And why Kate Middleton is sitting.
On Monday, the world got its first glimpse of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official royal wedding portraits. The couple, of course, released the photos in the most millennial way possible: on Instagram. And though the photos are most certainly stunning, one particular element in the photo had many people scratching their heads. Why is Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, sitting in a chair and not standing alongside her husband?
Kensington Palace shared in the caption of the first image, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released three official photographs from their Wedding day. This photograph was taken by photographer @alexilubomirski in The Green Drawing Room of Windsor Castle, following the carriage procession.”
In the photo, every senior member of the royal family is present including Prince Philip, Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Meghan’s mother Doria, Prince William, Kate, and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. And while Harry and Meghan are rightfully placed in the center of the photo – it is their wedding after all – Kate can be seen sitting in a throne-like chair to the left of the couple, mirroring the pose of the Queen on the right.
WATCH: How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Subtly Honored Princess Diana in Their Wedding Photos
“These portraits cement Harry and Meghan’s place at the heart of the royal family,” Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor for The Sun and Prince Harry biographer, told BAZAAR.com.
Larcombe further noted that these photos deviated from any royal playbook, adding that they are far more playful than royal portraits to come before.
“Meghan’s mum is seen standing next to her daughter and beaming with pride after a wedding that ripped up the rule book,” Larcombe said. “Even the Queen seems uncharacteristically relaxed as she and the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh are joined by three generations of their family.”
When asked about why some people are sitting and others are standing, Larcombe said that the Queen and Prince Philip typically sit in chairs in front of Charles and Camilla, as they did for Prince William and Kate’s wedding, too. But, he didn’t have a definitive answer as to why Kate was sitting. Instead, he gave an educated guess that the photographer believed the image looked more balanced that way. Furthermore, he added, it’s key to remember that Kate gave birth to her third child, Prince Louis, less than a month ago, meaning she probably prefered to sit and take a rest anyway.
Regardless of where they sit, this is one seriously good-looking royal family, so the more photos they share with us, the better.