Meghan Markle Explains Her Personal Connection to the Cover Stars of Her British ‘Vogue’ Issue

Meghan Markle took a page out of Anna Wintour’s playbook and just guest edited the British Vogue September issue. And while she didn’t appear on the cover, she did select a handful of talented women she holds a personal connection with to stand in for the “Forces for Change” issue.

The 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex hand-selected a group of change-makers including Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan, The Good Place actress and body positivity advocate Jameela Jamil, Salma Hayek, Jane Fonda, Orange Is the New Black star and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox and Blackish star Yara Shahidi.

Markle opened up about her guest editing process in a statement, explaining, “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.”

In addition to the Hollywood set, Markle included some women she has met in her time as a royal. She tapped model Adowa Aboah, who founded online platform Gurls Talk and recently sat next to Markle on a panel in honor of International Women’s Day. She also selected diversity advocate Sinead Burke, whom she met in Ireland alongside her husband, Prince Harry, in July 2018. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who met with the duchess in private in January and publicly during their Oceania tour last fall, rounded out the inspiring group.

Did we mention teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg, Cats star Francesca Hayward, model and refugee Adut Akech, boxer Ramla Ali, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and supermodel Christy Turlington Burns were included, too?

The magazine’s cover features portraits of each of the women as well as a mirror to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change,” according to a statement from British Vogue.

But the change-makers aren’t the Duchess of Sussex’s only contribution. She also interviewed former first lady Michelle Obama, Prince Harry and Dr. Jane Goodall for the mag. 

So, not only did Markle become the first-ever guest editor in British Vogue’s 103 years in circulation, but she also totally crushed it.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.