The Duchess of Sussex has guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue.
For the past seven months, Meghan Markle has worked with Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enniful, on the issue titled “Forces For Change”.
The cover of the historic issue will feature 15 women who are killing it in their fields. They include, Adwoa Aboah (mental health campaigner and model), Adut Akech (model and former refugee), Ramla Ali (boxer), Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand), Sinead Burke (diversity advocate and lecturer), Gemma Chan (actress and campaigner), Laverne Cox (LGBTQIA+ advocate and actress), Jane Fonda (actress and campaigner), Salma Hayek Pinault (women’s rights advocate, actress and producer), Francesa Hayward (Royal Ballet principal), Jameela Jamil (actress and body positivity advocate), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (author), Yara Shahidi (actress and founder of Eighteen x 18), Greta Thunberg (climate change campaigner and student) and Christy Turlington Burns (model and founder of Every Mother Counts).
The cover has 16 spots, one being left open as a reflective panel to represent the reader.
In a statement from the Duchess, she recalled the process of bringing “Forces For Change” together. “These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, to take the year’s most read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today,” Meghan 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. I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the ‘Forces for Change’ they’ll find within these pages.”
Pictured above is Meghan going through wardrobe choices as she wears a Gucci dress, as identified by Meghan’s Mirror.
Highlights of the issue include a conversation between the Duchess and Michelle Obama. Prince Harry also makes a cameo for an interview with Dr Jane Goodall.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram account posted:
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To watch the full #ForcesForChange video for the September Issue of @BritishVogue, guest edited by The Duchess of Sussex, please visit our IGTV. Her Royal Highness 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.
Ahead of the release, Vogue posted Meghan’s editor’s letter on their website the details the time producing the magazine.
“It was in early January, on a cold and blustery London day, that I sat down for a cup of tea with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful. Though we have several mutual friends, our first encounter had been years in the making, the impetus for which was my asking him to support an organisation I strongly believe in called Smart Works.”
She added, “What evolved over the next hour was a promising pow wow of two like-minded thinkers, who have much in common, including our love of writing. Over a steaming cup of mint tea, we teased through how one can shine light in a world filled with seemingly daily darkness. Lofty? Of course. Worth it? Without question.”
“Within hours of our meeting’s end, we were already texting one another – philosophising about how to communicate this shared understanding and the lens through which we see the world, how to pivot from a perspective of frustration to one of optimism.”
The letter continues, “So I asked the question. Actually, I typed and deleted the question several times until I built up the courage to ask the question in question.”
“Edward… instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest editing your September issue?”
“(Mind you, I know how important the September issue is for the fashion industry. I realise the reach, and I see the opportunity to be a part of fashion’s push for something greater, kinder, more impactful. But I am also a little nervous to be boldly asking the editor-in-chief, whom I’d only just met, to take a chance on me.)”
“I sent the text.…The ellipsis… the ‘dot dot dot’ that inspires the greatest practice of patience in this digital era.”
“And then it appeared, EE’s reply: ‘Yes! I would love for you to be my guest editor.’ Sitting on my sofa at home, two dogs nestled across me, I quietly celebrated when the words appeared on my screen.”
“Within a week, Edward and I were having our regular meetings – discussing goals, ideas, who would feature on the cover, all while I was undergoing a crash course in editorial lingo (‘the well’, meaning the inner crux of the book) and acronyms aplenty (‘FOB’, which I took a stab at being ‘front of book’). I was trying to blend in, to keep up with the pace of these seasoned professionals, and to learn as much as I could as quickly as possible.”
“There were facets I felt were of prime importance to include within this issue – elements that would hopefully set the tone, knowing this issue hits stands in August, just as readers gear up for the September fashion shows, where judgement can become clouded and focus skewed toward the superficial.”
The lengthy letter goes on, “Throughout these pages you’ll find Commonwealth designers, ethical and sustainable brands, as well as features with designers not about clothes but about heritage, history and heirloom. You’ll also find a beauty section that puts its energy towards internal beauty, celebrating the power of breathing and meditation, and a favourite workout that urges you to use your heart as much as your core.”
“As you flip the pages, you’ll find familiar faces and names that I hope you get to know a bit better, a bit more deeply, even. And there are less familiar names that you may want to know, such as the women of Luminary Bakery and Tessa Clarke, co-founder of food-sharing app Olio, whom I met with discreetly last year.”
“There are inspiring reads from Brené Brown and Jameela Jamil. You’ll also find a very special piece with Dr Jane Goodall, interviewed by my husband, and a candid and heartfelt conversation between myself and the extraordinary Michelle Obama.”
The letter ends with, “I was about five months pregnant when this process began, and by the time you hold this issue in your hands, my husband and I will be holding our three-month-old baby boy in ours. It’s a very special time for me personally, on so many levels; working with Edward and his team, both during my pregnancy and my maternity leave, has played no small part in that joy – it has been a privilege to be welcomed and supported by this amazing team. To Edward, thank you for entrusting me with this. I am deeply honoured. To the women who have taken my aspirations for this issue and brought them to life by being a part of this time capsule, both on the cover and in-book, I am so grateful; you are inspirations to me and I’m humbled by your support.”
The September issue of British Vogue is available on digital download and on newsstands on Aug. 2.