalf of our teams at Archewell Foundation,  Archewell Audio, and Archewell Productions, we wish you health, peace and a Happy New Year." It was signed: "Best wishes, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex."

Writing on a green background
The couple shared the message on Friday

However, back in 2021, the couple chose a playful picture of their family, and it allowed royal fans to see Princess Lilibet for the first time. The message read: "Happy Holidays. 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."

The adorable family photo was taken by their wedding photographer Alexi Lubomirski this summer at the couple's home in Santa Barbara, California. The precious portrait saw the family posing on some steps with little Archie sitting on Harry's lap and Meghan lifting Lilibet in the air.

Writing on a green background
Archie and Lilibet didn't feature on the card

Harry and Meghan's Christmas card follows the Prince and Princess of Wales sharing theirs earlier in the week, and it looked straight out of a magazine photoshoot. The black and white shot, taken by fashion and portrait photographer, Josh Shinner, in Windsor earlier this year shows the family-of-five casual and matching in crisp white shirts.

Echoing a 1991 portrait by Lord Snowdon in which a young Prince William appeared against a black and white background, the Prince and Princess and their three children posed around a velvet chair.

Prince Harry carries Lilibet
The couple chose not to feature their children on the card

Middle child Princess Charlotte, eight, wore jeans and canvas shoes and leant forward in the chair, while Prince Louis, five, rested his hand on the chair's arm with his father's hand on his shoulder. Prince George, ten, meanwhile, leant against his mother Kate, who had her arm wrapped around her son's waist.

RELATED: Royal family 2023 Christmas card photos from around the world

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