On Monday The Duchess of Sussex dropped the exciting news that she was the Guest Editor of the upcoming September issue of British Vogue – the most anticipated issue of the year.
Announcing the news via the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account Sussex Royal, Meghan shared a first look at the cover of the 'Forces for Change' issue, which she co-edited with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful over the past seven months.
The striking cover features 15 'change-makers', all women, photographed in black and white by photographer Peter Lindbergh, who revealed to the publication Meghan had a very clear vision of what she wanted for the cover with the word "natural" cropping up during cover discussions multiple times.
"My instructions from the Duchess were clear: 'I want to see freckles!'" the photographer shares.
"Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles."
Lindbergh says photographing women to showcase their natural beauty is his preferred style of shooting.
"I hate retouching, I hate makeup. I always say, 'Take the makeup off!'
"The number of beautiful women who have asked me to lengthen their legs or move their eyes further apart," he laughs.
"You would not believe. It's a culture of madness."
Talking about Duchess Meghan's vision for the cover, the Instagram post explains: "For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness.
"The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective."
Featured on the cover are the likes of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, just 18 months after featuring in the US edition of Vogue, Greta Thunberg the 15-year-old climate change activist, actor Laverne Fox a trans woman and LGBTQI+ campaigner, Ramli Ali a Somalian boxer and global athlete for Nike and campaigner and actor Jane Fonda.
It was also revealed why Duchess Meghan chose not to grace the cover herself, with Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful saying while they had indeed discussed the possibility of the new mum appearing on the cover, Meghan declined, feeling "it would be in some ways a 'boastful' thing to do with this particular project," he explains.
"She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires."
In a follow-up post later that day, Sussex Royal also shared a behind the scenes video of Duchess Meghan at the cover shoot, which also included a special shout out to PM Jacinda Ardern, where Meghan thanks Ardern for "being an amazing force for change."
See the full video above.
Speaking of her experience guest editing the issue, which will go on sale August 2nd, Meghan said it had 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," she shared.
Adds Edward: "To have the country's most influential beacon of change guest edit British Vogue at this time has been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise.
"As you will see from her selections throughout the magazine, she is also willing to wade into more complex and nuanced areas, whether they concern female employment, mental health, race or privilege.
"From activists, politicians to performers, poets to provocateurs, British Vogue and HRH The Duchess of Sussex have chosen women from the frontline of fashion, film, tech, wellness and beyond to celebrate a special moment in time, calling it Forces For Change."
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