Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released their official engagement portraits Thursday. The session was conducted earlier this week at Frogmore House, Windsor, Kensington Palace said. Alexi Lubomirski—who's photographed the likes of Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Kristen Stewart and Reese Witherspoon—was handpicked to shoot the royal couple.
"A huge thank you to His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, for allowing me to take their official engagement portraits," Alexi wrote on Instagram. "Not only was it an incredible honor, but also an immense privilege to be invited to share and be a witness to this young couple's love for each other. I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took."
Meghan's custom engagement ring is on full display, of course; Harry designed it using a stone sourced from Botswana, surrounded by two diamonds from the late Princess Diana's archives. In one of the portraits, the couple leaned into one another while holding hands. The second photo, shot in black in white, showed Meghan with her eyes closed, caressing the prince's face.
A third black and white outtake was released later in the morning. "Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments following the release of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle's engagement photographs. The couple are so grateful for the warm and generous messages they have received during such a happy time in their lives," a Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement, after unveiling it on Twitter. "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."
"The couple, of course, want the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family," Harry's communications secretary said last month. "They also want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations, too, and are currently working through ideas for how this might be achieved. This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom." Furthermore, they'll be "leading the planning process for all aspects of the wedding."
Harry proposed in November, over a quiet dinner at their cottage. "It was a cozy night. We were just roasting chicken. It was just an amazing surprise and it was so sweet, and natural and very romantic," the Suits star recalled in an interview with the BBC. "He got down on one knee."
The prince called it a "really nice moment" and was glad he caught her "by surprise" that night. "The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so quickly was confirmation for me that all the stars were aligned," he said of Meghan, whom he met on a blind date. "Everything was just perfect."
Previously, Meghan told Vanity Fair, "We're two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people's perception. Nothing about me changed. I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship."
After tying the knot, the couple will reside at Kensington Palace's Nottingham Cottage.