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Racy and Lacy: Meghan Markle’s £56,000 Ralph & Russo Engagement Gown

Sitting pretty: Official engagement photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle taken at Frogmore House in Windsor | KENSINGTON PALACE/ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI

Prince Harry and his American fiancee Suits actress Meghan Markle released a series of portraits on Thursday (December 21) by New York-based fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski to mark their engagement. And the photos went down a storm that Kensington Palace subsequently released a third bonus black and white candid portrait with the couple in a full-length pose.

A spokesperson expressed the engaged couple’s gratitude on Instagram: “Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments following the release of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle’s engagement photographs.

Sweeping views: A third official engagement photo released by Kensington Palace of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at Frogmore House in Windsor, December 21, 2017. Portraits believed to have been shot in the week commencing December 17, 2017 | ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI/KENSINGTON PALACE

‘The couple are so grateful for the warm and generous messages they have received during such a happy time in their lives. As a way to say thank you, they have decided to share this candid photograph from the day of their portrait sittings directly with all of you.”

Lubomirski, a former Mario Testino assistant, famed for his photos of Harry’s mother Princess Diana, took the pictures at the royal retreat of Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle, west of London, where the couple are due to marry on 19 May, 2018.

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Lubomirski who is well-known in fashion circles cooed: “It was an incredible honour to be asked to document this wonderful event, but also a great privilege to be invited to share and be a witness to this young couple’s love for one another.

“I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together.

“A huge thank you to His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Ms Markle, for allowing me to take their official engagement portraits.”

Bridal wardrobe: A model presents a wedding dress by Australian designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo as part of their haute couture Fall/Winter 2017/2018 collection show for Ralph & Russo in Paris, France, July 3, 2017

The £56,000-gown was by Ralph and Russo, the London couture house renowned for its show stopping bridal and red carpet dresses. It is the go-to label for A-list celebrities and Hollywood royalty. Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Blake Lively have all been seen in its creations. Markle also dressed down in a cashmere jumper by Victoria Beckham, another British designer she has reportedly grown close to since relocating to the UK. They are said to share beauty tips and live just a few miles apart in west London, the Beckhams in nearby Holland Park and Markle with fiancee Prince Harry in Kensington.

A-list: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives wearing a custom Ralph & Russo pink one sleeve gown at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2015

Australian husband and wife design duo Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, who opened their UK-based brand in 2007, are one of the favourite couture labels tipped to land the most-sought after bridal fashion commission of 2018. The label is just one of the few British houses granted the honour of showing its collections at the annual Paris couture shows. The gown Markle chose for the main portrait comes from its autumn/winter 2016 range. It features a sheer top, embellished with gold fern leaves and a ruffled silk skirt.

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