Martin Watson delivered the bike to the couple’s Montecito, California, home himself
A British business owner has received a thankyou letter from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the free bike he hand-delivered for Prince Archie’s fourth birthday. The young prince turned four on May 6, the day of King Charles III’s Coronation.
While Prince Harry made the trip to London for the ceremony, Meghan remained at their home in Montecito, California, where she received the surprise gift.
Martin Watson, co-owner of Mad Dogs & Englishmen, a bike shop in the US town, hand-delivered a red bike to the family home.
He refused payment, and received a letter this week.
It reads: “On behalf of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, please accept their sincere thanks for the thoughtful gift you sent to Prince Archie for his fourth birthday.
Mr Watson received a letter from the Sussexes thanking him for the gift
“The bike has brought much joy and is most appreciated by the family. They asked that I convey their gratitude at the lovely surprise.”
Former sales director at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara Harrison Colcord, who is thought to have been hired recently by the couple’s private office, signed the letter.
Mr Watson’s partner, Jennifer Blevins, said that the bike was a spur-of-the-moment gift he decided to gift on the day.
She told People magazine: “He went and got one of our little Specialized bikes – they’re really nice little bikes – and he’s like, ‘This one’s perfect. It’s got training wheels.’
“So he went and got some birthday balloons, and he got some flowers for Meghan and a birthday card, and he said, ‘OK, I’m gonna bike over and take it to their house.’”
When he got there security spoke to him, enquiring if he had received an invitation from the Royal couple.
Mr Watson left the bike, a card and some balloons at the couple’s home with security
“He said: ‘I’m just a British business in town that wanted to give Archie a gift,’” confirmed Ms Blevins.
The flowers, card, balloons and bike were left for the couple by Mr Watson following an on-site background check by security, The Telegraph reports.
Mr Watson and Ms Blevins posted a photo of the bike on their company’s Instagram page the next day, with the caption: “We hope yesterday’s special birthday boy had a wonderful day, surrounded by lots of love, friends and family.
“Martin gifted him a new kid’s bike out of our Montecito shop. We really hope he enjoys it. His little sis can ride as well when she gets a bit bigger.”
No more was heard about it by the couple, until Wednesday that is.
The Duke was away from home on his son’s birthday, instead attending his father’s Coronation
Ms Blevins said: “A courier came by our little shop on Coast Village Road and he dropped off that letter.
“I was making a joke. I said, ‘It better be a thank you letter’ and it really was. I wasn’t expecting that. I had no idea.
“It was so thoughtful because, you know, they took the time to write something personal and not just a generic thank you.”
Following the post the couple received backlash from some users who questioned why they had not donated the bike to a less privileged child instead.
The pair responded by pointing out they in fact do donate bikes to charity.
“This wasn’t a donation – it was a gift. It was a very impromptu gesture by Martin because he’s British and we have a bike shop in Montecito. We thought it would be fun.”
The couple said they shared the post because they were “proud and honoured”.
In the Sussexes Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan, footage of the Royal couple cycling along the seafront and at their home featured.
In another clip, Archie was strapped into a baby seat on the back of dad Harry’s bike.
Royal Family members must declare official gifts, however they are permitted to accept personal gifts, on the condition that they do not place them “under any obligation to the donor”.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK