As a former actress, Meghan Markle is certainly no stranger to the camera. And she’s naturally being photographed more than ever following her marriage to Prince Harry. But one royal photographer has revealed the reason that it’s actually surprisingly tough to get a decent shot of her.
Meghan Markle came into the world on August 4, 1981, in Los Angeles, and she grew up around the television industry. That’s because her father was a lighting director, and Markle used to visit the set of Married… with Children. She then subsequently decided that she wanted to become an actress.
The now 36-year-old started out with small roles after studying at Northwestern University. Then, a few years later, Markle was cast as Rachel Zane in Suits. It was her first leading role and the part that made her famous.
Markle appeared on the hit series from 2011 to 2018. And during that time, she obviously became accustomed to being on camera. Certainly, the actress would take part in photoshoots and modeled for her own clothing collection in addition to her duties on the show.
While she was working on Suits, Markle also met Prince Harry. Indeed, the pair started dating in 2016 and became engaged in November 2017. At the same time, Markle announced that she was quitting acting. By that point, though, she was already considered a style icon.
Naturally, then, items that Markle wore as part of an everyday outfit or to a royal event started to sell out. This also happens with Kate Middleton, who is thought to be responsible for generating $1 billion in profits for the British fashion industry each year. With Markle, however, the phenomenon has been dubbed the “Meghan effect.”
Blog editors Amanda Dishaw and Christine O’Brien Ross explained why Markle’s style is so popular. “Meghan is quickly becoming a fashion icon. Her style is modern and on-trend, while still remaining down-to-earth and relatable,” they told The Independent.
Dishaw and O’Brien Ross continued, “People love that her style is familiar, and we could dress in similar outfits for our every day, ‘non-royal’ lives. She has an extremely high profile, thanks to her new husband-to-be, and she is using that to showcase what a 21st-century woman looks like.” But despite that, it seems that it’s not easy to get a decent fashion shot of the star.
This is according to Shutterstock’s royal photographer Tim Rooke, who has been shooting the family for years – and has even been given the nickname “Rookie” by Prince Harry. In May 2018 he told InStyle magazine that Markle’s relationship with the prince was the reason why she was so difficult to photograph at official engagements.
You see, a fashion photograph would usually be a solo shot of the subject. But with Markle, it’s apparently rarely possible to capture one. That’s because she’s reportedly never far from Harry’s side – and the pair are extremely affectionate whenever they’re together.
“Ms. Markle and Prince Harry are very much in love. In fact, it’s hard for me to capture a picture of them each alone because they always either locked in each other’s gazes or joined hands,” Rooke said. “We like to get fashion shots of what she’s wearing on these occasions, but they are often hard to get because she’s always holding Harry’s hand, making it difficult to get the full fashion shot without cropping out her arm.” Indeed, Rooke revealed that he hadn’t had much chance to get a solo photograph of the Duchess of Sussex.
“I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to photograph Meghan yet. I’ve mostly only been able to capture her on big event pieces,” Rooke told the magazine. And he pointed out that the couple are much more prone to public displays of affection than Kate and William.
“That being said, I’ve not seen this much affection between two royals in my decades of shooting,” Rooke added. “Compared to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, they are much more affectionate in public, which could be attributed to the different pressures placed on William as the next in line to become king.” In fact, this is something that has been discussed by fans and royal experts alike.
After all, Markle is often seen cuddling, holding and kissing Harry in public. It’s thought that this is because Harry is sixth in line to the throne and therefore less closely scrutinized than his brother. It has also been suggested that because William is set to become the future king of England, he may feel the need to be more reserved.
Still, there is no protocol that dictates that royal couples cannot be affectionate toward each other. However, it seems that the Queen set a certain standard in this regard. Nevertheless, Rooke said whether or not they are loving in public, the royal family are not easy to photograph.
“You can’t always predict where the royal subjects might go at an event, so it’s quite hard to anticipate the best position before the event,” Rooke told InStyle. “So much of what you photograph depends on what job you get to do. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not.”
So Rooke was no doubt present when Markle married Prince Harry in a star-studded ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018. And the pair have already commenced their royal duties as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Indeed, the couple have attended events including the Trooping of the Colour and a garden party for the 70th birthday of Prince Charles.
While Markle’s close relationship with Harry may affect the way in which she is photographed from a fashion standpoint, their fans certainly don’t seem to mind. And Bishop Michael Curry, who gave a sermon at their wedding, said they appeared very much in love. “Their love, even if it was just for a few moments, showed us the power of what unselfish love that gives itself to another can actually do,” he told Us Weekly.
So when it comes to taking snapshots of them as a couple, it seems Markle and Harry are a lot easier to shoot. Photographer Alexi Lubomirski took the duo’s engagement photos at Frogmore House and commented on how “deliciously in love” they were. Lubomirski was then asked to take their official wedding photos and was clearly honored.
Lubomirski revealed that the experience was something he would treasure forever. “It has been an incredible honor and privilege to document the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s inspiring journey of love, hope and family – from the engagement photos, all the way through to the official wedding and family portraits on Saturday,” he said in a statement. “This has been a beautiful chapter in my career and life that I will happily never forget.”