Why This 1 Picture of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Made Their Wedding Photographer ‘Burst Into Tears’

Tears happen at weddings. Good or bad, for whatever reason, there are usually waterworks at nuptials and royal weddings are no exception. 

In the case of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who married on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle, tears came from the photographer they hired to capture the events of the day, Alexi Lubomirski

During a conversation with the Evening Standard that took place at Business of Fashion’s annual conference, BoF Voices, in Dec. 2019, Lubomirski talked about the moments behind the photographs he captured of Markle and Prince Harry on their wedding day.

The photographer also explained how he got the job — prior to their wedding he photographed the Sussexes for their official engagement portraits — and what happened when he had less than five minutes to take snapshots after they exchanged vows.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on their wedding day May 19, 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on their wedding day, May 19, 2018 | Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Photographer cried seeing ‘stairs’ picture

Following the official portraits taken in the green room, Lubomirski had three minutes — yes, only three — to take snaps of the bride and groom in the rose garden. Understandably, he didn’t waste any time and began taking pictures as soon as the couple arrived. 

“The Palace official was looking at me saying ‘we’re going to have to turn around soon’ and I was like, OK, OK ‘just sit down on these stairs.’ And they literally just sort of slumped down, laughing. Sort of looking at each other going ‘oh my god, we’re married.’”

He managed to capture 10 frames before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were ushered elsewhere. And in that time, the photographer hadn’t reviewed any of the snaps he’d taken because of the time constraint. Not until a car ride after the wedding did Lubomirski review the pictures. 

Alexi Lubomirski speaks at the Business of Fashion BoF Conference on Nov. 21, 2019
Alexi Lubomirski speaks at the Business of Fashion BoF Conference on Nov. 21, 2019 | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion

“I burst into tears what I saw that one of them on the stairs – partly relief but also partly because it’s just such a beautiful picture. I’m a cheese ball, I love love,” he told the publication. 

See the photo Lubomirski’s referring to here.  

He described it as a ‘wonderful, lovely, relaxing moment’

The photographer with a background in fashion photography recalled that after the televised wedding broadcast around the world, Prince Harry and Markle shared a calm moment he just happened to capture. 

“You could see that as they walked away from the castle and all the craziness, and it was just us in the garden, you could sense this wonderful, lovely, relaxing moment,” he remembered. “It was the first moment they were alone together… and it’s just like ‘aah, we’ve done it,’ he said recalling the same feeling he had at his own wedding.

Instagram got Lubomirski the job

As for how Lubomirski landed the biggest job of his career thus far, he said it happened thanks to Instagram. He recalled one of Markle’s friends, Soho House consultant, Markus Anderson, seeing his work and telling Markle about him. From there, the couple checked out the photographer’s work on Instagram.  

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving St. George's Chapel following their wedding on May 19, 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving St. George’s Chapel following their wedding on May 19, 2018 | Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty Image

“Harry and Meghan immediately went on my Instagram and looked at my stuff – and I had just posted some cool pictures of Julia Roberts,” Lubomirski said. “So Instagram got me the job.”

Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement on Nov. 27, 2017, and reached out to Lubomirski. He took photographs of the couple at Frogmore House — the site of their wedding reception — snapping one of them on the same stairs that resulted in Lubomirski’s tears following their wedding, another of them walking hand-in-hand, and a close-up of them and, of course, Markle’s engagement ring.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated their first wedding anniversary in May 2019 as a family of three following the birth of their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6, 2019. 
Check out other breathtaking photographs from Prince Harry and Markle’s royal wedding.