Meghan Markle and Prince Harry released their engagement photos in December 2017, fueling the public obsession with their engagement, upcoming wedding, and all of the details surrounding it.
The engagement photos reflect the pair: Beautiful, timeless, yet slightly unique and … you’ve heard it before … unconventional. Harry and Markle’s photos reveal details about their relationship, act as an interesting comparison to Will and Kate’s photos (page 5), and give us some insight into the wedding (only a few months away!).
The two revealed their engagement photos
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released their first official engagement photos, shot by Alexi Lubomirski, a New York-based photographer. “It was an incredible honor to be asked to document this wonderful event, but also a great privilege to be invited to share and be a witness to this young couple’s love for one another,” Lubomirski said in a statement from the palace.
“I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together,” he said.
Next: The beautiful photos are just like the royal couple.
The photos, like the couple, are gorgeous
Markle wore a sheer black Ralph & Russo gown with gold detailing for one of the photos. Prince Harry stood handsomely beside her in a blue suit.
The second photo, released in black and white, pictures Prince Harry gazing lovingly at Markle while she smiles with her eyes closed. The star of the photograph, however, isn’t Harry or Markle, but rather the stunning engagement ring that the prince designed himself. The ring is just one of the ways that the couple’s relationship is unconventional, the others of which we explore next.
Next: The couple is known for their unconventional ways.
The couple is known for their unconventional royal relationship
Markle will be the first American woman of color to marry into the royal family. These are just two of the ways the actress/philanthropist breaks the conventional ‘royal rules‘ of England’s powerful family.
Harry’s unique engagement ring design reflects the couple’s distinctive relationship. The ring features a diamond from Botswana alongside two smaller diamonds that come from Princess Diana, Harry’s late mother’s, collection. Harry said he wanted to include Diana’s ring to “make sure she’s with us on this crazy journey together.”
Next: Markle breaks more rules in the photos.
Their photos follow suit
Fox News found Markle’s gown in the photos rule-breaking as well, calling the sheer topped-dress a “risque choice for the future member of the royal family.” Markle wore a nude-lined top underneath, which modestly supported the less conventional choice.
The choice of New York-based Lubomirski as photographer represented how the two are blending their royal and Hollywood backgrounds. Lubomirski’s photography style brought Meghan’s modern and arguably glamorous American style to the royal tradition of engagement portraits. Body language expert Judi James told the MailOnline: “If there were any protocol about the intimacy levels of royal engagement photos, Harry and Meghan have cut right through it with the stunningly sexy poses.”
Next: How do they compare to Will and Kate?
Here’s how they compare to Will and Kate’s photos
The dress provides the first sharp contrast: Middleton wore a “demure cream dress” by a high-end British store, Reiss, while Markle dazzled in the aforementioned “risque,” privately-bought designer gown. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge commissioned Vogue photographer Mario Testino for their portraits, and while at the time it was considered ground-breaking, Markle and Harry have gone a step further by enlisting Testino’s protege.
Like Markle and Harry, the Duke and Duchess released a photo of them embracing, faces touching, in casual clothing. However, James had a comment on the unprecedented intimacy in Markle’s photos compared to those of Middleton’s. The newly engaged couple’s photos feature a “stunningly sexy” shoot when compared to Will and Middleton’s “polite snuggling,” James said.
Next: Their royal photos echo Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
And Princess Diana and Prince Charles
The second photo, which features Markle’s engagement ring on full display, showed the couple in a tight embrace. While Princess Diana’s diamonds scream the significance of her presence, there is something else about the photos that compare to those of the people’s princess and Prince Charles.
The image echoes the informal engagement photo of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. In it, the royal couple is sporting huge smiles while Diana hugs him closely.
Next: What else can we expect from their wedding ceremony?
As they prepare for the wedding ceremony, we expect their marriage to be unique as well
While the world eagerly awaits the May wedding ceremony, the prince and Markle still have a few milestone relationships to cross. Markle has also announced her plans to obtain U.K. citizenship, although a spokesperson said it’s “too early to say” if she would retain dual nationality.
Harry and Markle will marry on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Next: Here’s what we know so far about the actual wedding ceremony.
A pageboy and bridesmaid
The royal couple has already been living together at Nottingham Cottage, so Markle has had the opportunity to meet Prince Harry’s nephew and niece, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2. The precious tots will also be included in their uncle and soon-to-be aunt’s wedding.
Prince George will act as a pageboy while Princess Charlotte will be one of Markle’s bridesmaids. They’ve already been in one major wedding before, at their aunt Pippa Middleton’s wedding which took place in early 2017. A source told The Telegraph, “The wedding will be a family event. You can expect the family to be involved.”
Next: Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid.
Why Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid
Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid in the wedding for several reasons. “The Duchess of Cambridge barely knows Meghan,” royal expert and author Marlene Koeni told Cosmopolitan. “For another, she is the future queen consort when William becomes king after his father, and would unlikely be an attending person to another royal bride.”
But according to Metro, the principal reason she won’t be in the bridal party is that the day is supposed to be all about Markle and the prince, not Middleton. “The Duchess of Cambridge was not her sister Pippa’s matron of honour at her wedding in May as she did not want to upstage her,” wrote Metro.
It is very likely, though, that Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge will be involved in the wedding somehow. It’s even likely that Princess Charlotte will be a little bridesmaid herself.
Next: We have some hints about the wedding dress.
Markle’s wedding dress style
The couple just recently got engaged, but we already can’t wait to see what Marke’s wedding dress will look like. Thankfully, she’s given us plenty of hints as to her wedding dress style. According to People, she loves wedding dress designers Elie Saab and J. Mendel.
“I think Meghan will choose an effortlessly chic gown with clean lines and minimal detail,” British bridal designer Suzanne Neville told People. “I think the dress will be elegant and traditional, but with a modern twist.”
Next: Will Markle break tradition with a banana cake?
Back in the day, the royals would have a massive fruitcake for their wedding cakes. Breaking conventions, Prince Harry’s brother and sister-in-law the Duke and Duchess went with a groom’s cake made of chocolate cookies.
However, they did have an eight-tiered traditional fruit cake for their older guests to enjoy as well. We suspect that Markle might break tradition with the cake too, especially since she says she loves anything with bananas in it.
Next: Who will be invited to the royal wedding?
Celebrity wedding guests
Since Prince Harry probably won’t ever be king, he and Markle’s wedding isn’t a bank holiday. This also means that their wedding guest list won’t have to include global dignitaries and members of other royal families. Instead, you’ll probably see a ton of celebrities. Markle is close friends with tennis champion Serena Williams and actress Priyanka Chopra, as well as her Suits co-stars.
On the other hand, Prince Harry is super close with former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, who might also garner invitations.
Additional reporting by Aramide Tinubu.