Meghan Markle and Harry ‘wary about opening themselves up in new Christmas card’

Prince Harry and "family protector" Meghan Markle were "wary" about "opening themselves" up in their latest Christmas card, a body language expert has claimed.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex yesterday released their first US Christmas Card.

In it, the royal couple and son Archie are seen playing with their two dogs Pula and Guy.

The card, an illustration of a photo, was released through Mayhew – Meghan's animal welfare organisation patronage in the UK.

Body language expert Judi James claims the couple wanted to create an “idyllic, rustic intimacy” with the picture.

She told The Sun’s Fabulous: "This digitalised picture seems to glorify the Enid Blyton-style childhoods of vintage storybooks, suggesting a very besotted-looking Harry and Meghan are set on creating a look of idyllic, rustic intimacy rather than posing up the garden in their multi-million dollar mansion.

"There is a suggestion from the pose that Meghan wants to contain and protect her precious family unit.”

Judi described Meghan as the “family protector” and noted a lack of eye contact with the camera compared to last year’s card.

She added: "This suggests that we are being treated to a glimpse of their lives rather than joining in any bonding session between the couple and their public and fans.

"There are no non-verbal greeting rituals in terms of smiling straight at the camera to wish us a happy Xmas from them direct and this, along with the stylised technique that has changed a photo into what looks like a book illustration, suggests there is still some ongoing wariness or avoidance of opening themselves up to any public criticism."

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Judy also believes that Archie is an “energetic and playful” child, based on the picture and a video of Meghan struggling to hold him as she read to him on his birthday.

The original photo of the family was taken by Meghan’s mum in their garden before being edited.

On Mayhew’s website, a statement from the Duchess reads: “This year we, as a family, have made donations to several charities with you in mind.

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"From a local California organisation that helps families transition out of homelessness, to two of our UK patronages: one that supports animal and community welfare, and the other, a memorial fund for a cherished friend that helps to educate children and fight poverty in Uganda, we have honoured their work on behalf of all of us."

The couple stepped back from the Royal Family in January , and are spending the festive season at their new home in Santa Barbara, California, the US.

A source earlier told People: “Archie is really happy, and he has space to run free.

"The house came with a play structure that he’ll be climbing in no time."

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