@SussexRoyal / Peter Lindbergh
On Sunday, the royal family and the magazine confirmed recent reports that said the Duchess of Sussex would guest edit the outlet’s September issue, which is considered its biggest because it previews fashion for the upcoming fall/winter season. Meghan is the first person to guest-edit the edition, for which she interviewed former First Lady Michelle Obama for the publication, while husband Prince Harry interviewed world-renowned ethologist and primatologist, Dr. Jane Goodall.
The duchess not appear on the cover of the issue, titled “Forces for Change.” The cover features photos of 15 “brilliant female changemakers who have had a laudable impact in recent times and who are set to reshape society in radical and positive ways in the future.”
The list includes actors and activists Jane Fonda, Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Jameela Jamil, and Yara Shahidi, as well as model and founder of Event Mother Counts Christy Turlington.
The list also includes mental health campaigner and model Adwoa Aboah, model and former refugee Adut Akech, boxer Ramla Ali, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, diversity advocate and lecturer Sinead Burke, Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and climate change campaigner and student Greta Thunberg.
The cover also features a rectangular mirror space.
“The Duchess believes British Vogue‘s readers are part of this moment 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,” according to a statement from the magazine.
Peter Lindbergh / PA Wire
“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 in a statement provided by the royal family.
“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,” Meghan continued. “I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the ‘Forces for Change’ they’ll find within these pages.”
“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,” British Vogue‘s Editor-in-Chief said. “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.”
Meghan has never appeared on the cover of Vogue publications. Her sister-in-law Kate Middleton was featured in a cover spread for British Vogue‘s April 2016 issue. The late Princess Diana made the front page three times during her lifetime.
Meghan also said on Instagram, “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 endeavor, 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.”
Meghan, a former star of Suits who had quit her own acting career in 2017 after getting engaged to Harry, has long been involved in philanthropy. She and her husband recently started their own foundation, Sussex Royal.
Meghan is a patron of charities such as Smart Works, which helps long-term unemployed and vulnerable women regain their confidence and gives them interview coaching. In their announcement of the duchess’ role as British Vogue‘s guest editor, the royal family released a picture of her appearing to look through a clothes rail in the workroom of the Smart Works London office, drawing speculation that the charity will be featured in the magazine.
The September 2019 issue of British Vogue will be released on Friday, August 2.