The Real Reason Meghan Markle Refused to Be on the Cover of British ‘Vogue’s September Issue

Meghan Markle just made history again, but this time, it's for not for something she did, but something she didn't do.

The duchess is the first guest editor of British Vogue's historic September issue in the publication's 103-year history, according to a statement from the magazine. However, Markle chose to not be on the front cover. Instead, she chose to feature 15 women who are "forces of change," which also happens to be the title of this year's September issue.

“From the very beginning, we talked about the cover—whether she would be on it or not,” Vogue UK's editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, said in a statement via People.

“In the end, she felt that it would be in some ways a ‘boastful’ thing to do for this particular project. She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires,” he said.

While Markle's use of the word "boastful" was clearly meant to imply that she'd rather spotlight 15 other trailblazing women on the cover (like, c'mon, points for self-awareness. At least Megs knows she already gets enough press), some outlets are taking it out of context. The British tabloids have had a field day with that wording, mostly because a certain other duchess—ahem, Kate Middleton—did appear on the cover of British Vogue for its centenary edition in September 2016. Was this a dig at Kate? We think not.

So who were Markle's picks to include in the issue? On Sunday, the official @SussexRoyal Instagram account revealed the front cover of Vogue. The 15 ladies are: Jane Fonda, Laverne Cox, Jameela Jamil, Salma Hayek, Yara Shahidi, Gemma Chan, Adwoa Aboah, Sinead Burke, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jacinda Ardern, Adut Akech, Ramla Ali, Francesca Hayward, Greta Thunberg and Christy Turlington Burns.

There's also a blank spot on the cover made to look like a mirror, which is supposed to encourage readers to see themselves as a force for change, according to a Vogue statement.

While the duchess is not on the cover, she did appear in a video about the making of the magazine issue, which, according to the @SussexRoyal instagram caption, she's worked on for the last seven months "to create an issue of inclusivity and inspiration, focusing on what connects us rather than what divides us."

Included in the issue, which hits newsstands Friday, will be an exclusive interview between the Duchess of Sussex and former First Lady Michelle Obama, a "candid conversation" between Prince Harry and Dr. Jane Goodall and inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others.

BRB, setting an alarm to buy out the entire stock from our neighborhood bodega bright and early on Friday.

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Roberta Fiorito

Senior Editor, Branded Content + Cohost, Royally Obsessed Podcast

In her 8 years at Gallery Media Group, Roberta has written about fashion, beauty, news, trends and the royal family. She is currently Senior Editor of Branded Content at...
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