When news first reached our ears that Meghan Markle would be guest-editing the September issue of British Vogue, it would be safe to say all our fashion dreams came true at once.
Meghan, who is a global style icon, already holds an immeasurable amount of power in her own right when it comes to the fashion industry. Seeing her team up with the fashion publishing powerhouse that is Vogue makes for a collaboration of epic proportions.
But when it comes to the royal family, the iconic publication isn’t exactly unfamiliar territory.
In fact, a number of British and international royals have graced its pages and covers over the years. And it seems Meghan knows this all-too-well, because she’s about to do something completely different with her royal status when it comes to the next royal Vogue collab.
Which royals have appeared in Vogue before?
While royals garner global attention in their own right, their exclusive appearances in the pages of magazines like Vogue are few and far between.
That being said, Meghan certainly isn’t the first royal family member to collaborate with the fashion giant.
In June 2016, Meghan’s sister-in-law Kate Middleton appeared on the cover of British Vogue‘s centenary issue.
The duchess also appeared in a 10-page spread within the magazine, featuring a relaxed countryside photo shoot.
At the time, Vogue’s then editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman said, “It has been a wonderful experience to have had the opportunity to work with her on this, and I am immensely proud of what we have produced.”
Meanwhile, Kate and Meghan’s late mother-in-law Princess Diana also appeared on several Vogue covers throughout her life. In fact, the stunning royal appeared on three UK Vogue covers, and on one US edition in May 1994.
Other royals to appear on the cover of Vogue include Princess Anne, Grace Kelly, and Lady Helen Taylor, who is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
Meanwhile, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have also appeared in British Vogue as part of a sweet sisterly photo shoot. Taking to her Instagram almost exactly a year ago, Eugenie shared some of the amazing pictures from the siblings special spread.
“I’m very proud to be in the September issue of Vogue alongside my beautiful big sister talking about our bond, who we are and what we stand for,” she wrote at the time.
After working with the York sisters to execute the shoot, British Vogue‘s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful clearly saw the value in collaborating with royals — it seems he has once again been a driving force behind Meghan’s guest-editorship for the milestone September issue a year on.
Why will Meghan’s royal Vogue debut be different?
It was immediately clear that Meghan Markle’s Vogue debut as a royal would be different from the royals before her. First and foremost, the cover does not feature the royal. Instead, it showcases 15 “trailblazing change-makers” who are spearheads for the issue’s overriding theme created by Meghan — “Forces for Change.”
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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
In a sixteenth slot on the cover, a blank space (or a mirror in the print edition) is visible – and this, according to Vogue, is intended for the reader.”[It] is intended by The Duchess to show how you are part of this collective moment of change too,” the publication explained.
Explaining her reasoning for her theme, Meghan explained that she had taken “the year’s most read fashion issue and [steered] 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.
The duchess revealed she had spent the last seven months working closely with Enninful, who has now revealed why Meghan herself opted to stay away from the radical cover image.
“From the very beginning, we talked about the cover — whether she would be on it or not,” he said.
“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.” We certainly can’t argue with that, the cover is star-studded with incredible women as it is.
Meghan’s Vogue debut is also somewhat different to other royal stints with the magazine in that she is the first guest-editor of the September issue (which is known to be the most pivotal issue on the fashion’s annual calendar) ever.
Yep, that’s over the UK publication’s 103 year history — pretty impressive!
Who photographed Meghan Markle’s Vogue cover?
There’s also another interesting snippet of information about Meghan’s British Vogue debut, and it’s all to do with the photographer.
Indeed, you’ve probably seen the cover photographer’s name, Peter Lindbergh, before — and that’s because he was the very same artist behind the Duchess’ famed Vanity Fair cover shoot, which confirmed her and Harry’s relationship in late 2016.
The photographer has since spoken about Meghan’s directions for him when it came to shooting the women for the upcoming issue of Vogue.
“My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!'” Lindbergh told Vogue.
“Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles,” he said.
We can’t wait to see the full spread for ourselves!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.