Meghan Markle Guest Edits September British Vogue Featuring “a Collection of Trailblazing Changemakers”
I may not be a huge fashion person, but as someone who has watched all of Sex and the City multiple times, I recognize the importance of Vogue as the “Fashion Bible,” especially its famed September issue. Which is why the fact that Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, guest edited that issue—the first person to do so—is a huge deal. And rather than highlight herself, or any other “royals,” Markle used that platform to elevate women she respects in sports, the arts, politics and other areas.
As seen on the personal Instagram for Meghan and Harry, the edition of the magazine, called “Forces for Change,” features “a collection of trailblazing changemakers, united by their fearlessness in breaking barriers,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” 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. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has 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. 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. Thank you for saying “Yes!” – and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” – The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange
The edition also features a “candid conversation” between Meghan and former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as an interview of Jane Goodall by Prince Harry, which yes please on both counts, but especially the first. (Fun Fact: President Obama and Meghan have the same birthday).
Of course, this is controversial in some circles, because as a senior member of the Royal Family, Meghan is expected to stay away from having public political opinions. However, Meghan Markle has always been an outspoken Feminist, and she has always spoken about race issues, so her decision to guest edit is unsurprising.
While this will be just another way The Sun says Meghan is destroying the Royal Family, I’m glad that she is remaining her own person and isn’t allowing the pressures of being a royal to stop her from helping create some positivity. Plus, after being attacked endlessly for just being a biracial Black woman who has opinions, I’m glad she decided to just say “nice for what?”
Meghan said that she had worked on the project for the last seven months 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.”
In total, 15 women are featured on the cover: Adwoa Aboah, a model and mental health campaigner; Laverne Cox, a transgender activist and actor; Jameela Jamil, advocate and actor; Adut Akech, a model and former refugee from South Sudan; Jane Fonda, actor and campaigner; actor and women’s rights advocate Salma Hayek Pinault; London-based Somali boxer Ramla Ali; actresses Gemma Chan and Yara Shahidi; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; Christy Turlington Burns founder of Every Mother Counts; diversity advocate Sinead Burke; Royal Ballet dancer Francesca Hayward; Greta Thurnberg, climate change advocate; and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Meghan also decided not to appear on the cover herself because it would be “boastful,” says the magazine’s editor in chief, Edward Enninful. But she did ask that one box be left empty to represent a mirror, as a way to include the reader to see themselves as someone who could be a voice for change.
“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.
“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 Duchess said that she hopes “readers feel as inspired as I do, by the forces for change they’ll find within these pages.”
(via The Washington Post, image: Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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