The owner of the UK bike shop who gave Prince Archie a set of wheels for his fourth birthday has revealed that she and her husband have been victims of online trolling after they posted a thank you note from the Sussexes on Instagram – but insisted they only wanted to support the couple.
The eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who turned four on May 6, the same day as King Charles’ coronation, received the £240 ($300) Specialized bicycle in pink and turquoise from Martin and Jennifer Blevins.
The couple, who run the Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop in Montecito, where the Sussexes live in their $14.7 million home, posted a thank you note to their Instagram page, which they received from the Duke and Duchess after the gift had been received. .
Archie’s new wheels, made by exclusive company Specialized, which sells bikes costing up to £8,700 ($11,000), are pink and turquoise and have stabilizers that can be removed.
Now Jennifer has revealed that she and her husband received harsh criticism online after sharing online that they gave Archie the birthday present.
Prince Archie (pictured with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Princess Lilibet in 2021) received a new set of wheels from Jennifer and Martin Blevins of the Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop in Montecito for his fourth birthday. Jennifer has revealed how she and her husband chose the gift
Speak against Hello!she said she and Martin chose the pink and turquoise model for its gender neutrality so Lilibet could “grow into it” in the future.
Jennifer revealed that the couple had considered sending Lili her own bike when she was old enough to ride, but added that they are “frugal people” and thought it best to give the family a sustainable gift that they can reuse.
After Jennifer posted the letter Harry and Meghan wrote to her thanking her for the gift, she claimed she was the subject of online trolls, adding that she has an idea of how Meghan may have felt after being victimized as well had become of trolls.
The pair drew criticism from some who felt the bike should have gone to a less privileged child. Sussex supporters were angry that they had shared the letter of thanks, on Sussex lettered paper but not signed by the couple, on social media.
One reviewer sarcastically wrote, “Too important to write letters yourself.” But one supporter said, “If you’re angry that a company is sending a bike to a little boy on his birthday as a sweet surprise, then you’re the one who has the problem.”
Prince Archie was gifted the pink and turquoise Specialized bike, which Jennifer says she and Martin chose because it was “gender neutral”
Looking back at the backlash, “Honestly, I don’t even know if Harry and Meghan would accept another gift. We’ll wait and see, but they might say, “We’re done with you.” That would make me sad, but at the same time I hope they would know that all we’ve ever done is try to be supporters and be positive.’
Jennifer, who appears to share a dog with Martin named Meghan Markle, revealed how her husband delivered the birthday present to the Sussex family mansion.
She explained that he drove to the family home and arrived at the gate by bicycle, where he encountered the couple’s security team. After they ran a background check, Martin was allowed through the gates to drop off the gift and a bouquet of flowers.
Martin Blevins (pictured on his bike with his dog, named Meghan Markle, in the sidecar) rode to Sussexes’ Montecito mansion to drop off Archie’s bike
The bike shop owners received a letter of thanks from the Sussexes after they gave Archie the bike
A month later, the couple’s letter of thanks arrived.
Last week Jennifer told PEOPLE: ‘A courier came by our little shop on Coast Village Road and delivered that letter.
“I was joking, I said, ‘It better be a thank you letter’ and it really was. I did not expect that. I had no idea.’
She added that of all the gifts they’d sent to celebrities over the years, none had sent them a personal thank-you letter before.
Jennifer revealed that she and Martin are thrilled with the Sussexes’ thank you letter and plan to hang it on the wall.
“I’m going to make photocopies and frame them in every store,” she said.
Jennifer added that despite a deepening rift between Prince Harry and other members of the royal family, she and Martin don’t take sides and love all British royals.