Meghan Markle Helps Take the 'Pressure Off' Prince Harry's Public Duties, Royal Photographer Says (Exclusive)

By
Tim Rooke

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are just as adorable in person as they are in photos.

ET recently caught up with Shutterstock royal photographer Tim Rooke, who gave us some insight on what it's like to be just inches away from the engaged couple during their public outings.

Tim, who has been photographing the British royal family for decades, has spent the past few months following Meghan and Harry's journey to the altar. Based on what he's observed thus far, he believes the brunette beauty is adapting to her new regal life in London quite flawlessly.

"I think she's done very well," Tim said of the former Suits star, who gave up Hollywood for British royalty. "It must be very strange to go from being an actress to becoming a member of the royal family. I'm sure people still want to meet her as an actress, but as a member of the royal family, she has to do things in a certain way."

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

"She's now surrounded by security, so it must be very different," he added. "It must be quite difficult for her, but she seems to have acquitted herself very well so far. And it's great for us, because it's [a new person] of interest to photograph."

And it's clear Meghan is head over heels for the 33-year-old royal. "She does look at Harry quite lovingly," Tim said of how the Los Angeles native shows subtle signs of passion around her fiancé in public. "They just look quite good as a couple together."

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

In fact, Tim says that both of them seem to be quite affectionate towards one another. "They're always holding hands and looking at each other," he shared.

Tim Rooke

With all of the royal duties Harry's expected to attend each year, Tim says it's probably a relief for Harry to have someone by his side. "When I photograph him, he's always great with the crowd, great with kids. I suppose it takes a bit of pressure off him to have someone else there with him," Tim said, adding that he thinks it's "great" that Harry seems to be so happy whenever Meghan's around. "He's always very cheery ... I mean, she's gorgeous, isn't she? And I'd be happier if I was getting married, as well!"

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Tim tells ET that he was one of the lucky photographers who was given the opportunity to photograph both Prince William and Kate Middleton and Harry and Meghan's engagement photo calls. He said that although they were "both equally good," he preferred the way Harry and Meghan's was done.

"For William and Kate's photo call, I was inside the palace. It was a bit more formal," he explained. "Harry and Meghan's photo call was in the grounds of the palace gardens, and that allowed the palace to invite a lot more photographers. In a way, I preferred Harry and Meghan's photo call because it was outside in natural light and not using strobes."

Tim Rooke

Next up, Tim will be on hand at St. George's Chapel on May 19 to capture some of the first photos of Meghan and Harry as newlyweds. Though his exact position is yet to be determined (he'll find out in two weeks!), he's hoping to nab one of the coveted front row photographer's seats, which he had when he shot the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011. Due to the different venues, he believes Harry and Meghan's nuptials will have a more "intimate" vibe.

"St. George's Chapel is a much more intimate and private venue than Westminster Abbey, so it seems we'll be a lot closer to them than we were for William and Kate's," he explained. "If I'm in the right spot, I should be able to get some really great pictures."

At the same time, he doesn't think Harry and Meghan's special day will differ entirely from how William and Kate's went down. "It's still a royal wedding," Tim said. "The royals are so steeped in tradition and ceremony, so it will still run a certain way." 

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

"I was certainly nervous before William and Kate's wedding. There's was on a much bigger scale," he revealed. "There's the obvious things [you do to prepare]… you obviously have to check that your equipment is working, you go check out the venue. I went to Westminster Abbey before to work out which lenses I would need, what the distances were, things like that, so when the wedding actually happens, you get it right. If you get it wrong, you're not going to get a second chance."

As Kensington Palace announced, Harry and Meghan's wedding service will begin promptly at 12 p.m. GMT (7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT) on May 19. Tim tells ET he will probably be in his designated position around 9 a.m. GMT. From there, it's all a waiting game in hopes of getting the perfect shot.

"I'll need to be sure all the equipment is working, and then just wait for that picture midday and hope it's in focus," he said, laughing. "You can never be too prepared."

Hear more on everything we know about the royal wedding (so far!) in the video below. And be sure to keep up with all of ET's coverage of the royal family right here as we count down to Harry and Meghan's nuptials.

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