Here’s Why Meghan Markle Didn’t Want To Be On The Cover Of British Vogue

After months of rumors, Meghan Markle’s role with Vogue has finally been unveiled.

The Sussex Royal Instagram account confirmed Sunday that the Duchess of Sussex guest-edited the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, alongside Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful. She is the first guest editor of a September issue ― generally seen as the most important issue of the year ― in the magazine’s 103-year history.

In a statement shared on the Sussex Royal page, Meghan said it was “rewarding, educational and inspiring” to work on the issue, which is titled “Forces for Change.”

“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,” Meghan said in the statement. “A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover.”

The Duchess of Sussex, a patron of the charity Smart Works, in the workroom of the Smart Works London office.

The cover, shot by Peter Lindbergh, features 15 women: models Adwoa Aboah, Adut Akech Bior and Christy Turlington Burns; boxer Ramla Ali; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; activists Sinéad Burke and Greta Thunberg; actors Gemma Chan, Laverne Cox, Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek Pinault, Jameela Jamil and Yara Shahidi; ballerina Francesca Hayward; and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

There is also a blank spot on the cover, which Enninful said the duchess requested. It’s supposed to represent a mirror that will show the reader how they, too, can be a change-maker.

 Lindbergh said he received one request about the cover from Meghan.

“My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!’” the photographer told Vogue. “Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles.”

Enninful began working with the duchess on the cover in January. Meghan herself is not on the cover because, according to Enninful, she didn’t want to be “boastful.”

“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,” Enninful said of the duchess.

“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.”

The issue includes an interview the duchess conducted with former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as Prince Harry in conversation with Dr. Jane Goodall. 

British Vogue’s September issue is available on newsstands and by digital download Friday, Aug 2.

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