Royals on magazine covers: Meghan is the latest to flex her modelling muscles

·Fashion and Shopping Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·6 min read
royals on magazine covers.
The Duchess of Sussex is the latest in a long line of royals on magazine covers. (Campbell Addy for The Cut/Josh Olins for British Vogue)

Meghan Markle’s headline-making cover for the September issue of The Cut has been the biggest royal interview since, well, her and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah in 2021 (the word silenced will never be the same).

It is the first print issue interview and accompanying cover shoot in the Duchess of Sussex's time as a member of the Royal Family (even if it's one who is on the sidelines), and as such it has sparked many opinions surrounding some of the comments in the interview.

Whichever stand you take on the mother-of-two’s moment in the limelight, the extensive interview marks a definite shift in the Sussexes’ plans for their future in the public eye. Meghan even told interviewer Allison P. Davis that she intended to return to Instagram.

Read more: Meghan Markle's new look: The duchess' sartorial evolution since stepping down as a senior royal

But she wasn’t the first. Print interviews have long been a way for the 'The Firm' to control the narrative, and a fun cover shoot to match? A way of appearing more approachable in the homes of the people.

From Princess Diana’s multiple Vogue covers, to the Queen herself posing for a Vanity Fair cover shoot (with her corgis, of course), here are the royal members-turned-models who have starred on magazine covers.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle appears on the latest issue of The Cut. (Campbell Addy for The Cut)
Meghan Markle appears on the latest issue of The Cut. (Campbell Addy for The Cut)

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, or as she is now known as just 'Meghan', appeared on the September issue of The Cut magazine, in her first full-length magazine and photoshoot since her and Prince Harry stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Harry and Meghan Time Magazine Cover
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 2021. (Time/Pari Dukovic)

TIME magazine declared Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as two of 'the 100 most influential people of 2021'. Photographed by Pari Dukovic, the royal couple starred on the cover of its Time 100 issue, the pair's first joint cover together.

Read more: The best (and funniest) reactions to Harry and Meghan's TIME Magazine cover

Prince William


Prince William The Big Issue
Prince William appeared on the cover of The Big Issue with vendor Dave Martin in June 2022. (PA Images)

The Duke of Cambridge, 40, went out on the streets of Rochester Row, near Victoria in London, with The Big Issue vendor Dave Martin to sell copies of the magazine to members of the public, the photographs of which were then featured in the magazine's next issue.

Read more: Prince William praises Diana's 'inimitable style' as he appears on cover of The Big Issue

Duchess of Cornwall

Country Life cover Duchess of Cornwall photographed by the duchess of cambridge
A royal edition of Country Life was guest edited by the Duchess of Cornwall in 2022. (Duchess of Cambridge/Country Life)

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall appeared on the cover of Country Life magazine in 2022 photographed by her step-daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge. The royal edition was guest edited by Camilla to mark her 75th birthday and the magazine's 125th anniversary.

Duchess of Cambridge

Undated handout photo issued by Vogue of their front cover which features the Duchess of Cambridge to mark their centenary issue.
The Duchess of Cambridge starred on the cover of British Vogue in 2016. (PA Images/British Vogue/Josh Olins)

The Duchess of Cambridge starred on a headline-making cover of British Vogue to mark the publications centenary issue. Photographed by Josh Olins, pictures of the duchess were also included in the Vogue 100: A century of style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The Queen

Queen Elizabeth on the cover of Vanity Fair's summer 2016 issue
Queen Elizabeth on the cover of Vanity Fair's summer 2016 issue. (Vanity Fair/PA Images)

The Queen (and her corgis) posed for a series of intimate portraits by renowned fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz in 2016 in celebration of the monarch's 90th birthday.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana on the front cover of British Vogue in July 1994
Princess Diana on the front cover of British Vogue in July 1994. (British Vogue/Patrick Demarchelier/PA Wire)

One of several picture taken of the late princess for magazine covers, this particular image on the cover of British Vogue July 1994 issue was taken by one of her favourite photographers, Frenchman Patrick Demarchelier, who also took the her British Vogue cover in 1991.

Read more: Princess Diana’s style is a key part of her legacy, even after 25 years

Prince Harry

Prince Harry appears on the cover of British GQ in May 2011.
Prince Harry appears on the cover of British GQ in May 2011. (PA Media/British GQ)

Prince Harry posed for a set of portraits by photographer David Bailey for British GQ's May 2011 in collaboration with Walking with the Wounded, a charity which help support injured veterans. All proceeds from the limited-edition issue went to the charity ahead of Harry joining a team of wounded military servicemen who trekked to the North Pole.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Queen's 19 grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Prince William

Prince William appears on the July 2016 issue of Attitude magazine
Prince William appears on the July 2016 issue of Attitude magazine. (PA Media/Attitude)

Prince William appeared in a relaxed set of images for the front cover of Attitude magazine. The July 2016 issue showing the Duke of Cambridge was one of the magazine's best-selling issues.

The Queen

The Queen on the cover of the April 2022 issue of British Vogue
The Queen on the cover of the April 2022 issue of British Vogue. (British Vogue/PA)

British Vogue placed the The Queen on the cover of British Vogue for the first time in a special issue celebrating her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry on the February 2017 cover of Town & Country.
Prince Harry on the February 2017 cover of Town & Country. (Town & Country/PA)

Prince Harry was photographed for the front cover of Town & Country magazine in 2017. In the accompanying interview, Prince Harry spoke about the "intense sense of complete relaxation and normality" he feels while in Africa, ahead of a conservation mission.

Princess Anne

Princess Anne on the front cover of Country Life, in July 29, 2020
Princess Anne on the front cover of Country Life, in July 29, 2020. (Country Life/PA Wire)

The Queen's only daughter appeared on the cover of Country Life, in July, 2020. The cover featured images of Princess Anne through the years to mark her 70th birthday and the princess guest edited the magazine which highlighted stories surrounding the future protection of the countryside.

Read more: 21 looks that prove Princess Anne is the Royal Family’s unexpected style icon

Prince Charles

Prince Charles on the front cover of November 2013 issue of TIME magazine
The Prince of Wales appeared on the front cover of November 2013 issue of TIME magazine. (PA/TIME)

As well as a Country Life cover of his own, Prince Charles was also photographed for an exclusive interview and cover image for TIME magazine in November 2013.

Watch: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex claims Prince Harry has 'lost' relationship with Prince Charles