On Thursday, Kensington Palace shared Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's official engagement photos and the Internet went into meltdown mode.
Many royal watchers claim that the photographs signal a cooler, younger, more contemporary era for the royal family, just as their union does.
- As many will recall, Prince Harry had to issue an official statement chiding members of the media and the public for their "sexist" and "racist" comments about Markle, who is a biracial divorced American actress, four characteristics that set her apart from what British people may have expected from Harry's potential mate.
- The photographs were shot by Alexi Lubomirski, a rising fashion photographer. The images resemble a fashion shoot in their composition and flavor, a departure from typically formal royal portraits. In one, the focus is on her as she gazes directly at the camera. In another, she is sensually wrapped up in his jacket.
- Markle's dress, a couture dress from Ralph & Russo that costs about $75,000, was also surprising, considering its transparent mesh top and offbeat ruffled skirt. And is that a hipster beard on Prince Harry? Why yes. Yes it is.
- And while all eyes are on the couple, something Princess Michael of Kent-who has been accused of racism in the past-wore to Wednesday's annual pre-Christmas royal lunch at Buckingham Palace is getting attention too. The brooch appears to feature a caricature of a person of African descent, and social media has taken note.