Royal watchers know very well just how influential Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry are. So it should come as no surprise that TIME magazine is recognizing the couple in the 2021 TIME100 Most Influential People list.
The honour was revealed on Sept. 15 along with new glamorous photos of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was a doubly special occasion because the day is also Harry's birthday. He turned 37.
Harry and Meghan's magazine cover was the first one shared by TIME on Instagram.
"Prince Harry and Meghan are among the 100 most influential people of 2021," revealed the caption next to a glamorous photo of the Sussexes taken outside by photographer and director Pari Dukovic. It marked the first time that they had formally posed together for a magazine covershoot. The image captured Meghan in white as Harry stood behind her in black.
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In the accompanying feature, Harry and Meghan are profiled by World Central Kitchen Founder and chef José Andrés. The Archewell Foundation and World Central Kitchen have previously partnered to help feed communities that have been devastated by natural disasters.
"In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the duke and duchess have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don’t just opine. They run toward the struggle," wrote the chef of Harry and Meghan.
Pari shared two further photos from the glamorous photoshoot. They both show Meghan in a chic hunter green ensemble. In the first one, the couple hold hands and look at each other while they walk outside. The duke's suit coordinates with his wife's outfit.
The other image shows the couple in a strong portrait. They pose in a room with yellow walls in front of a window which looks out on a lush background.
Other 2021 TIME100 Most Influential People include U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, award-winning actor Kate Winslet, singer-songwriter Billie Eillish, CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang and Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala . Each one has a TIME magazine cover.
In 2020, the Sussexes made a virtual appearance on the TIME 100 Most Influential People broadcast to celebrate that year's nominees. Their black Labrador, Pula, even made a brief cameo during the video!
Harry and Meghan talked about the importance of kindness and community in their two-minute appearance.
"Seeing our world through the lens of community is so important," Meghan said. "Because we need to redraw the lines of how we engage with each other — both online and off."