Were Those Newly Released Photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a Direct Response to the Royal Family’s Recent Portrait?

Two photos of the Sussexes were released within 48 hours of one very important royal photo at Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

One week ago, Buckingham Palace released its first joint portrait of the new King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. Missing not just from the photo but from the event it was taken at—a reception for global leaders and royals around the world, held at Buckingham Palace the night before the Queen’s funeral—was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Just two days later, on Monday, photographer Misan Harriman released two photos of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex taken on September 5 at the One Young World Summit—one of the engagements the couple undertook in the U.K. the week before the Queen’s death on September 8. The timing of the release of the photos raised eyebrows and, according to Page Six, the Sussexes released the photos to humiliate the royal family. 

“It was all about, we’re back now on course to build Brand Meghan and the book, the Netflix series, the podcast,” biographer Tom Bower tells the outlet. (Bower’s most recent book is Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War Between the Windsors.) “Everything is money. And to their advantage, they were in the public eye for seven days during the funeral or more, every day they were filmed.”

Bower, obviously no great fan of Meghan’s, says “you know, she has really got one interest and that’s Meghan, and the casualties are the royal family and, as far as she’s concerned, that’s terrific.”

Bower also told Page Six that, as opposed to the Platinum Jubilee—where the Sussexes were barely seen—“they were center stage” at the funeral events, which spanned from Her late Majesty’s death on September 8 to her funeral on September 19.

Back stateside now, Harry and Meghan were spotted out for date night at a Jack Johnson concert in Santa Barbara this week. Harriman—who also photographed the couple’s pregnancy photos announcing the impending arrival of daughter Lilibet in 2021—says the couple are “absolute soulmates.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.