February 16, 2021
The Sussexes’ baby announcement shared on Valentine’s Day is a confident image of defiance that seems to take us inside their love – granny must find it utterly baffling
The Duke of Sussex’s left foot steals the show. His knobbly toes shove themselves into the foreground, bulging out to rhyme with his wife’s baby bump. Misan Harriman, the Nigerian-born photographer and friend of Meghan who took the picture remotely from his home in Woking, has created an unbuttoned romantic pastoral that doesn’t so much rebel against royal portraiture as bring it to an end.
Producing babies has been the primary business of royalty since time immemorial. Harry and Meghan’s new child will be eighth in line to the British throne, but the picture tells us quite flamboyantly the Sussexes are not in Britain and have no desire to be. It is a confident image of defiance. A cup of California dreamin’. The garden looks semi-tropical. Harriman’s preference for black and white gives the sun-kissed lawn a lovely silvery glow that sets the couple almost in a vision of paradise. But at the same time, their intimate casualness – those toes again – is intended to show us they are anchored to the reality that matters.