SARAH VINE: Harry’s and Meghan’s latest announcement was intimate, stylish and with more than a hint of Hollywood
It’s the coldest February since the dawn of time, Britain is facing the biggest recession in 300 years and there’s no chance of a haircut for at least another month – but this morning the nation is waking up to a little bit of California sunshine: Harry and Meghan are having another baby.
This is joyous news indeed, especially after Meghan shared her tragic experience of miscarriage last year.
How exciting to be embarking on this new chapter in their life together and how wonderful to know that Archie will soon have a little brother or sister to keep him company in his adopted land.
True to form, the duke and duchess announced the happy news in their own unique way. No stiff Court circular or bashful press conference, but a stylish black-and-white photo perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day.
A spokesperson confirmed the Duchess is expecting their second child: ‘We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child’
We are mere observers, faces pressed up against the windowpane of their perfect world, privileged for one brief moment to share in their joy
It offers a delightful tableau of the couple as they lounge in the soft, dappled shade of a monochrome lawn, Harry bare-footed (presumably in order to better focus his Earth chakra), Meghan gazing up at him adoringly, tenderly cradling her bump as he tenderly cradles her head.
It’s very much in keeping with previous pictures of the couple at earlier stages of their life together.
Remember that Christmas card of the pair, backs to the camera, gazing up at the fireworks together?
Or the engagement pictures of them strolling arm-in-arm, she leaning into him, the prince gazing down at her as she lovingly clasps his face?
This is very similar: same stylish tones, same relaxed stance. Crucially, there is no direct contact with the viewer. It is as though we are spying on an intimate moment, a snapshot of love at its most spontaneous. The pair only have eyes and smiles for each other. They are so caught up in their emotions everyone and everything else fades into the background.
We are mere observers, faces pressed up against the windowpane of their perfect world, privileged for one brief moment to share in their joy.
If the faces weren’t so familiar, and the styling so elegant, it could easily pass as the poster for a Hollywood blockbuster: ‘He was the handsome prince with a troubled heart; she was the beautiful actress who showed him the way; together they defied convention – and conquered the world.’
The highly stylish 2019 Christmas card featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie
Like all successful influencers – and be in no doubt, the duke and duchess are uber-influencers – Harry and Meghan draw us into their dream, painting a lifestyle for the rest of us to aspire to
But it’s more complicated than that. This is a couple who understand the modern age more than most, who know that true power no longer lies in crowns and palaces, but online and across social media. That it is not actions that define a person, but how they project their image to the world at large and how, ultimately, they are perceived.
Like all successful influencers – and be in no doubt, the duke and duchess are uber-influencers – Harry and Meghan draw us into their dream, painting a lifestyle for the rest of us to aspire to.
It is, however, an extraordinarily intimate image for a couple who, since they stepped back from royal life a year ago, have repeatedly pleaded for privacy.
But we mustn’t complain… As to the rest, there is only one thing to say: with 14 bedrooms at their Montecito estate, at least they won’t have to worry about where to put the night nanny.
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