Fact: there are few things better than a royal PDA moment (that's actually a lie—cheese, wine, and moth memes are all better) and that's mostly because they're so rare. The royal family is a very traditional bunch, which means they don't wander around sloppily kissing each other like the rest of us do. But every so often, Meghan, Harry, & co. get caught in a cute moment, and we talked to the man who immortalizes 'em for us peasants: royal photographer Chris Jackson.
Chris (who has a new photography book out on the royals, FYI!) has traveled alongside the royal family on their biggest tours, capturing all their major moments, from engagements to weddings. And luckily for all the thirsty citizens of the internet, he's managed to snap a handful of pretty romantic pics while he's at it. Check out the behind-the-scenes stories from some of Chris' favorite PDA-packed photos.
This Beautiful Engagement Love Fest
"It was on a very gray Monday morning in London that the message came through that Harry and Meghan were engaged. It really brightened up this dingy Monday, and the excitement level went into the stratosphere because we knew we had a royal wedding to look forward to. To see them both so happy firsthand was great, and to capture that...it was one of those moments that is a highlight in your career. Both of them were clearly really happy and to me it's the stand out picture from the day."
Psst: This pic is from Chris' book. Snag a copy here!
This Adorable Public Hand-Hold
"At the end of the engagement [editor's note: Not *the* engagement, just *an* engagement], there was a group picture. The royals sat there in the middle of the group and Meghan grabbed Harry's hand, and they sort of laughed together. I focused on them together, and that lovely interaction between them. It was a very natural, really candid moment. And that's the kind of thing you're looking for as a royal photographer, getting those candid moments."
This Adorable *Private* Hand-Hold
"The Commonwealth games are big for the U.K., and obviously the Duke and Duchess were concentrating on the action. It's the kinda thing anyone would do—they're husband and wife, and husbands and wives hold hands. But it's a nice moment because it really humanizes them and shows they're real people. When you're watching a game, you're often not thinking about the fact that you're being photographed—so it was a nice way to capture a relaxed moment between them."
This Hand-Hold Seen Around the World
"I remember this so vividly as they stepped out to the front of Westminster Abbey. Over two billion people were watching this, it's the kind of thing you live for as a royal photographer—it literally comes a handful of times in your career. It was their wedding day, so of course it was really romantic. We had all the pomp that London does so well, combined with an amazing love story. It was a huge moment, and that picture sort of went from the back of my camera to around the world in minutes."
This Face Smash
"The thing about my job is you have to really think on the go because things just happen and you have to react really quickly. The excitement is not knowing what's going to happen. It was very exciting because of course Meghan came along [to the Polo match] and she presented the trophy to the winning team. Nacho Figueras was about to hand it over—and obviously you give your wife or husband a kiss on the lips—and there was this lovely romantic moment and Nacho Figueras was there holding the trophy. It was very natural and it was unexpected."
This Starry-Eyed Gaze
"This was again what you're looking for in a royal couple, that natural interactive moment. It couldn't have been better, really. Obviously, there's a lot of formality and ceremony in my job, and when it's stripped away, it's nice to have these human moments. Because in the royal family, it's always going to be centuries of tradition and ceremony, but to get these lovely relaxed moments on royal tour—it reminds you that they're husband and wife."
This Extremely Rare PDA Moment from the Queen
"Pictures like this are difficult to find because engagements tend to be more formal between the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. This is a really lovely moment, and it's quite symbolic as the Duke helps the Queen down the stairs of Saint Paul's in London. He's been by her side for two thirds of a century, her stalwart supporter, so this picture is symbolic of his role, I suppose. They're more formal than other royals, but there are still moments of affection between them and it's lovely to capture."
This "To Have and to Hold" Moment
"This was the first time Meghan had been introduced to this kind of aspect of being a member of the royal family, and I think Harry was incredibly protective of her. Their hands on each other's back—it's clearly supportive, they make a great team. It's the way they do things."
This Casual Cuddle
"Before this moment, Meghan was playing a little bit of basketball, helping warm up with the young people, and she was next to Harry. It was one of those lovely relaxed moments that we see with these two on royal engagements—we often see them holding hands, and they're clearly very at ease in each other's company. As a photographer, you have to be pretty quick off the draw, and you have to have a little bit of luck, as well, to make sure you're in the right place and you capture those images."
This ~Intimate~ Polo Kiss
"I remember this well because it was off the back of the royal wedding. It was a lovely moment and part of the traditional kiss as an award is being presented. We only spent a couple of days in L.A., but there was a huge amount of excitement because it was their first visit in America. It was the end of a fantastic tour, and a brief but exciting stop in the States."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.