Royal Family baffles fans with mysterious detail in Archie’s birthday photo as he celebrates turning three

The Queen, Prince William, and Kate Middleton have wished Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son Archie a happy third birthday

Royal Family's mysterious detail in Archie’s birthday photo baffles fans
(Image credit: Getty)

The Royal Family has sparked confusion after sharing a sweet birthday message for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. 

The Royal Family's birthday tribute to Archie Mountbatten-Windsor has caused unintended confusion online, after fans spotted a mysterious detail in one of its two posts. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first child is celebrating his third year on Earth today at the couple's $14m Santa Barbara mansion in California, where he will likely enjoy a private party with his celebrity parents and younger sister, Lilibet Diana. 

The Queen sent Archie her birthday wishes on Twitter this morning, shortly before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared their own special message for the royal toddler. Her Majesty, Prince William, and Kate Middleton have not seen the three-year-old in person since Meghan and Harry's emigration to the US in early 2020, and with tensions reportedly still high between the fraternal dukes, they could be waiting a while for a reunion. 

A photo of Archie as a baby was posted on the Royal Family's official Twitter account on Friday, alongside the caption, "Wishing Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a very happy 3rd Birthday!" 

In the wholesome snap, the Queen can be seen fawning over her eighth great-grandchild, while Meghan cradles him fondly in her arms. Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April, can be seen smiling behind his wife. Prince Harry and Doria Ragland, the Duchess' mother, look proudly on. 

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It was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's birthday tribute, however, that had royal fans scratching their heads. 

The couple posted a family photo taken shortly after Archie's baptism at Windsor Castle in July 2019, in which Meghan and Harry are pictured posing with their newborn son in the historic building's Green Drawing Room. 

Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, and Doria Ragland are positioned to the left of the Sussex couple, while Prince William and Kate Middleton can be seen to the right. 

The star-studded lineup is somewhat compromised, however, by the presence of two lesser-known—but still very important—individuals in the background. 

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Behind the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale, the sisters of the late Princess Diana. The two aristocratic women have lived relatively private lives since the tragic death of their beloved sibling in 1997 but occasionally attend royal events in support of their nephews, William and Harry. 

"Harry has always kept in close touch with the Spencers and they have all received invitations," a source told Vanity Fair. "Harry gets on well with his aunts and uncle [Charles Spencer] and they have met Meghan."

It didn't take long for royal fans to ask questions about the identities of the mysterious duo, who have not appeared at a public event since Princess Diana's state unveiling last July. 

"Who are the 3 ladies at the back, assuming one is Megan’s mum?" one confused person asked on Twitter. 

Some also speculated that Jane and Sarah are also Archie's godmothers, but this rumor has never been confirmed by the Royal Family. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.