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The Duchess of Sussex has guest edited British Vogue’s September issue, focusing on women who “break barriers”.
The cover features 15 women, including teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern.
Meghan chose not to put herself on the cover, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said, as she felt it would be a “boastful thing to do”.
The duchess said she hoped people would be as inspired as she was by the women featured in the magazine.
The edition, entitled Forces For Change, highlights “trailblazing change makers, united by their fearlessness in breaking barriers”, Buckingham Palace said.
Meghan, who gave birth to her first child in May, said she had spent the last seven months working on the project “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”.
“Through this lens I hope you’ll feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women chosen for the cover as well as the team of support I called upon within the issue to help bring this to light,” she said.
“I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the forces for change they’ll find within these pages.”
The issue includes a conversation between Meghan and former US First Lady Michelle Obama.
The cover features actors Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek Pinault, Laverne Cox, Jameela Jamil, Yara Shahidi and Gemma Chan, models Christy Turlington Burns, Adwoa Aboah and Adut Akech.
Also among the 15 stars on the front are Boxer Ramla Ali, diversity advocate Sinead Burke, Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward, and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The front of the magazine is divided into 16 boxes and the one unfilled space is taken by a mirror, which aims to encourage the reader to use their own platforms to force change.
Enninful, the editor-in-chief, said Meghan was the first person to guest edit the September issue – traditionally considered the most important issue of the year.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
In 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge featured on the front of Vogue’s centenary issue.
Who are the 15?
- Adwoa Aboah: The 27-year-old model – born and raised in the UK to an English mother and Ghanaian-born father – is a mental health campaigner. She has also called for sanitary products to be provided free in schools for children on free school meals
- Adut Akech: The 19-year-old South Sudanese model – a child refugee who emigrated to Australia with her family – became only the second ever black model to close the Chanel haute couture show in 2018. She works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Ramla Ali: The Somali boxer, who says she doesn’t know exactly how old she is, arrived in the UK as a refugee. She is training to represent Somalia at the 2020 Olympics and also teaches self-defence to a group of Muslim women
- Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand’s prime minister, 39, became only the second elected leader in modern history to give birth while in office. She is the world’s youngest female leader
- Sinead Burke: The 29-year-old Irish woman – an academic and disability activist – was born with the bone growth disorder achondroplasia. A Vogue contributing editor, she campaigns for fashion to be for everyone
- Gemma Chan: The UK-born Oxford law graduate shot to fame in box office hit Crazy Rich Asians. The 36-year-old has been involved in the Time’s Up campaign – a project to help fight sexual harassment in the film industry
- Laverne Cox: The 47-year-old transgender advocate rose to prominence with a role on the Netflix hit show Orange Is The New Black. The American became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy award in 2014
- Jane Fonda: The 81-year-old actor is known for her work as a writer, political activist, fitness guru and fashion model. The Oscar-winning star is an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct in Hollywood
- Salma Hayek Pinault: The 52-year-old Hollywood star campaigns to raise awareness of violence against women and discrimination against immigrants. The Mexican-born American said she was once an illegal immigrant in the US
- Jameela Jamil: The 33-year-old British actor, who rose to fame as a presenter on Channel 4 and BBC Radio 1, is an advocate for body positivity through her “I Weigh” campaign. She has also spoken out about body-shaming and airbrushing in the media
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The 41-year-old Nigerian award-winning novelist is an outspoken voice on politics, race and feminism. She delivered two hotly debated Ted talks that were published as a book titled, ‘Why We Should All Be Feminists’ in 2014
- Francesca Hayward: The Kenyan-born British ballerina is among the cast of the new Cats film. The 27-year-old is a Royal Ballet principal dancer
- Yara Shahidi: The 19-year-old American actor and activist founded Eighteen x 18 – a creative platform to engage her generation to vote
- Greta Thunberg: The Swedish teenager was the schoolgirl behind a global wave of youth climate change protests. The 16-year-old, who was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, became a global phenomenon, speaking at Westminster and addressing world leaders
- Christy Turlington Burns: The 50-year-old American model is the founder of Every Mother Counts – a charity dedicated to making childbirth safer for women around the world