British Royal Family

How does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's engagement shoot compare to other royal couples?

These rebel hearts don't give two hoots about royal protocol!

By Bella Brennan

In just a matter of days we get to watch the ultimate hellraiser-turned-husband, Prince Harry, marry the woman of his dreams, Hollywood actress Meghan Markle.

While we count down the seconds until we get to see every single new wedding photo, let's look back to December when the palace released a ground-breaking set of stunning images to celebrate Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle.

All these months later and we still can't get enough of the album. From the way he looks at her, which has prompted a deluge of "find a man who looks at you the way Harry looks at Meghan" memes, to the complete and utter love and sizzling chemistry literally seeping out of their pores - these two are the real deal and it doesn't take a body language expert to see that.

In fact, the couple loved these photos so much they've asked the photographer Alexi Lubomirski back to be the official snapper for their big day. That's right, the world is being gifted with an entire wedding shoot in this smouldering style - and we can't wait!

But royal watchers have also pointed out just how much of a departure these engagement shots are from the more formal and stilted imagery of past royal engagements.

Keen to do things their own way, Meghan and Harry continue to throw out the royal rule book and just keep coming out with surprises.

"I've never seen imagery like it and they're really breaking the mould this couple," Camilla Tominey editor of Sunday Express in London told Today.

"[Meghan's] outfit is quite sexy for a portrait that's going to be forever in the annals of history," she added of the sheer Ralph & Russo gown, who are also rumoured to be designing her wedding dress.

So, how exactly does Meghan and Harry's engagement shoot stack up compared to their senior counterparts?

Keep scrolling to see just how much things have changed!

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, 1947

This was the first official photograph released of Princess Elizabeth and her fiance, Philip Mountbatten, at Buckingham Palace back in 1947.

There's no denying the pair look happy and having rung in their 70th wedding anniversary last year, their relationship has stood the test of time and the small added of pressure of the business of being royal.

But it's interesting to note Elizabeth and Philip aren't even touching or making direct eye contact with one another - an accurate reflection of the conservative era they were a part of.

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana, 1981

Widely slated as one of the most disastrous engagement interviews of all time after the reporter asked the couple if they were in love.

A wide-eyed Diana Spencer, only 19 at the time, eagerly responded: "Of course!"

Then Prince Charles coldly replied: "Whatever in love means."

A haunting prelude of things to come.

Sadly, the couple's turbulent marriage didn't last, and the fact they had only met 13 times before announcing their engagement shines through in this somewhat awkward-looking portrait.

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Prince William and Duchess Catherine, 2010

When high-fashion photographer Mario Testino photographed Prince William and Duchess Catherine in 2010 to mark their engagement, at the time the images were considered to be groundbreaking as they showed the future King like never before - in love and beaming.

Seven years on and comparing the two albums, so much has changed! For a start, the whole tone of Meghan and Harry's photo shoot is sexy, glamorous and CRAZY in love.

Like Wills and Kate, Meghan and Harry have opted for a close-up shot of a warm embrace, where the bride-to-be can flash her engagement ring.

But Prince Harry - who is well known for wearing his heart on his sleeve - has upped the ante by sweetly nuzzling Meghan's face.

Prince William and Duchess Catherine instead cuddled cheek-to-cheek in a more traditional stance.

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Harry and Meghan's attire is also much more upmarket compared to the Cambridges. 36-year-old Meghan dazzles in a Ralph & Russo sheer gown, worth an eye-watering $97,000, before slipping into a Victoria Beckham overcoat, while Harry dons a dapper suit and Burberry coat.

For their portraits, Kate wore a Whistles top in one look and then a Reiss dress and jacket for the other - both high street brands that your average Josephine could purchase.

Prince William kept it casual in a shirt and jumper before changing into a more formal shoot.

In the Cambridges' second photo, the atmosphere is much more formal and they can be seen embracing in the Council Chamber in the State Apartment of St James's Palace.

It's a far cry from the scenes we have of Meghan and her prince gallivanting around the grounds of Frogmore House in their ballgown and suit.

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"In the more formal photographs, Meghan chose an elegant, dramatic ballgown, while Kate chose a simple, trendy white dress. This clearly shows the difference in their lives before becoming royal," Meghan's Mirror editor Christine Ross told E! News.

"Meghan looks ready for the red carpet, or a Vogue photo shoot, while Kate looks ready for a visit to Ascot or dinner with friends in London."

Never has the saying "different strokes for different folks" been more apt!

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