At around 12 pm GMT today, Kensington Palace released two photos on behalf of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to commemorate their engagement. The pictures were taken earlier this month at Frogmore House at Windsor by Alexi Lubomirski. Two hours later, as a way to say thank you for the warm reception, a third photo was released.
The gown Meghan is wearing in two of the photos is by Ralph & Russo, while the white sweater she’s wearing in the other is by Victoria Beckham. And while I realize the gown should be more exciting than a sweater, I’m actually delighted that she’s worn apparel by VB. I’ve been waiting for the Duchess of Cambridge to do that since 2011 and all we’ve gotten is that Wimbledon handbag!
Anyway, the photos. They are…not quite what I was expecting. I like them, don’t get me wrong, but I was not expecting a gown and I was not expecting its bodice to be sheer. Nor, for that matter, was I expecting a close up shot to be quite so intimate. They’re stunning pictures of an absolutely gorgeous couple and I’m all for it, but to pretend these are your typical royal engagement photos would be silly.
By way of comparison, the below photo of William and Kate basically giving each other a friendly hug was considered delightfully informal and novel back in November 2010.
The gown reminds me of a point that I sort of keep on forgetting, which is that alongside how “casual” Meghan may be, she is also the same woman who posed for a cover shoot for Vanity Fair prior to her engagement. She naturally brings a certain level of glamour to her position – and more to the point, she is comfortable existing in that space.
These photos are surprising, beautiful and, yes, a little more glam than your typical Windsor photo call, but that’s pretty much in keeping with a whirlwind, transatlantic romance between a prince and an actress. The photos of William and Kate, in the same vein, are perfect for two university sweethearts who had been together close to a decade and are brimming with youthful optimism.
I can’t quite picture William and Kate posing for a shot of them walking arm in arm while Kate wears a £56,000 gown, but that’s okay. Two very different brands of princess are on display here and there’s room for both to be effective.
In the meantime, I will continue trying to wrap my head around the bodice of that dress.
And while I do that, allow me to share that Kate was spotted at the Royal Opera House last night seeing the Nutcracker. Per the photo below, she is wearing the printed Alexander McQueen dress she wore last week to the KP Christmas party and the Zara cape that she wore to the Queen’s luncheon yesterday.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow I’m going to post some final thoughts on The Crown’s second season and we’ll certainly cover any holiday-related news that comes out of Sandringham early next week 🙂