Daily Mail


Do YOU agree with her oh-so modern choices?

- By Rebecca English Royal Correspond­ent

THE Duchess of Sussex has delivered a powerful statement of her feminist credential­s by choosing 15 women activists for the front cover of the new issue of Vogue.

Meghan has become the first royal to guest- edit the fashion bible, bringing together 15 ‘trailblaze­rs’ and ‘changemake­rs’ for a special ‘Forces for Change’ issue.

The line-up of women she admires includes celebritie­s, politician­s and activists known for championin­g issues such as diversity, body positivity, transgende­r rights and climate change.

It represents one of the most radical moves in Vogue’s 100-year history, with the magazine saying it considers the new September issue to be its most important edition of the year.

The duchess, a former actress and avowed feminist, had initially been asked to appear on the cover herself. But Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said Meghan refused as she thought it would appear too ‘boastful’.

Instead the duchess wanted to focus on the ‘women she admires’ from the ‘frontline of fashion, film, tech and wellness’. Meghan has also selected content for the issue which, according to Mr Enninful, shows she is willing to wade into issues of ‘female empowermen­t, mental health, race or privilege’.

Meghan’s trailblaze­rs include actress Jane Fonda, mental health campaigner and model Adwoa Aboah, transgende­r Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. The 16th image on the cover is a mirror to ‘include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change’ – the duchess’s idea. Prince Charles, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge have all tried their hand at being journalist­s in recent years to plug causes close to their hearts.

Kate was also the cover star of the Vogue centenary issue in 2016. However, rarely has a collaborat­ion been so ‘woke’ – a political term for being socially aware over issues such as race and sexual equality. It makes clear that Meghan is determined not to give up the level of activism she enjoyed when working as an actress before she met the Queen’s grandson.

In 2015 she addressed the United Nations on the issue of female empowermen­t, highlighti­ng how at the age of 11 she was so outraged by a sexist washing detergent advertisem­ent on TV that she wrote to the manufactur­ers who agreed to pull it.

Insiders insist the duchess was not just a figurehead for the British Vogue project but a hands-on collaborat­or, involving herself in everything including artwork and layout. There is a ‘candid conversati­on’ between Meghan and former US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Meghan has also chosen to feature an interview w between Prince Harry and primatolog­ist Dr Jane Goodall.

The duchess s posed for just t one image inside e the magazine – an arty black and white shot in the e London office of charity Smart rt Works, which h helps get women en from di sad vantnk aged background­sready for job interviews.

I ti sunders tooddt hat thtd is cuss ionsd ii between Meghan and Vogue began in January and she has been working with the team for months.

A source told the Mail: ‘ The duchess and Edward first met in January. She had already been approached by a huge number of publicatio­ns. It wasn’t something she was actively looking to do but she had heard h a lot about Edward and, as the patron of Smart Works, she thought that Vogue could be a good link-up. So actually initially she reached out to him.

‘Edward pitched for her to be on the front cover but this was something she wasn’t keen on...so the duchess just asked him “Would you consider me guest- editing?” The September issue is a major deal in the fashion industry and no one has ever been allowed to guest-edit before.’

The source said Meghan had been ‘totally hands-on’ throughout her pregnancy with her new baby Archie. The team met with her at Kensington Palace and her Frogmore Cottage home and there were ‘hundreds of emails and phone calls’. The insider added: ‘This was a real project of passion for her throughout her pregnancy and Archie’s arrival. It’s been a massive labour of love. It’s been a very collaborat­ive process. But the levels of secrecy have been insane!’

In a statement, Meghan said: ‘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.’

The September issue of Vogue is available by digital download and on news-stands on Friday.

 ??  ?? Magazine star: The Duchess of Sussex in Vogue
Magazine star: The Duchess of Sussex in Vogue
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 ??  ?? Delighted: Meghan earlier this year dressing Patsy Wardally – helped by Smart Works
Delighted: Meghan earlier this year dressing Patsy Wardally – helped by Smart Works
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