Meghan Markle didn’t let a few things like being a member of the Royal Family, touring the world, and having a baby stop her from accepting the honour of becoming the first ever guest editor for an issue of British Vogue. The Duchess of Sussex helped put together Vogue’s upcoming September issue and now we’re getting a sneak peek at the inspiring issue titled ‘Forces Of Change.’ In a word, it’s amazing.
Opting to keep her work mainly behind the scenes, Markle doesn’t appear on the cover, leaving that honour instead to the 15 incredible women the issue highlights, including actors Laverne Cox, Salma Hayek, Jameela Jamil, Jane Fonda, Yara Shahidi, and Gemma Chan, models Christy Turlington, Adwoa Aboah, and Adut Akech Bior, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, boxer Ramla Ali, diversity advocate Sinéad Burke, principal ballerina and Cats star Francesca Hayward, and writer Chimamanda Adichie. Markle reportedly had a hand in picking all 15 women, with photographer Peter Lindbergh saying the Duchess’ directions were to show the women as they actually look.
“My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles,’” said Lindbergh, who photographed Markle’s Vanity Fair cover and featured model Adwoa Aboah and her beautiful freckles on the cover of Vogue. “Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles,” he said, with Markle previously telling Allure magazine that one of her pet peeves is having her freckles airbrushed out of photos.
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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” – and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” – The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange
The cover also includes a small mirror on the front, with Markle hoping to inspire readers to be their own forces of change. In a statement released by British Vogue, the magazine says, “The duchess believes British Vogue‘s readers are part of this movement too – as a result the 16th spot on the magazine’s cover is a mirror to include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change.”
Markle worked with British Vogue Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful for seven months on the new issue, which includes a conversation between Markle and former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as an interview between Markle’s husband Prince Harry and primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, who the couple spent time with last week.
“To have the country’s most influential beacon of change guest edit British Vogue at this time has been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise,” said Ennifnul. “As you will see from her selections throughout this magazine, she is also willing to wade into more complex and nuanced areas, whether they concern female empowerment, mental health, race or privilege.”
Enninful also explained Markle’s decision to not appear on the cover. “From the very beginning, we talked about the cover – whether she would be on it or not. In the end, she felt that it would be in some ways a ‘boastful’ thing to do for this particular project. She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires,” he said.
“Through this lens I hope you’ll feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women chosen for the cover, as well as the team of support I called upon within the issue to help bring this to light,” said Markle. “I hope readers feel as inspired as I do by the forces of change they’ll find within these pages.”
Markle joins a short but prestigious list of celebrity guest editors for Vogue, including Rihanna, who edited Vogue Paris in December 2017, and Beyoncé, who took on with American Vogue in September 2018. Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, and the late Princess Diana have all appeared on the cover of Vogue, as did Meghan in June 2016, but Markle is the first member of the Royal Family to guest edit an issue.
Meghan Markle’s inspiring and moving September issue of British Vogue will be on newsstands starting Friday, August 2.
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A sneak peek of the #ForcesForChange video for the September Issue of @BritishVogue. Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the first Guest Editor for British Vogue’s September Issue and for the last seven months has worked to create an issue of inclusivity and inspiration, focusing on what connects us rather than what divides us. Fifteen women were chosen for the cover including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who generously lent her time to support The Duchess in this important issue. The women first met last autumn during Their Royal Highness’ official tour of New Zealand. Above, PM Ardern says: “One change that I’ve noticed over the course of my career, is just how polarised the world is now. I do think there is a solution to that though, and that’s ultimately us coming back to the humanity that we all share.” Thank you PM Ardern for being an amazing force for change. For more details on this special project, please see previous post and stay tuned for more updates throughout the week.