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When it came time to take portraits for the British Vogue September issue cover, Meghan Markle had one request.

The 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex was honored as the first ever guest editor in the magazine’s 103-year history and brought her own unique spin to creative direction. Most notably, when Markle and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful reached out to photographer Peter Lindbergh for the cover shoot, the duchess asked that he showcase natural beauty in a very specific way.

The 74-year-old famed photographer, who also shot Markle’s 2016 Vanity Fair cover, recalled his conversation with the Duchess of Sussex about the Vogue shoot.

“My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!’” Lindbergh told British Vogue.

“Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles,” Lindbergh said of the experience.

Lindbergh went on to explain that “natural” was a word that came up often in his conversations about the cover shoot with Markle and Enninful.

“I hate retouching, I hate makeup. I always say, ‘Take the makeup off!’” Lindbergh said. “The number of beautiful women who have asked me to lengthen their legs or move their eyes further apart…You would not believe. It’s a culture of madness.”

Markle famously showcased her own freckles on the aforementioned Vanity Fair shoot, in which she confirmed her relationship with Prince Harry. Her makeup artist, Daniel Martin, also made sure her freckles were on display for her wedding day.

And, since the British Vogue September edition was called “Forces for Change,” what better way to buck conventional beauty standards than by celebrating women and their natural radiance?

Way to go, duchess. 

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