As the guest editor for British Vogue‘s September’s issue, Meghan Markle helped call the shots, which included nixing the idea of including herself on the cover.
Though Meghan and the publication’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful discussed the possibility of having the mother of one appear on the front page, Enninful revealed that it was Meghan who shot the concept down.
“From the very beginning, we talked about the cover — whether she would be on it or not,” he said in a statement.
“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 explained of Meghan, who became the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history.
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Instead, the Duchess of Sussex helped spotlight 15 women making a difference in the world to front the issue, titled “Forces for Change.”
“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.
“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,” she said.
Among the group are actors and models, politicians and authors, and advocates for everything from diversity and mental health to climate change and voting rights.
The cover features a photo of each woman, as well as a mirror to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change,” according to a statement from British Vogue.
“I am completely overwhelmed and overjoyed to share this cover. Being on the cover of Vogue magazine has been a dream of mine since I was a child. To get to share this cover with this group of women who inspire me, who are truly forces for change is deeply humbling,” Cox wrote along with a picture of the cover.
“That it’s @britishvogue is even more special to me because British Vogue was the first to feature a black model on its cover, Donyale Luna in May 1966,” she added. “Thank you so much @edward_enninful and guest editor Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex for including me. Thank you to the entire team at Vogue for making this experience truly divine. #TransIsBeautiful.”
Actress Yara Shahidi also thanked Meghan with a heartfelt message on Instagram. “Thank you @edward_enninful and the amazing HRH Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex @sussexroyal for considering me one of the #ForcesForChange for @BritishVogue, amongst these incredible change makers, and for using this iconic platform to continue to shift narratives and expand the role of fashion,” the grown-ish star wrote.
Meanwhile, actress Gemma Chan shared: “Proud and honoured to be included as one of the fifteen #ForcesForChange featured on the cover of the September 2019 issue of @BritishVogue, guest-edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal.”
Joining Chan, Shahidi and Cox on the cover is model Adwoa Aboah, diversity advocate and lecturer Sinead Burke, The Good Place actress and body positivity advocate Jameela Jamil, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, model and refugee Adut Akech, boxer Ramla Ali, actresses Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek Pinault.
Also joining the women are Cats star Francesca Hayward, teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg and supermodel Christy Turlington Burns.