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SARAH VINE watches in delight as Harry and Meghan share adorable Baby Archie with the world 

Baby Archie’s first appearance where we saw all of him – as opposed to one limb at a time in arty black and white via the Sussex Instagram feed – took us all by surprise today.

All the more so because we had almost given up on the idea. Unlike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who seem more than happy to share their family’s adventures, Harry and Meghan have lately been behaving more like paranoid Hollywood celebrities than members of the monarchy.

Taking private jets while lecturing on climate change, flying half-way around the world just to watch a tennis match. All while keeping baby Archie jealously under wraps.

Baby Archie’s first appearance where we saw all of him – as opposed to one limb at a time in arty black and white via the Sussex Instagram feed – took us all by surprise yesterday

All the more so because we had almost given up on the idea. Unlike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who seem more than happy to share their family's adventures, Harry and Meghan have lately been behaving more like paranoid Hollywood celebrities than members of the monarchy

All the more so because we had almost given up on the idea. Unlike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who seem more than happy to share their family’s adventures, Harry and Meghan have lately been behaving more like paranoid Hollywood celebrities than members of the monarchy

The British public treats the Royal Family with considerable generosity. In exchange, we don't expect all that much. A bit of smiling and waving, the occasional hat ¿ we're easily pleased. But, as the Queen has always appreciated, there are times when you just can't avoid us (Pictured: princess Diana at the Christening of Prince Henry in 1984)

The British public treats the Royal Family with considerable generosity. In exchange, we don’t expect all that much. A bit of smiling and waving, the occasional hat – we’re easily pleased. But, as the Queen has always appreciated, there are times when you just can’t avoid us (Pictured: princess Diana at the Christening of Prince Henry in 1984) 

The British public treats the Royal Family with considerable generosity. In exchange, we don’t expect all that much. A bit of smiling and waving, the occasional hat – we’re easily pleased. But, as the Queen has always appreciated, there are times when you just can’t avoid us. 

And the birth of a royal baby is, I’m afraid, one of those moments.

From the moment of Archie’s arrival, it felt we were being kept at arm’s length. The Sussexes’ apparent desire to micro-manage the details of his birth, as well as the way he was hidden away from the world, felt less like a plea for privacy and more like a snub.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu kissed little Archie on the head on the steps of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town

Archbishop Desmond Tutu kissed little Archie on the head on the steps of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town

The Duchess of Sussex and her husband laughed as Archie stole the show as he grinned at the camera and the Archbishop

The Duchess of Sussex and her husband laughed as Archie stole the show as he grinned at the camera and the Archbishop 

The four-month-old royal delighted fans as he made his first appearance of Harry and Meghan's Africa tour

The four-month-old royal delighted fans as he made his first appearance of Harry and Meghan’s Africa tour 

This was compounded by the fact that the couple’s ‘cottage’ on the Windsor estate had just been refurbished at a cost of £2.4million, not to mention their lavish wedding last year. 

It seemed they were happy for us to do our bit (ie. stump up the cash), but not so keen to do theirs. Now, at last, they’ve come good. And not a moment too soon. Just think how much heartache and aggravation we might all have been spared had they done something like this months ago. Because all it really took was a few short minutes for all that resentment to evaporate and be replaced by sheer delight.

It was lovely to see the three of them together at last as a family. Grinning and wriggling on his mother’s knee, Archie stole the show, Meghan a tad uncertain in her vertiginous heels (how she manages those things I’ll never know), Harry radiating quiet pride. Their connection as parents is clear.

Cheeky little Archie melted hearts as he giggled throughout the meeting this morning, in his striped dungarees and socks

Cheeky little Archie melted hearts as he giggled throughout the meeting this morning, in his striped dungarees and socks 

The Archbishop pretended to bite Archie's hand in the adorable photos released from the royal visit this afternoon

The Archbishop pretended to bite Archie’s hand in the adorable photos released from the royal visit this afternoon 

Archie looked adorable for his surprise public appearance as he stole the limelight from his parents

Archie looked adorable for his surprise public appearance as he stole the limelight from his parents

Inevitably there have been comparisons with baby Harry and it’s true there is a strong resemblance (although I can also see a lot of Grandpa Markle in him).

As for star of the show himself, he’s clearly a strapping young lad, bright as a button – and the way he responds to both his parents is indicative of a small person who is very obviously much-loved, happy and confident in the safety of his family unit.

These early months and years are so incredibly important for the development of a child’s sense of self and Archie clearly couldn’t hope for a better start in life.

Not only does it feel like a significant moment for the Sussexes, but also for the rest of us who, starved for so long, are now suddenly able to feast our eyes on his Royal Archiness.

It also feels like the beginning of a rapprochement between the public and this young couple who, for all the goodwill out there towards them, have not in recent months made it easy to love them. See – it wasn’t so hard after all, was it?

Meghan holds little Archie - who giggles at his mother - as they are greeted by Archbishop Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe

Meghan holds little Archie – who giggles at his mother – as they are greeted by Archbishop Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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