The decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to release a special first birthday photo of their daughter Lilibet has been slammed by one of the couple's most ardent critics.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter Lilibet had been publically photographed for only the second time in a snapshot from her first birthday party on Saturday (June 4).
The couple had taken their two young children Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1 to the UK for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee however neither child was seen at any events.
The new portrait of baby Lilibet, who was named in honour of the Queen herself, is only the second photograph of the child the Sussexes have released.
Breaking the news on Twitter, Royal expert Omid Scobie revealed the event had been attended by close friends and family.
He said: "For Lilibet’s first birthday, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan invited close friends and family for an 'intimate backyard picnic' at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor on Saturday.
"Claire Ptak (who made the couple's 2018 wedding cake) baked a special order for the party.
"A spokesperson tells me Harry and Meghan 'remain incredibly touched by the countless birthday wishes for their daughter' and have also been 'amazed' to learn that Sussex supporters around the world have made donations amounting to over $100K to in Lilibet's honor."
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However, one of the couple's biggest critics has taken the couple to task over the release of the photo.
Daniela Elser, writing for news.com.au, called it a “desperate move”.
She said: “Lili’s birthday aside, the four-day stint back in the UK was nothing short of a PR disaster for the couple who were sidelined by the royal family in the most humiliating – and blatant – way possible.
“In short, it’s very hard to see how the Sussexes’ Great British Return could be viewed as anything other than disastrous. No PR wins, family rapprochement or unmissable Netflix footage in the can (they did not bring any cameras with them) and all at the expense of their egos and, potentially, their bank balance too.
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“Which brings us to the release of Tuesday’s Lili images which, given the preceding days’ events, start to look like a fairly transparent attempt at righting the publicity ship and changing the prevailing Sussex narrative from embarrassing flop to, ‘Ooh! BABY!’
“Would we be seeing these images if Harry and Meghan’s UK jaunt had been an unmitigated success, all glowing coverage and flattering opinion pieces?"
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