Archie steals the show from mum Meghan in birthday video

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s boisterous son Archie played up for the camera when he appeared in a video released to mark his first birthday.

Meghan had her hands full when she read the popular children’s tale Duck! Rabbit! to the baby in her lap, as proud dad Harry filmed the moment in aid of charity.

Archie has rarely been seen in public and in the footage he smiles and grips the pages of the book, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, which playfully asks whether an ambiguous image is a duck or rabbit.

The video was posted on Save the Children UK’s Instagram page in support of the charity’s Save with Stories campaign, which aims to raise funds for children and families struggling due to the coronavirus crisis in the UK and around the world.

A string of celebrity supporters have also narrated children’s stories for the campaign, including Dame Helen Mirren, Jude Law, Dame Julie Walters and Rita Ora.

In the video, Meghan reads the story to her inquisitive son, who grabs at the pages and at one point appears on the verge of tears before breaking into a smile.

In the footage his mother gives him a kiss on the cheek and lovingly calls him “Arch” as Harry, who is acting as cameraman, can be heard making approving noises in the background.

Meghan gives her son a kiss
Meghan gives her son a kiss

In a funny moment, the one-year-old reaches for something out of sight and picks up a book, and the duchess says “let’s finish this book first, then we’ll have that book”.

But he then drops it on the floor and when Meghan tucks it down the side of the chair out of sight he reaches for it again and makes his father laugh by throwing it to the ground.

At the end of the story Meghan cuddles her son and says “good job”, while Harry, still behind the camera, whoops and says “bravo”.

A caption with the video said: “‘Duck! Rabbit!’ with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex (and Harry, The Duke of Sussex behind the camera), read to their son Archie for his 1st birthday. Happy Birthday, Archie!

“Thank you #DuchessMeghan for helping us to raise urgent funds for our coronavirus appeal by reading ‘Duck! Rabbit!’…”

The young royal sports a full head of hair and is wearing a t-shirt and a nappy in the video, which is thought to have been recorded in the US, where Meghan and Harry are observing the Covid-19 lockdown.

The couple have made Los Angeles their home and they and other residents of California have been living under a “stay-at-home” order made by the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom.

The US is where they plan to bring up their son after walking away from the royal family in order to become financially independent, after their hopes of earning money while still supporting the Queen were ruled out.

Archie has experienced an eventful 12 months since he was born at London’s Portland Hospital on May 6 2019 at 5.26am, weighing 7lb 3oz.

His first home was Frogmore cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, then an exclusive property on Vancouver Island in Canada, and he now lives with his parents in the sprawling metropolis known as the City of Angels.

Join us for the "Tadpole’s Promise" with #HelenMirren, by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross & published by @AndersenPress. 🦋🌈

All donations to #SavewithStoriesUK help children hardest hit by #COVID19 around the world. 🌎

Watch the full story👉

— Save the Children UK (@savechildrenuk) April 27, 2020

A few days after his birth, his parents proudly showed him to the world, before the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh saw the infant for the first time.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, a yoga instructor and social worker, was pictured at the royal gathering and she has been a constant presence in the Sussexes’ lives, and lives in Los Angeles where Meghan grew up and went to school.

Archie received his greatest exposure when the couple took their son on his first royal tour, visiting South Africa last autumn when he was four months old.

The baby received a welcome kiss from Archbishop Desmond Tutu when Harry and Meghan introduced him to one of the heroes of the anti-apartheid movement.