It might be popular for young girls to mark their sixth birthday with a princess party but it is a whole lot rarer for them to do so in the company of a real-life princess and inside the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

Victoria and David Beckham’s six-year-old daughter Harper Beckham had the good fortune of celebrating her birthday with Princess Eugenie of York in the incredible 775-roomed palace.

But the tea party, which was hosted by Prince Andrew and the York family last week ahead of Harper’s birthday on Monday, has not gone unnoticed. The event has sparked a fierce backlash and people argued it was emblematic of the Beckham’s privilege.

Critics suggested the royal family opened up the palace, which is the official London residence of the Queen, to the Beckhams and the taxpayer had been forced to foot the bill.

The former footballer was forced to explain the event in a later Instagram post, saying: “Just to be clear this wasn’t the palace opening the gates for Harper’s birthday party.”

He added: “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.”

The Beckhams have continued to receive criticism for the event.

Dickie Arbiter, a former Buckingham Palace press secretary told Sky News: “None of them has got a right to be there.

“Is it being opened up as a theme park? It devalues what the place is all about. Why do the Beckhams get special treatment?”

 It is said to have been a coincidence that the tea party happened to fall on the days surrounding Harper’s birthday.