The September issue of British Vogue, guest edited by Meghan Markle, was unveiled yesterday, confirming months of speculation that Meghan was planning to use the magazine to launch her and Harry’s new, standalone philanthropic status.
However in what many critics will see as a breathtaking attack on her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, who appeared on the cover of Vogue in 2016, Meghan has declined the opportunity to be on the cover herself, publicly saying that to do so would be “boastful.”
That PR advice from HM has never seemed more in need.
In a statement on her Instagram feed, Meghan said: “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 endeavor, 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 magazine will feature an interview between Meghan and Michelle Obama and a “candid conversation” between Harry and Dr. Jane Goodall, the primate expert, which will be clearly understood by close observers to be yet further evidence that Harry intends to be seen as the primary royal spokesperson on ecological and conservation issues.
As fans of the documentary The September Issue, which focused on the punishing production schedule for the eponymous issue of American Vogue, will know, fashion magazines set great store by their September editions (which are published in the first week of August—British Vogue will be available on U.K. newsstands and as an international digital download from this Friday 2 August).
Landing Meghan has been a massive coup for Vogue editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, who, sources tell The Daily Beast, has been assiduously cultivating a fashion friendship with Meghan since before her engagement to Harry was announced. He has been styling her looks, “for some time” a source told The Daily Beast.
“To have the country’s most influential beacon of change guest edit British Vogue at this time has been an honor, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise,” Enninful said in his official statement.
“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. 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,” said Enninful.
The fifteen women featured on the cover (the 16th spot on the grid on the magazine’s cover is, somewhat cheesily, a mirror to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change”) are: Adwoa Aboah, a mental health campaigner and model, Jameela Jamil, a body positivity advocate and actor, Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sinead Burke, an Irish diversity activist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a novelist, Adut Akech, a South Sudanese model and former refugee, Ramla Ali, a London-based Somali boxer, Gemma Chan, a Kent-born campaigner and actor, Laverne Cox, from Orange is the New Black, Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek, Francesca Hayward, the Kenyan-born Royal Ballet principal dancer who stars in the remake of Cats, Greta Thunberg, the climate change campaigner, Christy Turlington, the famous supermodel and Yara Shahidi, the American actor and activist.