Student climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and actress-turned-campaigner Jane Fonda are among 15 leading female figures on the cover of the magazine, which also features a conversation between Meghan and the former US first lady Michelle Obama.
The jaw-dropping guest list will make the September edition of the magazine, titled “Forces for Change,” one of the most-anticipated publications of the year.
But Meghan herself won’t be on the cover — she felt it would be “boastful” to include her image, according to the magazine’s editor, instead choosing to shine a light on women who inspire her.
Actresses including Salma Hayek Pinault and Jameela Jamil are among the dazzling group, and Meghan also asked her husband, Prince Harry, to chip in — an interview between the Duke and anthropologist Jane Goodall is included inside.
The Duchess has also chosen to highlight a number of causes with her picks; campaigners on climate change, LGBTQ rights, mental health issues and the migrant crisis are all handed the spotlight.
The group is described as a collection of “trailblazing changemakers, united by their fearlessness in breaking barriers.” The edition hits newsstands on Friday August 2.
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“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,” Meghan said 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.”
Vogue’s September issue is its most-read each year, and the Duchess has worked on the project during the latter stages of her pregnancy and her first weeks of motherhood.
It’s a significant honor; Meghan is the first person to guest edit the September edition.
“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,” said Enninful.
September’s Vogue cover was shot by photographer Tyler Mitchell.
“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,” Enninful added.
The full list of cover stars on the cover of the edition is as follows:
- Adwoa Aboah, Mental health campaigner and model
- Adut Akech, Model and former refugee
- Ramla Ali, Boxer
- Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Sinead Burke, Diversity advocate and lecturer
- Gemma Chan, Campaigner and actor
- Laverne Cox, LGBTQIA+ advocate and actor
- Jane Fonda, Campaigner and actor
- Salma Hayek Pinault, Women’s rights advocate, actor and producer
- Francesca Hayward, Royal Ballet principal dancer
- Jameela Jamil, Body positivity advocate and actor
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author
- Yara Shahidi, Founder of Eighteen x 18 and actor
- Greta Thunberg, Climate change campaigner and student
- Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts and model
Among the most anticipated parts of the issue will be Meghan’s “candid conversation” with her friend Michelle Obama.
In December, the former first lady told “Good Housekeeping” she’d advised the Duchess on how to handle her new royal life.
“Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she’d have a life like this, and the pressure you feel — from yourself and from others — can sometimes feel like a lot,” Obama said.
“What I’d say is that there’s so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that — and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she’s doing something that resonates with her personally,” she added.