Dreams do come true — at least if you're Edward Enninful. Earlier this year, British Vogue's editor-in-chief was not shy about wanting to work with the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. “Meghan is an example of how far we’ve all come,” the EIC told the Evening Standard in January. Enninful went on to say that he wanted the royal (or her sister-in-law Kate Middleton) on the cover of Vogue. Well, Markle is guest-editing the September issue of British Vogue and we have our first look at it.
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I am thrilled to reveal the cover of the September 2019 issue of @BritishVogue – and to introduce you to the bold, brilliant and inspirational woman who has guest edited it with me: HRH The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal. For the past few months, the Duchess and I have been working together on this shared passion project: to dedicate British Vogue’s biggest issue of the year to all the remarkable women who are redefining our world for the better. We have called it – and them – our #ForcesForChange. The story begins with this cover, starring 15 changemakers, all titans in their respective fields, who have been personally selected by the Duchess and myself for the powerful and positive differences they are making in our world. The 16th slot will appear as a mirror on the printed cover, and was included at the special request of the Duchess to show that you – that all of us, in fact – are part of this moment too. It’s been a real labour of love and I feel very humbled today to be able to finally unveil it to the world. Read about how the Duchess became the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history at Vogue.co.uk now, and discover the full cover story in the new issue, on newsstands Friday 2 August. Photographed 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. Starring: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington
On Sunday, Enninful took to Instagram to share the first look at the cover. “For the past few months, the Duchess and I have been working together on this shared passion project: to dedicate British Vogue’s biggest issue of the year to all the remarkable women who are redefining our world for the better. We have called it – and them – our #ForcesForChange,” he wrote to caption the cover. The EIC says that he and Markle personally selected every cover star for their positive contributions to the world. “The 16th slot will appear as a mirror on the printed cover, and was included at the special request of the Duchess to show that you – that all of us, in fact – are part of this moment too,” Enninful wrote.
The problem: the British Vogue cover looks an awful lot like The Game Changers: Success Secrets from 40 Women at the Top, Samantha Brett and Steph Adams' 2017 book; Markle helped produce the tome and appears on the familiar black-and-white grid cover. Brett told the Daily Mail she was stunned when she first saw Meghan's Vogue issue. “It's obviously very flattering, she obviously likes our concept!” she said. “I love Meghan and am a huge fan, but if what people are alerting us to is true, then it's extremely disappointing.”
On Instagram, the official account for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Sussex Royal, shared the news, writing: “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.”