Prince William and Kate Middleton's Engagement Portraits Inspired Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

See which trend the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started with their engagement photos

By Elyse Dupre Dec 21, 2017 2:49 PMTags
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released their official engagement portraits on Thursday, and it looks like they carried on a trend set by Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Royal admirers will recall the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took two engagement photos prior to their 2011 wedding: one formal pose and one casual pose. Harry and Markle did the same.

In the casual photo, the former Suits star wears a light sweater by Victoria Beckham and lovingly embraces her fiancé's face—a pose that emphasizes her diamond sparkler. Harry can be seen wearing a Burberry coat and smiling down at his future bride.

Looking back, Kate also wore a light-colored top by Whistle for her portrait with William and rested her hand on his shoulder—putting her engagement ring, which once belonged to Princess Diana, on display. William wore a sweater over his crisp button-down shirt and wrapped his arms around Kate.

However, Meghan's Mirror editor Christine Ross noted some key distinctions between the couples' poses.

"In the relaxed photographs, Kate and William look happy as can be, but kept to more modest, traditional poses," she exclusively told E! News. "In a stark contrast, Harry and Meghan's chemistry is hard to miss in their intimate, almost-kissing photograph. This really sheds light on the difference between the two brothers. William has always been more traditional and well-mannered, while Harry has always been known as the rule-bending naughty prince." 
Meghan Markle vs. Kate Middleton: Comparing Their First Royal Engagements

As for Harry and Markle's formal photo, the prince can be seen wearing a traditional suit and tie while the former actress wears a black Ralph & Russo gown with gold detailing. They rest their heads against one another while Markle holds her future husband's hand and shows her ring.

William also wore a tie for his formal portrait with Kate. The future Duchess wore a white Reiss dress and jacket for the photo, fitting for a bride.

"In the more formal photographs, Meghan chose an elegant, dramatic ballgown, while Kate chose a simple, trendy white dress. This clearly shows the difference in their lives before becoming royal," Ross said. "Meghan looks ready for the red carpet, or a Vogue photo shoot, while Kate looks ready for a visit to Ascot or dinner with friends in London."


These aren't the only key differences between the photos. The couples were also photographed by different photographers. Harry and Markle had their portraits taken by Alexi Lubomirski while William and Kate were photographed by Mario Testino.

In addition, the locations of the photo shoots were different. While Markle and Harry had their pictures taken at Frogmore House in Windsor—the town in which they're set to be married—William and Kate had their photos taken at St. James's Palace in London.

Furthermore, Markle and Harry's informal portrait is in black and white while William and Kate's photos were both in color.

Ross also noted a difference in tone between the two sets of portraits.

"Meghan and Harry definitely chose a different tone for their engagement photos," she said. "Most royal engagement photographs, William and Kate's included, feature more traditional poses, sometimes in a garden but most usually inside a royal residence. Harry and Meghan were photographed at a royal residence, but the photographic style was more like a sultry magazine shoot. It shows off their undeniable chemistry and makes you feel like they really had fun with these photos, and wanted their friends, family, and fans to feel that fun and loving energy."

Still, the love the couples show in the photographs remains the same.

"The one similarity that you can't ignore is how in love both women look in these photographs. They truly look like they have found their own Prince Charmings," she said.


Markle and Harry are scheduled to tie the knot May 19, 2018 at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. William and Kate also had a spring wedding and married April 29, 2011.