Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, frequently hailed as a fashion icon, is the guest editor of the September issue of British Vogue, Buckingham Palace announced Sunday.
In the issue, Meghan curated special articles on topics including female empowerment, mental health, race and privilege, demonstrating a willingness to “wade into more complex and nuanced areas," according to Vogue's press release.
“These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, 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," the duchess wrote in a statement.
"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."
The cover of British Vogue's September issue, entitled "Forces for Change", which is guest-edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in this undated handout image released, July 28, 2019.
Peter Lindbergh/PA Wire via Reuters
The collaboration is a coup for editor Edward Enninful, who recently took over as Editor-in-Chief from longtime Vogue boss Alexandra Shulman.
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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. 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. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. “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 endeavour, 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 Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jul 28, 2019 at 2:26pm PDT
Having made his mark championing diversity in fashion and spotlighting underrepresented voices in art and culture, Enninful said he was delighted to welcome the duchess for "the most important edition of 2019," with the theme "Forces for Change."
"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," Enninful wrote in a statement.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, patron of Smart Works, is pictured in the workroom of the Smart Works, London office in this undated handout image released by Kensington Palace, July 28, 2019.
SussexRoyal/PA Wire/Handout via Reuters
Enninful also divulged the decision-making process on the issue’s front cover, which Meghan decided not to appear on herself.
"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.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend "The Lion King" European Premiere at Leicester Square, July 14, 2019, in London.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The cover features a grid of 15 influential women, with one square of the grid embossed in a shiny, mirror-like effect to reflect the reader.
"The Duchess believes British Vogue’s readers are part of this moment too -- as a result the 16th spot on the magazine’s cover is a mirror to include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change," Vogue wrote in a statement.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex chat as they sit in the Royal Box on Centre Court to watch the women's singles final match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Romania's Simona Halep on day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 13, 2019.
Among the featured women are New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, model and former refugee Adut Akech, body positivity activist Jameela Jamil, and Greta Thunberg – the teenage climate change activist who took the world by storm protesting for the environment earlier this year.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Instagram account shared a sneak peek video inside the issue, describing it as "focusing on what connects us rather than what divides us." The sneak peek video highlights the issue's influential women, including Ardern who the duchess met on their royal tour of New Zealand last fall, discussing who or what their forces for change are.
"One change that I’ve noticed over the course of my career, is just how polarized the world is now. I do think there is a solution to that though, and that’s ultimately us coming back to the humanity that we all share," Arden said in the video.
The September issue is usually the weightiest and most significant edition of Vogue every year, showcasing the Fall/Winter fashion collections, and frequently involving special guest appearances or cover stars.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, hold their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, May 8, 2019.
Pool/Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters
The lead up to the important issue in American Vogue was captured in R. J. Cutler’s 2009 documentary, "The September Issue."
The September issue of British Vogue will hit newsstands in the U.K. and will be available for digital download on Friday, Aug. 2.
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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
A post shared by British Vogue (@britishvogue) on Jul 28, 2019 at 2:28pm PDT