The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared a picture of their son Archie to mark his second birthday.

The sepia-toned picture, taken on Thursday, shows the toddler standing in a garden with his back to the camera, holding a large bunch of balloons.

It was shared on their Archewell website, along with a plea for donations to a fund for Covid vaccinations in poor nations.

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family sent birthday messages.

A message from the Royal Family’s official Twitter account said: “Wishing Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a very happy 2nd birthday today.”

The post was shared alongside a picture of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son days after he was born.

In a statement on their Archewell foundation website, Prince Harry and Meghan – who are expecting their second child – said they were “deeply touched” by people who had donated to charities in honour of Archie’s birthday in previous years.

They urged people to support GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, saying: “We will not be able to truly recover until everyone, everywhere, has equal access to the vaccine.

“We cannot think of a more resonant way to honour our son’s birthday. If we all show up, with compassion for those we both know and don’t know, we can have a profound impact.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex holding their son Archie during a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs Tutu at their legacy foundation in Cape Town

Meanwhile, the duke and duchess also wrote an open letter to major Covid vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, urging them to redouble support for the UN-sponsored Covax programme distributing doses in poorer parts of the world.

And as momentum builds around a US-backed proposal to waive vaccine patents, Harry and Meghan called on the firms to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines.

Archie lives with his parents in California, following Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back as senior royals and move to the US.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Archie’s uncle and aunt, along with his grandparents the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, also posted birthday messages from their Twitter accounts.

Alongside their message, Charles and his wife shared a photo of the Prince of Wales with Harry and Archie at his christening.

Archie, the Sussexes’ first child, was born on 6 May 2019 weighing 7lbs 3oz.

He is seventh in line to the throne and does not have a title.

For Archie’s first birthday, the Sussexes released a video of Meghan reading the popular children’s book, Duck! Rabbit!, to her son.

He has rarely been seen in public but last December made a surprise appearance in the couple’s first podcast for Spotify, during which he was heard speaking with an American accent. The Duchess of Sussex read the book Duck! Rabbit! to her son

It comes after Meghan revealed she was publishing a children’s book about father-son relationships, inspired by the bond between Archie and the duke.

In February the couple announced they were expecting their second child.

Prince Harry was last in the UK in April for the funeral of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. However, Meghan stayed in California on the advice of her doctor.

The Sussexes stepped back as senior royals and said they would work to become financially independent last March.

Additional reporting by Joseph Lee.

Source: BBC