One royal photographer explains why it’s so hard to get photos of Meghan Markle

As one of the most quintessentially British families to ever grace us with their presence, it’s safe to say that the modern-day Royal Family have taken the world by storm. In fact, members of the Royal Family are some of the most photographed people in the world, and they even have official royal photographers. Cameras follow them around wherever they go, but the newest royal, Meghan Markle, presents even the most veteran photographers with a unique challenge, one they’ve never encountered before.

A royal revelation

The British Royal Family have become a cultural phenomenon over the last decade or so. Royal fever has swept over not only the UK, but it has also spread across the rest of the world and infected people around the globe.

Because of this, magazines and newspapers are constantly getting their paparazzi to snap photographs of the Royals wherever possible – but they don’t get a real insight into their lives. That job is left for the official royal photographers, who apparently aren’t too happy with Meghan Markle right now.

An impossible task

Right now, Meghan Markle is one of the most famous women ever to walk this earth, and it seems as though everyone wants a picture of her. It’s no secret that she’s a former Hollywood actress.

She has previously walked red carpets; she attended high profile events laden with photographers; and she even had a hugely successful Instagram page – so why is it so difficult to get a photograph of the new Duchess of Sussex? Well, the real answer as to why it’s so hard to get photos of Meghan Markle might actually surprise you.

Young Meghan

Like many other women around the world, Meghan had no idea that she would someday don a tiara and spend the Christmas holidays with the Queen.

After her parents welcomed her into the world on August 4, 1981, she spent a large portion of her time on the set of the sitcom, Married… With Children, with her lighting director father. As she got a taste of life on a television set, she soon realized that she wanted to be the one in front of the camera. She wanted to be a star.

Making her mark

However, Meghan also knew that she needed an official education under her belt. Because of this, she enrolled at Northwestern University and obtained her bachelor’s degree in theater and international studies.

After graduation, Meghan made it her mission to become a successful actress. While she managed to bag herself smaller roles that she could add to her acting resume, it wasn’t until she was cast as Rachel Zane in the legal drama, Suits, that she truly made her mark on the world. Meghan Markle had arrived.

Life in the limelight

Amazingly, Meghan Markle maintained her place on Suits for seven years. During that time, she became one of the most successful television actresses in Hollywood, and she built up an impressive fan following.

Everyone knew who Meghan Markle was, and they all wanted her at their parties. Because of this, Meghan was constantly being photographed at the hottest A-list shindigs, frolicking in the ocean during one of her many vacations, or simply running errands around town. As if that wasn’t enough, she also took part in countless photo shoots for magazines and brands.

A new love

While she may have been one of the most recognizable faces in the world, Meghan was soon going to join forces with another who was perhaps even more famous than her. In 2016, a mutual friend of Meghan and Prince Harry set them up on a blind date.

Neither knew what to expect from their blind date, but we can assume that they probably didn’t expect to get married and become one of the most popular couples in the world. As news of their romance made its way into the press, the world began to fall in love with Meghan even more.

The Meghan Effect

In fact, as Meghan integrated herself more and more into the British Royal Family, the more people across the globe began to recognize that she was a style icon.

Her outfits would sell out in seconds, and Pinterest boards were filling up with photos of the new Royal in her many dress coats and gowns. She isn’t the first royal to have such an effect on the world, though. Before the “Meghan Effect” there was the “Kate Effect,” and experts suggest that the Duchess of Cambridge brings a whopping $1 billion to the British fashion market each year.

A modern look

So, why does everyone love Meghan’s style so much? One of the main reasons the world has fallen in love with Meghan and her choice of clothing so much is because it hasn’t changed a huge amount since when she was a famous actress.

She has always opted for a modern and chic look that is also extremely comfortable. By wearing some of the most on-trend outfits that many could pick up in stores near them, Meghan has quickly become one of the most relatable Royals for wannabe Duchesses around the globe.

A familiarity

Fashion editors Christine O’Brien and Amanda Dishaw have had their say on the Duchess of Sussex, and they know exactly why Meghan has won us all over.

As one of the newest additions to the Royal Family, she has used her experience within the world of Hollywood to bring us modern fashion that is perfect for the 21st Century woman. She has redefined what it means to be a Royal and has brought her fashion down to the level of those who follow her story and her photographs online. As fans, we can easily dress like Meghan.

The Royal Rookie

Although newspapers and magazines often send out their best photographers to snap the new Duchess, it’s down to the likes of Tim Rooke to capture the family in their own personal elements.

Tim Rooke works for Shutterstock as an official royal photographer, and he has been following the family for much of his career. In fact, Prince Harry has even given him the friendly nickname of “Rookie.” Thanks to his years of experience, Rookie is used to capturing the best sides of his subjects. Meghan, however, is a whole new kettle of fish.

Not a fashion shot

While it’s Tim’s job to capture photographs of the Royal Family as a group, he’s also expected to capture glamour shots – mostly of the women – so that they can adorn fashion magazines across the globe.

