Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were hit with backlash for celebrating their son Archie's second birthday with a fundraising campaign for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Join us in advocating for vaccine equity on Archie's birthday," the royal couple urged in a personal noted shared on their Archewell Foundation website. In it, they assured that organisations supporting the campaign will pledge $20 for every $5 donation. The amount will cover the cost of not just one but four vaccines.

"Every single dollar counts—not only will it help save lives but it will help save families and communities," the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continued, as they told the public that raising funds for COVID-19 vaccines is a "more resonant way to honour" Archie's birthday.

They closed the letter, "If we all show up, with compassion for those we both know and don't know, we can have a profound impact. Even a small contribution can have a ripple effect. Together, we can uplift, protect, and care for one another."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle naturally only had the wellbeing of others in mind when they decided to call for vaccine donations on Archie's birthday. But others were quick to criticise them and one netizen even called the couple "crass" for using their child "to beg for cash."

Meanwhile, some wondered if the "obscenely wealthy" couple even spent their own money for the campaign. They wanted to know how much they donated because they have not made it known to the public contrary to what they have done previously.

"I wonder how much they donate themselves to these causes," one social media user asked, and another described it like "Robin Hood in reverse."

This is weird , merching you’re child for donations .

— HarrysGreySuit (@hrrysgreysuit) May 6, 2021

So the obscenely wealthy Markles are today telling their very poor, illiterate fan base to celebrate the birthday of their fabulously privileged child (whose privacy they exploit at every opportunity) by donating dollars for vaccines that are a governmental responsibility. Nice.

— Tourre Bakahai (@TourreBakahai) May 6, 2021

In the past, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their charity donations known. They donated to a women's Texas shelter affected by the storm this year. They also gave £90,000 (around $127,000) from the money they earned from their 2018 wedding broadcast to hunger charity Feeding Britain. The couple also celebrated their birthdays with a £93,000 (around $131,000) donation to an African girls education charity called CAMFED.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Photo: AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS