Must be nice to be a royal-to-be! Prince Harry and his stunning fiancée, Meghan Markle, revealed their official engagement photos on Thursday, Dec. 21 — and the series of pics are beyond gorgeous. After the newly-engaged couple released the portraits on the Kensington Palace Instagram account, many royal fans took special notice of Meghan's non-traditional, sheer, black and gold dress. "Meghan Markle’s dress though? #Need #Want," one person wrote on Twitter with another adding on Instagram, "Pictures are stunning and that dress.❤️"
The bespoke frock was designed by British high-fashion house Ralph & Russo and previously appeared in the brand's Fall 2016 couture collection. And, the pretty dress cost the royal family a pretty penny — it's reportedly worth a whopping $75,000! Though many people couldn't get enough of Meghan's gown, others thought the ensemble's price tag was utterly ridiculous. "[That cost] is obscene by any standards anywhere," one person wrote. Some individuals thought the dress' sheer décolletage and sleeves were far too revealing for a royal to wear. "Not chic or sophisticated to dress in a sheer top for a royal engagement photo," one person Tweeted.
The embellished gown is definitely a far cry from the dress Meghan's future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, wore in her 2010 engagement portraits with now-husband Prince William. At the time, Kate donned a much more demure, white dress designed by Reiss. During both photoshoots, Prince Harry and Prince William similarly donned dapper suits that nicely complemented their ladies' outfits. Some fans were also quick to point how romantic Harry and Meghan's photos looked compared to William and Kate's. The Duke and Duchess looked perfectly proper in their pics while Harry and Meghan showed off a little more PDA.
"Harry is clearly openly happy to let the rest of the world know how happy and in love he is and Meghan's high levels of confidence seem to have allowed him to sidestep the normal formality of a royal romance and show a far more intimate side of their relationship," body language expert Judy James told the Daily Mail. Harry and Meghan's pics are also the first royal engagement portraits to be released in black and white since the introduction of color photography — so cool, right?!
So, why did Meghan choose such a glitzy look for these official portraits? According to Meghan's Mirror editor Christine Ross, Meghan is trying to "create her own path" in the royal family. "Meghan chose a glamorous designer ballgown for the photos, which is a departure from royal engagement photos of the past," she told E! News. "Most royals try to appear more accessible and casual in these photos, but Meghan did things her own way and donned a sparkling gown instead. It shows that she is going to create her own path as a royal and, even in a formal gown, she is still just Meghan — that down-to-earth girl from LA." One thing is for sure — the new pics of Harry and Meghan are to die for!
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