In 2019, Meghan Markle announced she guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue, where she "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" for the issue's Forces for Change cover. She had specific instructions for the cover shoot—instructions that say a lot about how she wants to showcase beauty.
British Vogue wrote that the word "natural" came up multiple times during cover discussions. Peter Lindbergh, who shot the cover, explained to the outlet this was exactly what Meghan's vision was. “My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!’” Lindbergh said. The photographer said he spoke to Meghan on the phone during the morning of the New York shoot. “Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles.”
Lindbergh explained that he prefers shooting women in that style, to showcase their natural beauty. “I hate retouching, I hate make-up. I always say, ‘Take the make-up off!’” Lindbergh said. “The number of beautiful women who have asked me to lengthen their legs or move their eyes further apart…” he laughed. “You would not believe. It’s a culture of madness.”
Meghan selected 15 cover stars, who are all activists and pioneers in their industries. They include model Adwoa Aboah, model Adut Akech, Somali boxer Ramla Ali, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, writer Sinéad Burke, actress Gemma Chan, actress Laverne Cox, actress Jane Fonda, actress Salma Hayek, ballet dancer Francesca Hayward, actress Jameela Jamil, writer Chimamanda Adichie, actress Yara Shahidi, activist Greta Thunberg, and model Chrissy Turlington.
“Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring," she said, via her SussexRoyal Instagram. "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."
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