Royal Engagement Photos Through the Years
Look back at some of the British monarchy's most famous relationships through the lens of these special portraits.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren't the only royal couple to present the masses with photos following their engagement announcement. In fact, their portraits are part of a long history of snapshots of future spouses in the British monarchy. From King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to their great-granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, and her fiancé Jack Brooksbank, we're taking a closer look at regal romances throughout the years.
Royal engagement photos aren't always as styled as Harry and Markle's, which is at least in part due to the fact that their post-proposal portraits were captured by a celebrity and fashion photographer. Nonetheless, their images have a few things in common with portraits past. Everyone got dressed up for the occasion, posing for the camera was a given, and flashing the engagement ring is almost always standard. Still, it seems as though there's no cookie-cutter formula when it comes to taking the royal pictures. Some couples went a more reserved route, for example, while others let their personalities shine. Either way, the significant snapshots offer a closer look at these famous relationships (not to mention some extravagant engagement rings).
Click through this gallery to see photos of your favorite royals—including Prince William and Duchess Kate—after their marriage proposals and compare the images to see how the tradition has evolved over the years. As you're browsing, learn a little more about past royal couples and let their post-proposal snaps inspire your own engagement session. Just because you don't live in a palace or have a fancy title, doesn't mean that you can't draw inspiration from them.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles
This photo was taken just after the Prince of Wales revealed that he'd be marrying Parker-Bowles in February 2005. The Duchess of Cornwall became his second wife after Diana, Princess of Wales.
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones
The brother of Prince Charles (and the Earl of Wessex) held hands with his then-fiancée, the current Countess of Wessex, for their portraits. The engagement session followed their January 1999 announcement.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Ferguson (a.k.a. the Duchess of York) put her ring on display as she walked arm-in-arm with the Duke of York, Prince Charles' other brother. The two shared their engagement in March 1986 and went on to wed that same year. After a decade of marriage, however, they got divorced.
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer
After this February 1981 portrait, Spencer married the Duke of Wales, became the Princess of Wales, and had her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones
Armstrong-Jones' expression said it all in this photograph, which came after their engagement in February 1960. His marriage to the Countess of Snowdon (and the sister of Queen Elizabeth II) made him an earl.
Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, made their engagement official in July 1947. The announcement preceded this happy snapshot.
George VI, the Duke of York, and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Before Queen Elizabeth II came Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, her mother. She got engaged to George VI, the Duke of York, in January 1923—this photo was captured after the annoucement. The pair would go on to be King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.