We’ve been waiting for them… and they’re here! Just in time for Christmas! The royals have been giving this week, haven’t they?
So, as I mentioned last week, Prince William and Kate released their official engagement portraits four weeks after they announced the engagement. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have followed the exact same timeline. The photos themselves reflect a much different couple. Let’s start with this one:
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, December 2017. pic.twitter.com/HrAc9FeN51— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 21, 2017
The dress is Ralph & Russo. And it’s FORMAL. This is 100% a red carpet dress. Here’s the full length:
As a way to say thank you, they have decided to share this candid photograph from the day of their portrait sittings directly with all of you. pic.twitter.com/MROyiKWEnG— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 21, 2017
A glamour gown is what it is. Not the conservative off-white you-could-wear-it-to-work-and-also-dinner outfit that Kate wore for her engagement portraits but straight-up couture, by Ralph & Russo, a British label.
Meghan is, as we’ve seen, the natural here. She’s completely relaxed, gorgeous, with his leg and her hand strategically covering whatever sheer parts may be scandalous to the old timey pearl clutchers even though the pearl clutchers will bitch about it anyway and, well, clearly Meghan doesn’t give a sh-t.
Harry loosens up in the black and white shot:
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, December 2017. pic.twitter.com/WHIMNNZzto— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 21, 2017
As my friend Lorella noted, this is a generic jewellery ad. It is. And with their eyes closed it’s pretty corny. They’re also… like… TOUCHING. It’s a lot of touching. Will and Kate touched too…
…but that kind of touching is pretty wholesome and sweet. Harry and Meghan’s touching is decidedly more sexy. Almost post-coital? I mean, nothing about Will and Kate’s engagement portraits is carnal. When you look at Harry and Meghan’s shots, you get the sense that these two people are really, really, REALLY attracted to each other. Just me?
The white sweater that Meghan is wearing is Victoria Beckham. I wrote about this two weeks ago! And Meghan Markle did indeed come out of the gate wearing VB in the engagement portraits.
Another difference in the engagement portraits is that Will and Kate’s were taken by Mario Testino. Harry and Meghan’s photographer is Alexi Lubomirksi who used to be Mario Testino’s assistant. What’s interesting too about Alexi is that he and his family moved to Botswana when he was 8. So he has spent a lot of time there. Of course you know that Harry and Meghan have also spent time in Botswana. It was their first trip together. They also spent almost a month there in August. And the big diamond on her engagement ring is from Botswana. So they’ve continued to make Botswana a part of their relationship.
What was asked of Mario, however, was traditional. Will and Kate’s portraits now, looking back, are proper portraits. They belong in a picture frame. Harry and Meghan, on the other hand, have gone editorial. These images are meant for glossy paper, in a magazine. Or a fragrance ad. They’re leaning right in to Meghan’s background, as an actress, as a celebrity. If she’s that good at it, why not?
One more note about these shots? Harry’s hair. They’ve done a great job making it look full, especially across the top.