However, he has noted that it is almost impossible to capture a solo fashion shot of Meghan Markle. Why? Well, it’s because she apparently is permanently standing next to Prince Harry’s side. Because the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex are madly in love, they are rarely seen apart. This makes photographing them apart extremely difficult.

Always with Harry

The idea behind a fashion shot is that fashion fans across the world can inspect what their favorite celebrity is wearing, from head to toe. Similar to a red carpet photograph, this will be a full-length photo of the subject on their own.

It’s quite simple, really. Yet, as Meghan and Harry bask in their new marriage, Tim has noticed that they have rarely spent any time away from each other. When they leave the house, they almost always hold hands or lovingly gaze into their eyes. This means there is always some cropping involved.

Rare opportunities

Tim Rooke has actually noted that he has struggled to get fashion shots of Meghan for this exact reason. Every time he has tried to snap her latest outfit, he has always had to deal with the fact that Prince Harry is standing right beside her.

He has confessed that he has only been able to snap a shot of the Duchess during “big event pieces.” Tim has rarely had this problem in the past because Meghan and Harry are seemingly much more affectionate than Harry’s older brother and sister-in-law.

New levels

In fact, Rooke maintains that he’s “Not seen this much affection between two royal in my decades of shooting.” He has never had problems like this with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Although the world knows that they are in love and have a wonderful family together, they have rarely held hands in public or been quite as affectionate as Meghan and Harry. Rookie believes that this is because William has more pressure on his shoulders, as he comes before Harry in the line to the throne.

Sixth in line

It’s no secret that Prince Harry is now sixth in line to the throne, which means that there is little chance that he will ever be king. However, his older brother is currently second in line – and the world is now waiting for Wills to take his seat on the Royal throne.

Because of this, Prince William’s actions are often judged by the eyes of the world. They are scrutinized right down to the finest detail, and it’s believed that William is much more careful about his public perception.

No rules about it

It seems as though Prince William has chosen to be more reserved when it comes to his public appearances, and rarely shows affection towards his wife. However, there are no official rules about affection within the Royal Family.

According to the lengthy rulebook, the Princes are within their rights to be as affectionate or as distant as they want with their spouses – but it’s fair to say that their grandmother has set a rather distant precedent. Her husband always walks behind her, and they have rarely been caught holding hands or kissing in public.

Security risks

Meghan is not just any celebrity these days, she’s a member of the Royal Family. And while they may not be involved in affecting laws anymore, there are still people who find the concept of royals to be controversial in this day and age.

This means that at any given time there could be active threats against the royal family, which now includes Meghan. So, it’s unlikely she’ll ever be left without security where someone could catch her alone.

Covering up a secret?

Meghan and Harry tied the knot less than a year after they announced their engagement, which some people felt might be a little rushed. Were they trying to cover up something? Was Meghan already pregnant?

The rumors continued after the wedding, with all eyes glued to her stomach. People have been on baby bump watch for a quite a while, which is something that could make Meghan and Harry uncomfortable. So it’s understandable that she wouldn’t want to be too exposed to scrutiny by photographers.

Keeping baby safe

On October 15, Meghan and Harry officially announced to the world that they did indeed have a little one on the way, due to arrive this coming spring.

Pregnancies aren’t always easy, and Meghan will eventually have to slow down as she her pregnancy advances. The most important thing right now for them will be ensuring the health and safety of their awaited child, and dealing with paparazzi and tons of photographs over time may interfere with that.

When the time comes

Right now we have all become accustomed to seeing Meghan pose with Harry, but once their baby is born, Meghan will likely be seen with the baby quite often for a while.

From the moment it’s born, many of the higher up royals are now expected to present their baby at the hospital. We all remember the iconic pictures of Princess Diana holding baby William and then baby Harry. When Kate Middleton gave birth to her children she also presented them to the world on the hospital steps.

Protecting children

It’s not just Meghan they will have to worry about with their new addition. Growing up in the public eye can be very tricky, and the Royal Family tries to do all they can to protect the children in the family.

While they know that the public wants to see the young royals, they have a very strict policy that no unauthorized photos of the children are allowed. In 2015, the public had to once again be reminded this after incidents where Prince George and Princess Charlotte were facing harassment by paparazzi.

Remembering the danger

The Royal Family is quite sensitive to being harrassed by the paparazzi, particularly because the memory of Princess Diana’s death, and how it happened, still lingers in their collective consciousness.

Diana was tragically killed in a car crash when her driver was driving at high speeds to avoid paparazzi who following them aggressively. The behavior of the photographers involved in the accident, brought about a massive public outcry, and was a big wake up call to everyone about the potential dangers of pursuing a photograph.

Changing the way things are done

Princess Diana was “the people’s princess,” and everyone was devastated by her death. The British press decided they could never let something like this happen again, and they needed to put forth new regulations about photographing the family and other celebrities.

The UK’s Press Complaints Commission made it clear that behavior like this would not be tolerated. They even added an additional clause to their code of conduct explaining that “intimidation, harassment, or persistent pursuit” is totally forbidden. So, we hope no photographer will be pursuing Meghan for the perfect solo picture.

