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December 21, 2017 03:22 PM

For their stunning official engagement portraits, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose a fashion photographer with links to royalty and to the couple’s beloved Africa.

Alexi Lubomirski is based in New York, but he spent a lot of his childhood in Botswana – a country that holds a special place in the couple’s heart. After all, Harry sourced a diamond for the center of Meghan’s engagement ring from Botswana, which is also where they celebrated her 36th birthday this summer.

The couple also revealed they vacationed there in August 2016, soon after they met on a blind date. They got to know each other as they slept out under the stars.

The photographer, like Harry, has royal blood. Lubomirski is a prince of the Polish House of Lubomirski. He is officially titled His Serene Highness Prince Alexi, reportedly through his Polish father.

Ben Rosser/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

He was only told of that link when he was 11 — and he has put it to good use, writing a book called Princely Advice for a Happy Life. He penned the guide for his two sons after being inspired by something his mother told him: “If you are to be a prince in today’s world, you have to be a prince in your heart and in your actions.” On each page there is a different note about how to lead a useful, fulfilled life. All the proceeds go to the charity Concern Worldwide, of which he is an ambassador.

Lubomirski started his career working under Mario Testino, who took Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement photos in 2010.

But despite those links, Meghan and Harry did not know him. They first met him during the week of their engagement announcement. And the photographs were taken earlier this week at Frogmore House, in Windsor. “They considered a number of options but were very impressed with Lubomirski’s style of photography,” a royal source says.

In a statement, Lubomirski said, “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. I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together.”

Lubomirski, who is married with two sons, has built up a portfolio of celebrity portraits including Beyoncé, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lopez, Selma Hayek, Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson.

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