For weeks we’ve known that Meghan Markle would be involved with the September issue of British Vogue and now we’re beginning to see the work, as she is the first in British Vogue history to guest-edit the September issue, collaborating with editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, who called her “the country’s most influential beacon of change”.
Edward reveals in his editor’s letter that it all started with an email in January. Meghan reached out to him and they would later meet up in London to start putting the issue together. He goes on to share what it meant to him, as a Black man, to see Meghan become a member of the royal family, that he never imagined that it would be “someone of my colour”.
The issue is called “Forces for Change”, featuring 15 changemakers who are “reshaping public life for global good” and personally chosen by Meghan herself. They are:
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, Campaigner and actor
Laverne Cox, LGBTQIA+ advocate and actor
Jane Fonda, Campaigner and actor
Salma Hayek Pinault, Women’s rights advocate, actor and producer
Francesca Hayward, Royal Ballet principal dancer
Jameela Jamil, Body positivity advocate and actor
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author
Yara Shahidi, Founder of Eighteen x 18 and actor
Greta Thunberg, Climate change campaigner and student
Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts and model
And you’ll note there’s a mirror in one of the spaces that represents you, me, us, and our potential to push for better.
The issue will also include Meghan’s interview with Michelle Obama (!!!) and Prince Harry’s interview with Dr Jane Goodall. British Vogue has released a shot of Meghan to accompany her editor’s letter:
“My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!’” says Lindbergh, who spoke to her over the phone on the morning of the New York shoot. “Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles.”
As for why Meghan herself isn’t on the cover, Edward explains:
“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. 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.”
Here’s a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot – Meghan shows up alongside Edward near the end:
Of course, the British tabloids, they’re still dragging her for it, getting creative with how to criticise the project. We’ll get into that later. For now, let’s focus on the women she admires. Like Sinéad Burke. Have you ever seen her TED Talk? I hadn’t until last night when the Vogue cover was released. The whole point of the issue is to encourage people to see the world differently, to consider another perspective. I learned a lot from just 10 minutes of Sinéad’s perspective.
Click here for more on Sinéad and the other 14 women profiled in British Vogue.