Meghan Markle Refused to Appear on Vogue Cover She Guest-Edited Wanting to Focus on the Women She Admired Instead

For British Vogue’s September issue, Duchess Meghan has guest-edited with the editor-in-chief. However, the plan was to have the Duchess of Sussex on the cover as well but she refused.

British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful has revealed that Duchess Meghan became the first person to guest-edit the September issue of the magazine.

Speaking about co-editing with the Royal Enninful said the moment had “been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise” for him. 

Duchess Meghan | Photo: Getty Images

Duchess Meghan | Photo: Getty Images

The pair started their work in January and have since titled their issue “Forces for Change.” The duchess was meant to be part of the 15 people chosen for the cover but she refused to feature.

Instead, they covered a range of female changemakers. People who are activists, artists, prime ministers, climate change campaigners, and many others.

Enninful shared that the people Meghan chose to profile were concerned with controversial topics like women empowerment, mental health, race, and privilege. The Royal turned down the opportunity to be on the cover because she felt it would be a “boastful.” 

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That’s how she ended up choosing women she admired. All 15 women the pair profiled had effected positive change in the world in one way or another.

Peter Lindbergh was hired to photograph the subjects. The people included in the issue are Adwoa Aboah, a mental health campaigner and model; Adut Akech, a former refugee and model; Ramla Ali, a former refugee and boxer; and Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Duchess Meghan | Photo: Getty Images

Duchess Meghan | Photo: Getty Images

Also featured are Sinéad Burke, a diversity advocate and lecturer; Gemma Chan, a campaigner and actress; Laverne Cox, an LGBTQIA+ advocate, actress and producer; Jane Fonda, a campaign and actress; and Salma Hayek Pinault, a women’s rights advocate, actress and producer.

Last but not least are Francesca Hayward, a Royal Ballet principal dancer; Jameela Jamil, a body positivity advocate and actress; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an authoress; Yara Shahidi, a youth vote activist and actress; Greta Thunberg, a climate change campaigner and student; and Christy Turlington Burns, a maternal health advocate and model.

People will also notice that there’s actually a sixteenth spot on the cover. The 16th area represents a mirror which Meghan requested the inclusion of.

The mirror is meant to include and reflect the reader and encourage them to effect change using their own platforms. The September issue will be available on newsstands and for digital download on August 2.

Speaking about the guest-editing experience Meghan said she found the last seven months a rewarding process.

She was pleased to have had the opportunity “to take the most read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today.”

The Duchess revealed that her aim with the issue was for readers to “feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women.” She also hoped people would be as “inspired” as she was by the women on the cover.

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