'Drama' in California as Harry and Meghan receive free gift for Archie's birthday

Prince Archie
Prince Archie is celebrating his fifth birthday today -Credit:PA

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son, Archie, is celebrating his fifth birthday on Monday, likely surrounded by school friends at their home in California.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a history of keeping celebrations low-key; last year, Meghan baked a lemon cake for Archie using fruit from their garden.

However, Archie's fourth birthday caused a stir in Montecito, where the family resides, after a local shop gifted the young prince a bicycle, reports the Mirror.

The bike was hand-delivered by the owners of Mad Dogs and Englishmen, who later shared a thank-you note from Harry and Meghan on Instagram.

The couple expressed their gratitude, stating that the bike "brought much joy" and was "most appreciated".

The bike was hand-delivered by the shop's owner ( Image: IrisTheeScholar/Twitter) -Credit:IrisTheeScholar/Twitter
The bike was hand-delivered by the shop's owner ( Image: IrisTheeScholar/Twitter) -Credit:IrisTheeScholar/Twitter

The note which was sent on behalf of the Sussexes, was described as a "lovely and very kind gesture".

However, it sparked criticism towards both the store and the Royal couple.

It read: "Dear Martin and Jennifer, on behalf of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, please accept their sincere thanks for the thoughtful gift you sent to Prince Archie for his fourth birthday. The bike has brought much joy, and is most appreciated by the family. They asked that I convey their gratitude at the lovely surprise."

Many social media users chimed in on the post, with one person commenting: "Enjoy your gift little Prince."

Another lauded the shop's gesture for Archie, saying: "Very kind and thoughtful gift."

A different user added: "Cute! ! ! ".

However, some criticised the store's decision, suggesting that a bike could have been donated to disadvantaged children instead, and others took aim at the Sussexes for not personally signing the accompanying note.

One individual remarked: "How lovely. Just a shame they didn't sign the letter themselves."

The shop shared a thank-you note they received ( Image: IrisTheeScholar/Twitter) -Credit:IrisTheeScholar/Twitter
The shop shared a thank-you note they received ( Image: IrisTheeScholar/Twitter) -Credit:IrisTheeScholar/Twitter

Another stated: "Couldn't even write it themselves hmm? Wow! While it's thoughtful to commission the note at all, this man went through a lot of trouble to 'hand deliver' probably a free bike to them...! ".

Despite the backlash, numerous people came to the defence of the bike shop, with one commenter describing the "bullying" it faced as "absolutely insane and unfair" and continued: "The owner gives to whoever he wants to and nobody has the right to tell him what to do."

Another supporter urged: "Please ignore the haters. You all did a sweet gesture and sane, kind people all over the work appreciate you. Those hating on you and the Sussexes are living miserable unfulfilled lives and need to be pitied."

Archie was born on May 6, 2019 ( Image: PA) -Credit:PA
Archie was born on May 6, 2019 ( Image: PA) -Credit:PA

This year, Archie is set to have a low-key celebration at home with classic party games, a birthday cake, and ice cream.

Royal commentator Tom Quinn shared with The Mirror that Blind Man's Bluff might be on the agenda for the bash, expected to include school pals, his grandmother Doria Ragland, and some Montecito celebrities.

Quinn told The Mirror that Meghan takes pleasure in planning her children's birthdays but insists on keeping them "very private affairs" to allow Archie and Lilibet to enjoy "the more ordinary things in life".

He remarked: "When it comes to her children's birthdays, Meghan is almost obsessed with the idea that they should be quiet, very private affairs, with simple games, a birthday cake and ice cream."

"Archie, who is quite the bundle of energy and loves to move quickly, will likely enjoy blind man's bluff and tag among other activities. Meghan manages to balance a strong awareness of her significant role globally with a wish for her kids to have what she considers normal life experiences."

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