On Tuesday, the fashion designer and mother of four posted a photo to Instagram of the birthday girl holding a balloon in the palace’s interior courtyard alongside the caption “Our little birthday princess x Kisses.”
A deluge of Internet chatter ensued with critics assuming the royal family opened the palace carte blanche to the Beckhams for an over-the-top children’s soiree with the British taxpayers footing the bill. But, according to a royal insider, the bill for refreshments at the intimate event was personally funded by the Duke of York.
“From time to time members of the royal family invite guests to visit them,” explained David Pogson, communications secretary to HRH The Duke of York, who asserted members of the royal family historically open their private residences to friends.
David Beckham, the former Manchester United midfielder, shared a photo with Harper and his mother, Sandra West, to his own social media account in an attempt to clarify the nature of the event. “Just to be clear, this wasn’t the palace opening the gates for Harper’s birthday party, this was a tea party where us and other guests were invited so it was a beautiful thing to do with my mum, Harper plus a few school friends,” he wrote alongside the multigenerational snapshot.
Despite speculation, a source close to the royal family revealed the Beckham group did not have access to a private tour of the palace, but the Duke of York and his daughter Princess Eugenie attended the afternoon affair.
Regardless of the party’s itinerary, David and Victoria Beckham have set the bar sky-high when it comes to future birthday celebrations for their little princess.