Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have thanked their fans for their "generous messages" in the wake of the release of their engagement photos.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The 33-year-old royal and his fiancée published a selection of official photographs on Thursday (21.12.17) to mark their engagement, and after receiving an influx of "wonderful comments", the pair decided to publish one more alongside a heartfelt thanks to their fans.

After the first two pictures were released at 11am GMT on Thursday, a third - which featured the pair smiling as they walked along the grounds of Frogmore House - was released two hours later, alongside a statement which read: "Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments following the release of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle's engagement photographs.

"The couple are so grateful for the warm and generous messages they have received during such a happy time in their lives.

"As a way to say thank you, they have decided to share this candid photograph from the day of their portrait sittings directly with all of you."

The photographs were taken by fashion photographer Alex Lubomirski, who took to his Instagram account to thank the couple for choosing him to capture their special "love for each other" in the stunning portraits.

Alex wrote on Instagram: "A huge thank you to His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Ms Markle, for allowing me to take their official engagement portraits. Not only was it an incredible honour, but also an immense privilege to be invited to share and be a witness to this young couple's love for each other. I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took. @Kensingtonroyal (sic)"

Prince Harry and the 36-year-old American actress will tie the knot in on May 19 next year, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, after announcing their engagement last month.

An official statement read: "His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.

"The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course."

"His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month.

"Prince Harry has informed The Queen and other close members of The Royal Family.

"Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents.

"The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace."

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