PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle were named on TODAY’s list of TIME’s Top 100 Most Influential People after they appeared in a stunning cover shoot for the magazine – apparently accompanied by heavily airbrushed photos.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were praised in the publication for “running towards the struggle” in the world, where “everyone has an opinion about those they don’t know”.
A snap of the pair, shot by Pari Dukovic, appears in front of the magazine with Harry standing behind Meghan dressed in all black.
Two other glam photos were published by the magazine, in which the couple posed in green in front of a yellow wall.
And more vividly, the parents can be seen walking through a garden holding each other’s hands on the beam.
The couple joins the iconic names who have also graced the cover of the magazine following the likes of Barack Obama, the first black US President.
But fans were quick to comment on how “weird” the photos looked.
One person wrote on Twitter: “This photo looks to be photoshopped. Also, the way they are positioned is very revealing: this is the Meghan show and Harry is just a supporting actor.”
Another said: “Harry looks totally weird seeing his wife behind him like this.”
Someone else wrote: “Wow, this picture speaks volumes. There’s no hiding who’s in control.”
Writing on their website shortly after the news broke, Meghan and Harry said they were “humbled to be part of this year’s TIME 100” and praised the WTO director general, Okonjo-Iwela, who was also shortlisted had gone. .
He wrote: “Each of us can change our communities, we can all change the world.”
There’s a short profile with the image written by Jose Andres, whose food relief charity works in conjunction with the Archwell Foundation.
They just don’t think. They run towards the struggle.
It read: “In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the Duke and Duchess have compassion for those they don’t know.
“They don’t just hold opinions. They run towards conflict.”
The friend and partner further adds that Meghan and Harry have been “blessed with birth and talent” but “burnt with fame”.
He writes: “Spring into action is not an easy choice for a young Duke and Duchess, who have been blessed through birth and talent, and burned with fame.”
“It would be safer to enjoy their good fortune and keep quiet. Harry and Meghan don’t do that, or who they are,” he says.
Describing what makes the Sussexes so influential, Andres says: “Through their Archwell Foundation, they turn compassion into shoes on the ground.
“They give voice to the voiceless through media production.
“By joining hands with nonprofit partners, they take risks to help communities in need.”
I Read our Meghan and Harry live blog for the latest updates
This year’s list of Time’s most influential ‘icons’ includes Meghan and Harry, along with tennis star Naomi Osaka, as well as singers Britney Spears and Dolly Parton.
Billie Eilish is listed as a ‘pioneer’ when the stars break down, while Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is considered one of the magazine’s most influential ‘titans’.
Past influential cover stars have included Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama and Nicki Minaj.
There’s no mention of Harry and Meghan’s rift with the royal family or the series of bombshell interviews they’ve been given about their lives as a royal family.
And today Harry’s family put their differences aside as they celebrated their 37th birthday.
Wills and Kate tweeted on their Kensington Royal account: “Happy Birthday Prince Harry!”
The Queen also paid tribute to her grandson, saying: “Happy birthday to the Duke of Sussex today!”
His father Prince Charles wished his son a “Very Happy Birthday” with some touching photos of his son and a young Harry.
It marks Prince Harry’s first display of internet affection between family members before leaving the royal fold – and provides a glimmer of hope that Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lillibet will be able to meet the Queen soon.