No royal birthday is complete without a family Zoom call these days – regardless of how frosty relations might be.
And as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor turns two this week on May 6, a virtual play date with his English cousins, Princes George and Louis, and Princess Charlotte, will be a very welcome treat.
Royal author Katie Nicholl believes that for their children’s sake, the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge will put their differences to one side, at least for an hour or so, to mark the toddler’s special day.
For Harry, this will fulfill a wish he has long held for his son to form a bond with his cousins. But it will also require him to swallow any resentment he might feel in the wake of his departure from royal duties last year.
“Harry is living a wonderful life in California, but he faces a challenge,” Katie tells OK!. “He always wanted his children to grow up close to William and Kate’s. That would be the childhood he enjoyed with his own cousins, Zara, Beatrice and Eugenie. Sadly it’s looking increasingly unlikely for Archie.”
Katie’s comments are backed up by last year’s bombshell book Finding Freedom, in which it was claimed Harry had once told a friend he “had an image of getting married and spending time with William and Kate, the two couples together, their children best friends.”
Katie adds: “Very little is known about how much the brothers have spoken in recent months and what the situation is between them, but I find it hard to imagine that the Cambridge’s won’t at least pick up the phone on Archie’s birthday.”
The Duchess of Cambridge is thought to be a driving force behind attempts to mend the dukes’ reportedly fractured relationship and was spotted stepping away to allow the brothers to chat moments after their grandfather’s funeral last month. But she’s not the only senior royal who puts family above squabbles, especially when it comes to the younger generation.
As such, Katie thinks a birthday call with Her Majesty the Queen will also be on the agenda. “We know that Harry still speaks regularly with his grandmother and one of the Queen’s joys is to see Archie. I’m sure there will be a Zoom call with her on his special day,” she says.
Archie is set to become a big brother any time now, but he’ll be the centre of attention as he blows out the candles on his cake, with his doting dad, 37 and his mother the Duchess of Sussex, 39, by his side.
“Lockdown is lifting and the sun in California is shining – I’m sure they’ll have a lovely celebration at home,” says Katie. “Harry’s mother, Diana, always made a big deal of her boys’ birthdays and we know how much Harry still loves celebrating. So Harry will make a really big fuss of Archie.”