It looks like the answer is yes.
It’s common practice that members of the British Royal Family release new or previously unseen photos of themselves the day before birthdays, big anniversaries, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc. This is done the day before the actual day (usually the evening before) so that the UK papers have time to publish the photo on the front page of the next day’s paper. It gives the media and the public a nice photo to ooh and ahh over, and it gives members of the royal family a bit of control over how they share aspects of their personal life while still feeling accessible to the people.
April 23 was the third birthday of Prince Louis of Cambridge, Will and Kate’s third child. The evening before, as expected, Kensington Palace released a birthday portrait of Prince Louis:
It’s a very cute picture! It also reveals the detail that Prince Louis has just started nursery, which I believe is British-speak for preschool. Louis is riding a balance bike from Frog Bike, which is a British-made, environmentally friendly bicycle company. Balance bikes don’t have pedals and are used to teach children proper balance so they will be able to ride a real bike down the line. So, with not that much effort and not by saying anything out loud, this photo has given us the following information:
- Prince Louis is cute (obvious).
- Prince Louis just started nursery.
- Will and Kate are helping Louis develop his balancing skills so that he’ll be able to ride a real bike soon.
- Will and Kate support British-made companies and environmentally friendly companies, two things that are important to them, without bashing you over the head about it. (The day the photo was released, was World Earth Day, so the environmental focus is particularly poignant.)
Within the same 30 minutes of the Cambridges releasing Prince Louis’ birthday portrait, Page Six had posted a story with pictures of Meghan and Archie that had been taken that week:
The story was light on real details, but it said that the pictures were snapped while Meghan was taking Archie to “school” in Montecito earlier in the week. Let’s talk about these photos and the Page Six story, because there is a good amount to unpack here.
It seems like the photos were sanctioned/staged by Meghan or her people
The biggest proof we have that these photos, which clearly show Meghan and Archie walking down the street, are approved or arranged by Meghan or her team, is the simple fact that they are still up three days after being posted. Remember when one of Meghan’s friends posted a picture of Meghan and Archie in a Facebook post defending Meghan? It came out around the Oprah interview, and was immediately removed from the internet. It turns out that Meghan and Harry were NOT happy about the pic of Archie being out in the open, so Meghan and Harry bought the copyright to the photo from their friend, and then sent copyright infringement letters to any outlets still publishing it. That is how serious they are about photos of Archie being released, and that photo was accidentally shared by a friend.
Couple this with Harry and Meghan talking about moving from the UK to California for the sake of privacy. California has some of the US’s strictest laws on paparazzi shots and photographs of minors. So there would definitely be a legal avenue to take to remove these photos from the internet if Meghan and Harry wanted to. And yet, the photos remain up.
The third thing that should be pointed out is that the photographs were sold by Backgrid. If you’re not familiar, Backgrid is the photo agency that has taken if not every single photo of Harry and Meghan in North America post-Megxit, then the vast, vast majority of them. Backgrid has been on the tarmac while Meghan and Harry arrive from commercial flights. Backgrid was outside the restaurant where Meghan and Harry had dinner with David Foster and Katharine McPhee. Backgrid was outside the school as Meghan was walking with Archie a few days ago. Backgrid was in Montecito when Harry was on his electric bike. And no other photo agencies have sold similar shots. So either Backgrid is the world’s luckiest photo agency when it comes to Meghan and Harry, or it has a deal with them. It’s that simple.
And finally, the Meghan Markle style blog Meghan’s Mirror almost immediately posted all of the specific components of Meghan’s outfit, as well as the brand and type of Archie’s lunch box. I have a post on Meghan’s Mirror in the works. Here is what you need to know: the co-founder of Meghan’s Mirror has publicly admitted to working with Meghan’s team to get IDs on her clothing and home items for their blog. And then Meghan’s Mirror puts them on its website with affiliate links, which give the website a commission when people buy the items. Anyway:
Curiously, the Meghan’s Mirror tweet with the affiliate link to Archie’s lunchbox has since been removed, but luckily I’m a big fan of screenshotting:
As I said on Instagram, what are the chances that a fashion blog would immediately be able to ID a child’s lunch box and have an affiliate link about is posted within minutes? It just defies belief.
As former senior members of the BRF, Meghan and Harry knew that a portrait of Prince Louis would be released on the evening of April 22. They knew that there would be positive stories in the press about it. It’s the third birthday of a cute prince, for God’s sake. So Page Six somehow posted a picture of Meghan and Archie 20 minutes before the release of Prince Louis’ portrait, which everyone knew was coming, by total coincidence. Or Meghan orchestrated having the photo taken and then released when it would take away from the positive UK story of a three year old’s birthday. Some other small things about this to consider:
- The Page Six story referenced Archie attending “school”. So did the Meghan’s Mirror posts. Archie is not yet three years old. It was likely a nursery (preschool), just like Prince Louis attends.
- Why is Meghan carrying Archie down the street? For someone concerned about privacy (and with the money that Meghan has), wouldn’t you drive a car to the door of the preschool so as to not be seen? And wouldn’t a preschool that has Archie attending it be quite exclusive, and probably be all about security and privacy, for its famous clients’ children?
- Why is Archie attending preschool when there is a global pandemic happening and Meghan is heavily pregnant? With the risk of COVID-19 transmission, wouldn’t you want to keep Archie at home until at least the birth of Harry and Meghan’s baby?
- Why has the Sussexes’ press office not put out a scathing statement about innocent children’s right to privacy?
- The day the pictures were released was Earth Day. In another since-deleted tweet from Meghan’s Mirror, it’s a feature of the Rothy’s mask that Meghan was wearing in the picture that it is environmentally friendly. What a crazy coincidence! Again, Meghan’s Mirror deleted the Tweet; again, I took a screenshot before they did.
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