The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, guest edits British Vogue, and we think that's a bigger honour than being a cover star
Remember when we speculated about which edition of Vogue the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, would appear on the cover of first - Vogue US or Vogue UK?
Well the answer to that is neither.
The Duchess has an even bigger power flex than being of the face of the fashion bible's September issue (which is still a big deal); not only did she handpick 15 incredible women to be on this cover, but she is the first-ever guest editor in the magazine's 103-year history.
In the previous W24 article mentioned above, we had assessed two factors that would make a 2019 Meghan Markle Vogue cover a reality - the Edward Enninful factor and the Markle Sparkle, noting how Meghan Markle had been a "cover star for many glossy publications during her days as an actress and in the period leading up to her wedding, but [was] yet to land one as a duchess."
We then predicted that "either Anna Wintour or British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful (or both) will change that in 2019" given that "since his appointment as editor, Edward has upped the magazine's sales and made history by putting Rihanna on the September issue cover, so we can only trust that he has more surprises up his sleeve - one of which might include a Meghan Markle cover."
And indeed, Edward has made history once again with his second September issue as British Vogue's EIC.
View this post on Instagram
Introducing the September 2019 issue of #BritishVogue, guest-edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal. Entitled #ForcesForChange, the cover features 15 world-leading women who are reshaping public life for global good, and were personally chosen by The Duchess of Sussex, and British Vogue’s editor-in-chief @Edward_Enninful. The 16th slot – which, in print, appears as a mirror – is intended by The Duchess to show how you are part of this collective moment of change too. Click the link in bio to read about how The #DuchessOfSussex became the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history. Photographed in New York, Stockholm, London and Auckland by @TheRealPeterLindbergh, with fashion editors @Edward_Enninful and @TheRealGraceCoddington, hair by @BartPumpkin and @SergeNormant, make-up by @TheValGarland and @Diane.Kendal, nails by @LorraineVGriffin and @YukoTsuchihashi. On newsstands Friday 2 August. Starring: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington
The September issue which goes on shelf and for digital download this Friday 2 August, features fellow history-making trailblazers such as supermodel Adwoa Aboah who fronted Edward's first cover after his appointment into the role of editor, actress Laverne Cox who was the first-ever trans woman on the cover of Cosmopolitan and the first trans person to be on the cover of Time, as well as 19-year-old model Adut Akech who was chosen by Karl Lagerfeld to close the Chanel show at Couture fashion week in 2018 with a bridal look, making her the second woman of colour ever to close for Chanel.
We had also opined that if the "Duchess of Sussex has anything to do with it, we think an ode to Princess Diana will be on the cards when she finally lands her cover," and in a not-so-literal way, the people's duchess has done exactly that by putting other public figures on their well-deserved pedestals along with you, the reader, in the 16th spot of the cover - a testimony to the spirit of selflessness of her late mother-in-law.
As the caption above highlights, these "15 world-leading women are reshaping public life for global good" and the vacant spot reminds us that we are "part of this collective moment of change too."
Is it any surprise then that such powerful narratives would be birthed from the collaboration between changemakers such as Edward Enninful and the Duchess of Sussex?
In her guest editor's letter, Meghan Markle reveals that she and Edward Enninful are not only like-minded, but share a love for writing too. She also shares how she ended up not being on the cover, but guest editing the September issue instead, as she finally mustered the courage to send this text:
Adding that she "knows how important the September issue is for the fashion industry. I realise the reach, and I see the opportunity to be a part of fashion’s push for something greater, kinder, more impactful. But I am also a little nervous to be boldly asking the editor-in-chief, whom I’d only just met, to take a chance on me."
HRH's sentimental approach to this issue therefore became that of; "Let’s be braver. Let’s go a bit deeper," before audiences swim away with the shallow of stream of frivolity and festivities that come with the highly sartorial month of September.
"That’s what Edward and I have aimed to achieve. An issue of both substance and levity. It is, after all, the September issue of British Vogue, and an opportunity to further diversify what that typically represents," the duchess added.
Even more awe-inspiring is the "candid and heartfelt conversation" between Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama, which some have already likened to a warm embrace.
View this post on Instagram
“Whatever your background, it’s easy to feel connected to Mrs Obama. There’s something magical about the way in which she draws you in with her endearingly frank, down-to-earth personality.” As First Lady of the United States, @MichelleObama forged a path as the nation’s mother-in-chief – and became a style icon in the process. Now, freed from White House protocol, she’s loosening up, but still dispensing immaculate advice. In a rare interview, she talks motherhood and maturity with #BritishVogue’s guest editor HRH The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal. Read the full piece from the September 2019 issue via the link in bio. #MichelleObama photographed by @MillerMobley.
And with these heartfelt concluding remarks below from The duchess of Sussex, we are also ready for to feel a sense of warmth and comfort that rivals that of a cup of tea, as we read the British Vogue September issue later this month;
Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of out hot stories and giveaways.