Local bike shop owners in Montecito personally delivered a birthday present for Prince Archie — plus flowers for Meghan, balloons and a card
As much of the world woke up on May 6 prepared to watch the coronation of King Charles, the owners of Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop in Montecito, California, were thinking about Prince Archie on his birthday. Shop owner Jennifer Blevins tells PEOPLE that her British partner and shop co-owner, Martin, spontaneously wanted to give Archie, the son of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, a special birthday gift.
"He went and he got one of our little specialized kids' bikes — they're really nice little bikes — and he's like, ‘This one's perfect, it's got training wheels,' " Blevins says. "And so he went and got some birthday balloons, and he got some flowers for Meghan and a birthday card, and he said, ‘Okay, I'm gonna bike over and take it to their house.' "
Once he arrived, Blevins said security emerged from behind the gate of the home, asking Martin if he had received an invitation from the couple.
“He said, 'I'm just a British business in town that wanted to give Archie a gift,' " Blevins laughs.
After running an on-site background check on Martin, security allowed him to leave the gift — flowers, card, balloons and bike, Blevins said. Flash forward a month later, and Blevins said she got a surprise delivery to the shop on Wednesday.
“A courier came by our little shop on Coast Village Road, and he dropped off that letter,” she shared with PEOPLE, referring to a thank you note sent from Meghan and Harry.
"I was making a joke, I said, ‘It better be a thank you letter,’ and it really was!” Blevins said. “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,” she added.
It read: “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. The bike has brought much joy, and is most appreciated by the family. They asked that I convey their gratitude at the lovely surprise."
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Blevins said she and Martin — and the entire bike shop staff — were in shock by the letter. Noting that it was an “impromptu” and “very sincere” gesture to give Archie the bike and no one expected anything in return.
“Every celebrity in that town has bought bikes from us, and they all come through there,” she recalled. “None of them sent a thank you letter.”
“His little sister Lili can enjoy it too as she grows — it'll be one that both of them like,” she said.
Prince Harry traveled to the U.K. for his father King Charles' coronation on May 6 with Meghan staying behind in California with their two kids as they marked Archie's birthday.
"It's going to be a low-key party at home," a source told PEOPLE ahead of the milestone. "They'll have friends around them and Meghan's mom, Doria [Ragland]. Meghan will definitely have support that weekend."
And, of course, Prince Archie had his little sister to celebrate with.
"They are so sweet together. Archie loves Lili. He's such a sweet boy. When she's not around, he asks, 'Where's Lili?' " the source added.
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