TIME released an early look at the official portrait of Meghan and Harry in anticipation of its TIME100 Talks, an event series that gathers prominent thought leaders from every field to spotlight solutions to urgent global problems. The black and white image (taken by photographer Matt Sayles in their new California home) shows the couple striking a pose that looks very similar to that of the very first official photo they took in 2017 when they got engaged. They looked a little more serious in their engagement photo — stiff upper lip, you know — but the TIME photo is definitely a reflection of their new mentality as independent private citizens.
As you recall, Meghan and Harry stepped away from their duties as official members of The Firm earlier this year. The radical move reportedly caused quite a stir amongst the Royal Family, but it was a necessary action for the couple, who wanted the freedom to invest their time and energy into the causes most important to them. Now that they're able to do their own thing, the Duke and Duchess are already making their next moves, including a major deal with Netflix as well as their gig with TIME100 .
Their Sussexes will be hosting a special episode of the TIME100 Talks, leading a discussion that is titled "Engineering a Better World" and talking about ways to make the digital space safer and more equitable for everyone. The couple will be joined by respected digital experts that they themselves selected for the discourse, such as Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa, and various content creators, journalists, and scholars. Even with these experts in the (virtual) room, Harry and Meghan are more than qualified to lead this conversation; he's been a fixture in British tabloid stories since he was born, and she experienced the darker side of being in the public eye after marrying into the Royal Family in 2018.
"Since launching in April, TIME100 Talks has focused on solutions and visions of a better future through conversations with extraordinary leaders from around the world," said TIME editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal in an official statement. "This special episode marks our first collaboration, and we are thrilled to partner with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to explore these urgent issues."