Archie’s birthday photos from the royals all have this heartbreaking detail - did you spot it?

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu
(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor has reached a major milestone but the Royal Family’s birthday photos for him this year all have one heartbreaking detail. 

Spring seems to be the season for royal birthdays as many prominent members of The Firm (opens in new tab) celebrate their special days, including several of the Queen’s great-grandchildren (opens in new tab). And although it might seem only yesterday that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduced their newborn son to the world, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (opens in new tab) turned 3 years old on May 6th.

Just as fans have come to expect over the years, the Royal Family were quick to post tributes to celebrate the day. However, each of these special Archie birthday snaps have one heartbreaking thing in common that you might have noticed…

See more

The official Royal Family Twitter account shared a sweet snap from photographer Chris Allerton of the Queen looking adoringly at Archie as a baby, nestled in Meghan’s arms. Looking on proudly are the late Prince Philip as well as Harry and Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland

“Wishing Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a very happy 3rd Birthday!” the caption declared.

Meanwhile, Archie’s aunt and uncle, Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a similarly nostalgic picture taken of him taken on the day of his christening. Here little Archie is seen surrounded by family members including his grandfather Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, who also reposted the Queen's photo tribute.

But whilst these photos are beautiful snapshots of important moments in his life, they are somewhat bittersweet. Both were taken when Archie was a baby, rather than being a more up-to-date snap of him from more recent royal occasions. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridges' picture was even the same one they shared for his 2nd birthday last year.

See more

This really brings home how long it’s been since little Archie saw the royals as he hasn’t returned to the UK since Harry and Meghan “stepped back” (opens in new tab) and settled in their new LA home (opens in new tab).

And it’s something that some fans noticed as they took to the comments to express their sadness, with one writing, “Why can’t they use a “now” photo of Archie? That’s sad.”

Another speculated that these rare photos of Archie could likely be used throughout the years to come as they wrote, “Im guessing we will forever get the same picture on his birthday”.

“HB A How sad they have to use the same photo every year”, another person commented. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Whilst it's of course likely the Royal Family has been sent more up-to-date personal photos of Archie by the Sussexes, more official snaps are generally used for royal birthday tribute posts. These two pictures are some of the most iconic examples of Archie's official photos that will be remembered for years to come.  

With Archie growing up an ocean away, his royal relatives are likely hoping to reunite with him in person soon. Until then, fans likely be patiently waiting to see whether his proud parents might mark his birthday with a special picture of their own...