British Vogue has announced that The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has guest edited this year’s September issue, which features on its cover 15 women who editor Edward Enninful says “are redefining our world for the better”. It’s the first time in the magazine’s 103-year history that anyone has guest edited its most high-profile edition of the year.
Together with Enninful, Markle selected the cover stars for the Forces for Change issue, chosen for “the powerful and positive differences they are making in our world,” Enninful says on his Instagram. They have all been photographed by Peter Lindbergh, his first cover for the magazine since September 1992.
This includes climate change activist Greta Thunberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (who was photographed via video link), boxer Ramla Ali, ballerina Francesca Hayward, writer Sinead Burke, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, models Adwoa Aboah, Adut Akech and Christy Turlington Burns and actors Jameela Jamil, Yara Shahidi, Gemma Chan, Laverne Cox, Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek Pinault.
The 16th section of the grid features a mirror, to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change,” according to Vogue. Inside, Markle interviews Michelle Obama and Prince Harry interviews Dr Jane Goodall. A short film on the royal couple’s Instagram explores the collaboration, and a caption states that the issue is about “inclusivity and inspiration, focusing on what connects us rather than what divides us”.
Markle said in a statement: “These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, 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. I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the ‘Forces for Change’ they’ll find within these pages.”
Enninful said: “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. 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.”
Vogue UK’s September issue 2019 is out on 2 August.