Prince Harry and Meghan Markle release official engagement photos

LONDON — Official portraits showing an informal and affectionate Prince Harry with his fiancée Meghan Markle were released Thursday to mark the couple’s engagement ahead of their wedding next year.

The pictures were taken by New York-based celebrity photographer Alexi Lubomirski at Frogmore House, part of the royal estate at Windsor, near London.

Image: Prince Harry posing with his fiancée Meghan Markle
Prince Harry with his fiancée, Meghan Markle. Alexi Lubomirski / AFP - Getty Images

Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth II's grandson, and Markle, an American actress, announced their engagement in November after an 18-month romance. They will marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19.

In one of the pictures, she touches his face, showing off the engagement ring he designed for her.

“I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together,” Lubomirski said in a statement. “It was an incredible honor to be asked to document this wonderful event, but also a great privilege to be invited to share and be a witness to this young couple’s love for one another.”

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Los Angeles native Markle, 36, is bi-racial, divorced and three years older than Harry. She stars in the TV drama "Suits," now in its seventh season on the USA cable network. The show is filmed in Toronto.

Harry, who served two tours of Afghanistan with the British army, has visited her in the Canadian city several times.

Markle, who studied theater at Northwestern University in Illinois, is currently preparing for her first royal Christmas. She will join Harry and other royals for a traditional holiday celebration at the queen's country residence in Sandringham, near Norfolk, England.

Image: Prince Harry posing with his fiance Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on May 19. Alexi Lubomirski / AFP - Getty Images