Buckingham Palace isn't a theme park! Critics slam York family's 'tawdry' party for the Beckhams at the palace - but Fergie insists it was a 'small and private tea' paid for by Prince Andrew
- Harper Beckham was invited to a tea party at the palace by the Duchess of York just days before her milestone
- And pictures - including her holding a balloon - were posted on social media today, Harper's actual birthday
- The highly unusual move was considered by critics online to be 'too much' for David and Victoria's daughter
- David later was forced to clarify the event 'wasn't the palace opening the gates for Harper's birthday party'
- A family spokesman also clarified that the event was a private function organised by the Duchess of York
Many little girls dream of becoming a princess in a real-life palace.
But they have no way of ever experiencing what it would be like – unless they are Harper Beckham, that is.
The only daughter of David and Victoria was last week treated to an exclusive tea party with a group of friends by none other than Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, the Duchess of York, at Buckingham Palace.
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That's some party venue: Harper Beckham holds her balloon at Buckingham Palace. her parents shared the snaps on Instagram on Monday as they wished her a happy sixth birthday, but denied the visit was for the milestone
Friends in high places: Once inside, she posed with her friends and Princess Eugenie in a small drawing room inside the palace at the event, which was organised by the Duchess of York
Something to say: David later shared another post in which he defended the special party, saying 'this wasn't the palace opening the gates for Harper's birthday party'
Treat your little one to Harper Beckham's Chloé butterfly dress
Harper Beckham celebrated her birthday in style this weekend, with a family party and lots of presents!
Dad David also shared a snap of his daughter enjoying a trip to Buckingham Palace, where she met real life Princess Eugenie!
Ahead of changing into her fancy dress outfit, Harper posed with her dad in a cute Chloé scallop lace dress featuring a butterfly applique and colorful tassel detailing.
We love this pretty butterfly dress on Harper, and if you want treat your little one to the same style you can follow the link on the right to buy it at Luisaviaroma for $518.
But if you're after the look for less, fear not, because we've rounded up some fab similar styles, including options from Forever 21, Zapezio Kids, Pippa & Julie and Gap Kids.
Proud: David shared another snap of himself cuddling his daughter, who was wearing a cream lace dress after seemingly getting changed
Among other Instagram tributes from the family, her brother Cruz wrote: 'Dear Harper I can't believe it has been already 6 years yoyo are such a big girl so to the best sister in the world I love you so much have a amazing day'
She's so loved: Her eldest brother Brooklyn shared this picture, posting: 'Happy birthday to my little sister. Love you so much'
Harper, who celebrated her sixth birthday yesterday, even got to meet a real life princess ... the Queen’s grand-daughter, Princess Eugenie.
The little girl also dressed like royalty for the occasion – in a blue gown like her heroine Princess Elsa from the hit Disney film Frozen.
Details of the supposedly ‘private’ tea party were shrouded in secrecy until yesterday morning, when both David and Victoria Beckham decided to treat their combined 55million followers on Instagram to a series of photographs to mark Harper’s birthday.
The ‘indiscreet’ publication of the pictures – showing the youngster enjoying the run of the royal residence – caused frustration at the Palace. One image was taken by the former footballer inside Andrew’s private office with Princess Eugenie, it is understood.
Eugenie, 27, who is eighth in line to the throne, can be seen kneeling down with her arms around two of Harper’s five friends.
Underneath the picture, David wrote: ‘Lucky Harper meeting a real life princess at the Palace x.’
The Duchess of York is no stranger to controversy, after she was secretly filmed offering to sell access of Prince Andrew for £500,000
Sweet: Harper's mother, Victoria, also shared a Snapchat which showed the enormous pile of presents her daughter received (left)
Something to say: Some comments were not quite as favourable
Gorgeous: While Romeo shared another sweet snap, writing: 'Happy birthday to the best sister in the world!!!!!! I hope you have an amazing day. I love you so much'
A third photograph shows Harper on her own, holding a red balloon in the Palace’s central quadrangle, with the message from mother Victoria: ‘Our little birthday princess x Kisses.’
As the pictures went viral – being viewed several million times within hours – both the Beckhams and Buckingham Palace came under fire online. One critic wrote: ‘If you have enough money you can buy anything!!’
Another said: ‘Is this a new commercial venture by the Royal Family or do all little princesses now get an invite?’
Royal author Robert Jobson last night warned that Buckingham Palace should not be seen as a ‘party venue for millionaires’, particularly when the Queen is about to receive £370million of public money for a top-to-toe refit.
Sweet: The boys all helped to put a doll's house together for their youngest sibling
Well wishers: Lots of fans wrote kind messages alongside the latest posts
'Happy birthday baby girl': Victoria, 43, had taken to Instagram to document the celebrations that took place ahead of her daughter Harper's sixth birthday on Monday
He said: ‘It seems odd to me that if you have the money or connections then the Palace – a building funded by the British taxpayer –can be used in this way for a selected few. If it is just for the rich and famous it is simply not right.
‘The Palace is the venue for glittering state occasions but when it is used – or misused like this – surely the public is entitled to know how it came about, who organised it, was money paid and why it is only open to rich and famous ex-footballers.’
The sports star yesterday posted a further picture of himself and Harper at the Palace, this time with his mother Sandra.
Family day: The fashion designer shared a group shot of herself, David and their loved ones as they got together to mark Harper's special day
'Posh Spice or Dawn French?': Victoria revealed she and her footballer beau had been trying out their cake decorating skills, but appeared to mock David's efforts with her fans
He wrote: ‘One last picture of the birthday girl ... 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... We were honored [sic] to be able to [be] there...’
Asked to explain why the tea party was held, a Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the ‘private’ event.
He said: ‘From time to time members of the Royal Family who reside at royal residences invite guests to visit privately.’
'Mums had a little too many Pimms!': David, meanwhile, suggested everybody had been in high spirits at the bash as he poked fun at his mother Sandra
Loving life: It's not the first time the Beckhams have been at the palace. Victoria received an OBE for her contribution to fashion from the Duke of Cambridge back in April
Proud moment: Victoria's husband-of-17-years David received his OBE at Buckingham Palace in 2003 for services to football, with Victoria by his side
Lovely: Sources close to the family told MailOnline before Christmas that Victoria, 42, was 'delighted and humbled for the recognition' when she picked up her gong
Close: Meanwhile, in an interview with Esquire magazine back in 2012, David said that he now counts Princes William and Harry as friends - pictured in 2010
VIP invite: David and Victoria arriving at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, in London, UK on April 29, 2011
Ode: The famous family also nicknamed their former £10million Hertfordshire residence 'Beckingham palace,' before putting it up for sale in 2013
A royal source added: ‘Any costs in terms of refreshments were covered [by Andrew] privately.’
It is understood that both Andrew and his former wife, the Duchess of York, were at the party.
Sources close to the Duchess of York insisted it was a ‘family’ event, with the invitation being extended by the whole of the York family.
‘Members of the Royal Family often invite friends for tea at the palace and the Beckhams are family friends. This was a treat for Harper and some of her friends,’ the source said.
However, they admitted that the Beckhams’ decision to publish photos had not gone down well.
‘It was very indiscreet for them to have posted pictures on a public forum of what was a private family event,’ they said.
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