"The pregnancy announcement came as a wonderful surprise after a particularly difficult time for the duchess," royal expert Katie Nicholl tells ET. "She'd been through a High Court case against the Mail on Sunday and just a few days before the pregnancy announcement, she won that privacy court case. So a big, big victory for Meghan."
Nicholl adds that the couple's photograph comes at a happy time for them both.
"I think that picture sums up not only the joy between this couple who are expecting their second baby, but a sense of lightness, a sense of relief," she shares. "It's such a relaxed picture, it's such an usual picture for a royal pregnancy announcement. And I think that's largely because it is just so relaxed and laid back."
The photo was taken in the back garden of the couple's mansion in Montecito, California, by Harriman, who used an iPad while he was in the United Kingdom and they were in California.
"I think it's just that natural beauty and natural ease that really strikes you as this being a very special photograph," Nicholl adds.
Though the world may have been surprised by the news that the duchess is expecting, Nicholl says that the royal family is not.
"I’m told by sources that both the duke and duchess did call their family back in the U.K., the queen and Prince of Wales and I understand the Duke of Cambridge as well, they were all told the happy news before it was made public," Nicholl says of Queen Elizabeth II, Harry's father, Prince Charles, and Harry's brother, Prince William. "And it's something that the royal family has been celebrating. The queen, to be expecting a ninth great grandchild is wonderful news, it has made her very happy, and, of course, Prince Charles to be a grandfather for the fifth time."
Photographer Harriman spoke about the shoot Tuesday while on Good Morning America, saying, "You don't even see the image, you feel it. They are lost in each other. And the tree in the background and just life growing around them is incredibly powerful and symbolic."