Senior members of the royal family appeared keen to dampen rumors of a rift with Prince Harry, as they paid tribute to the much-loved prince on his 36th birthday. However, Harry's wife Meghan Markle didn't appear in any of the photographs shared by his father Prince Charles, his brother and sister-in-law Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the official Royal Family Instagram account. This is a particularly poignant birthday for the prince, as his beloved mother Princess Diana was 36 when she tragically died in a car crash in Paris.
William and Kate chose a fun-filled snap to mark the occasion, as the Kensington Royal page shared a picture of Prince Harry winning a race, with his brother and sister-in-law trailing behind. As the royal trio sprinted along a running track, the two brothers grimaced as they fought it out for first place, while Kate smiled as she took it easy in third.
Prince Charles' Clarence House account uploaded two images to Instagram to mark Harry's birthday. The first was a simple headshot of the prince, who was wearing a suit and tie, and was mid-laugh when the photo was captured. The second snap showed Harry laughing with his father at the Invictus Games — the international sporting event for wounded, injured, or sick soldiers and veterans, created by the prince.
"Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duke of Sussex today!" read the caption.Meanwhile, the official Royal Family Instagram page, which showcases "photos and videos from the work & activities of The Queen & The Royal Family," shared an adorable snap of Harry with Queen Elizabeth II. In the photo, Harry gazed at his grandmother adoringly as the pair joked during a Queen's Young Leaders reception at Buckingham Palace in 2017.
"Wishing The Duke of Sussex a very happy birthday!," the caption stated.
However, as some commenters noted, none of the birthday pictures of Harry included images of his wife Meghan.
"Another without meghan!!!," wrote one fan of the Royal Family account, alongside three heart-eye emoji.
"Where is meghan? so rude even if they left," noted a commenter on the Clarence House snaps, who added a dead emoji to their words.
"The shade of them using this pic rather than one including his wife," commented a Kensington Royal follower, alongside a cup of tea emoji.
As The Inquisitr covered, rumors of a strained relationship between Harry and Meghan and the British royals have swirled since the pair made the decision to leave the U.K. behind for a more independent life in the U.S. During their time living in Los Angeles, an insider revealed the couple was "struggling to cope" with their new life, according to the publication. "Harry must be tormented by his fractured family ties," the insider told The Mirror. "He was particularly down on William's birthday on June 21."