Past attacks on Meghan

However, back in 2016 when Meghan and Harry were just dating, Meghan did face some difficult issues from the media. She was the victim of harsh harassment online on various sites, by both journalists and the public.

This had been deeply upsetting to both Meghan and Harry, and it prompted Harry to come out with a public statement about it. He issued a plea for Meghan not to be subjected to such treatment, and that it was something the two of them took quite seriously.

Kate’s breach of privacy

Kate has also faced her share of difficulties with paparazzi, which even led to an all our battle in court. In 2012, while on vacation with Prince William in France, a few paparazzis with long lens cameras took pictures of the Duchess topless, and published them in a magazine.

This was a huge breach of privacy for both Kate and William, and something they were very upset about. The decided to take the magazine, and the photographers, to court, and were ultimately awarded over 100,000 Euro for the trouble.

Freedom of Information Act

In 2000, the British government put into effect the Freedom of Information Act, which states that essentially everyone has the right to request information from public authorities, and that the public authorities should be obligated to be public about some of their own information.

However, it was decided that Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, her children, and grandchildren, would all be exempt from this law. Meaning that Harry, and by extension Meghan, do indeed have some protection from people knowing everything about them.

Editors’ Code of Practice

In the UK there is a group that regulates printed press, which collectively agrees to abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice when it comes to the Royal Family. In fact, they’ve even issues warnings when some in the press have strayed from it.

Two of the big points in the code that we’re sure Meghan, Harry, and the rest of the family appreciate are their right to privacy at home and with family. Additionally, the rules regarding harassment set forth after Diana’s death are also enforced under the code.

A new generation

Back in the 1950s, the Queen and her family debated whether or not it would even be appropriate for them to do things like allow public tours of the palace, or have the Queen do a televised Christmas speech.

These days things are quite different, and we have a whole new generation of royals who own smartphones and everything. The family now has their very own social media manager to handle their presence, meaning that they are much more involved in their public image and there’s less mystery for paparazzis to uncover.

She’s not alone

While Meghan Markle may feel a little downtrodden that she hasn’t spotted any solo photographs of herself in Vogue Magazine, she can rest easy knowing that she isn’t the only person Tim Rooke struggles to photograph.

He has noted that most photographers find it difficult to snap every single member of the Royal Family. Because they are constantly on the move and their staff are one step ahead of the game, it’s sometimes impossible to predict their next move – even at high-profile events where they are the special guests for the night.

A special day

Of course, there’s no doubt about the fact that Tim Rooke was present during the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018.

Guests and camera crews from across the world descended upon Windsor Castle for their special day, and the newlywed couple have since taken their new roles very seriously. As the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they have since attended countless Royal events, such as Prince Charles’ 70th birthday bash, and the famous Trooping of the Color. Yes, it’s fair to say that they are rocking it.

Still in love

Although photographers struggle to take photographs of Meghan Markle on her own, we can’t imagine that she would be too upset with the reason. After all, why wouldn’t she want to stay close to her husband?

The world knows that they are in love, and it seems as though the man who spoke at their wedding, Bishop Michael Curry, could also see that their love was 100% real. He noted that their love showed the world just how powerful “unselfish love” can be, and how much of an impact it can have on the world.

Official photos

Yet, Bishop Curry and Tim Rooke aren’t the only people to notice just how loved up they are in the flesh. Alexi Lubomirski had the pleasure of photographing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official engagement photographs – and it’s safe to say that he did an incredible job.

These photos made the rounds on social media and soon became some of the most famous photographs of all time, and Alexi had just one thing to say about the couple. He noted that they were “deliciously in love.” Well, that’s adorable.

An honor

Since taking their official engagement photos, Alexi has been inundated with work and is now a household name in the photography world.

However, he will always remember the day that he got to not only meet the Royal couple, but also take their official engagement photographs that will go down in history. In this instance, the fact that they just can’t seem to be apart from each other seemed to work in their favor – because it made the world fall in love with them even more.


Usually if a member of the Royal Family is out in public it means they are attending to official royal obligations. This could mean anything from making appearances at Wimbledon, to attending state functions, or having meetings with specific groups.

There’s usually more than one royal at such events, so catching one of the alone is unlikely. Meghan knew that when she said yes to marrying Harry, that these were the types of things she was signing on to.

Keeping up appearances

Becoming a royal changed Meghan’s life in a lot of ways, and not just because of the new security. While no celebrity wants to be caught in an unfortunate position, the expectations of behavior for actresses and duchesses are pretty different.

The Royal Family has an important image to maintain, and they don’t need Meghan messing it up. So, she is probably being super careful when she is out and about in front of the cameras, and we don’t blame her.


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been in the spotlight now for quite a while, so it’s easy forget that they’ve still only been married for five months.

The happy couple is still basking in that newlywed glow, and it’s obvious just from the looks of adoration on their faces. Many jokes have been made over the years about how newlyweds rarely want to leave their new spouse’s side, and Meghan and Harry can probably relate to that sentiment. Who doesn’t want to spend time with the person they love?