Mental note: Find this photographer for the engagement session. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official engagement portrait session was revealed by Kensington Palace on Thursday, December 21, and the couple tapped fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski for the intimate and tender snapshots now seen around the world.
“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 via Kensington Palace. “I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together.”
The first pic is more formal and shows Markle in an intricate feathered ball gown featuring a sheer bodice, reportedly designed by couture fashion house Ralph & Russo. The actress leans comfortably against Harry, who looks handsome in a tailored blue suit. According to the palace, the images were taken at the Frogmore House in Windsor, a few days before its release. The timing worked out well for the couple, who joined the Queen at Windsor for her annual Christmas staff luncheon that same weekend.
The second shot from the engagement session shows the pair outdoors. Markle looks cozy in a soft white sweater and grins as she holds her ring hand to the prince’s face. Meanwhile, Prince Harry dashingly attempts to shield her from the cold with his coat.
Due to popular demand, the palace ended up releasing one final photo–a candid of the couple–walking along the grounds of the estate. “Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments following the release of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s engagement photographs,” the palace wrote on behalf of the pair. “The couple are so grateful for the warm and generous messages they have received during such a happy time in their lives. 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.”
Meanwhile, Lubomirski’s story is equally fascinating. The photographer (of Peruvian, English, French and Polish descent) was raised in Botswana, a country near and dear to Harry’s heart. The African country is where the couple first fell in love and the same place where the prince sourced the center stone for Markle’s ring. Along with his interesting upbringing, Lubomirski later discovered that he’s of Polish royal lineage, making him a prince of sorts as well.
Now a professional photographer, Lubomirski fell into the trade at a young age thanks to his stepfather. After years of passionately pursuing his hobby, he ultimately met famed shutterbug Mario Testino, who just happened to take Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s photos. Testino, a celebrity favorite, was also favored by the late Princess Diana. Lubomirski was Testino’s assistant for several years before embarking on his own journey.
Harry and Markle, who joined the royal family for Christmas Day service in Sandringham, will marry on May 19, 2018, at Windsor. Stay tuned with The Knot for all the latest royal engagement and wedding news.