The 16th spot on the cover is left blank, at Markle’s request, to represent a mirror designed to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change”.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on July 29, 2019

Meghan Markle will feature in the prestigious fashion magazine Vogue.

But unlike Lady Diana, deemed the ultimate cover girl for Vogue, and Kate Middleton, the 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex, is to be the magazine’s guest editor.

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Markle has spent the past seven months secretly working alongside Vogue UK’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful on the September edition (the biggest edition of the year for the fashion magazine) where she has chosen to make 15 other women cover stars.

Markle, who was an actress before she fell in love and married Prince Harry, has focused on female empowerment and diversity.

“The pair began working together in January, and together have crafted an issue entitled “Forces for Change”. The Duchess chose not to be on the cover herself, deciding instead to highlight an impressive roster of trailblazing female changemakers – from activists to artists, prime ministers to climate change campaigners – who are breaking barriers and setting the agenda across the globe,” Vogue UK stated.

Enninful said: “As you will see from her selections throughout this magazine, she is also willing to wade into more complex and nuanced areas, whether they concern female empowerment, mental health, race or privilege. From the very beginning, we talked about the cover – whether she would be on it or not. 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.”

The 15 women she has featured are:

  1. Adwoa Aboah, a mental health campaigner and model whom Markle appeared alongside on a panel marking International Women’s Day in March.
  2. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the novelist who hosted a talk with former US First Lady Michelle Obama attended by the Duchess in December.
  3. Ramla Ali moved to England from Somalia as a war refugee. She began boxing to lose weight and is now African Zone Featherweight Champion.
  4. Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, who hosted Markle and Prince Harry and said she had “real empathy” with the then-pregnant Markle on her first joint overseas tour with Prince Harry last October.
  5. Adut Akech Bior, a South Sudanese/Australian model and former Kenyan refugee;
  6. Sinead Burke, an Irish writer, academic, influencer, activist and broadcaster, who met Markle at a garden party in Dublin last July.
  7. Gemma Chan, an English actress and writer.
  8. Laverne Cox, the American transgender activist and actress who starred as Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black.
  9. Jane Fonda, the American actor and political activist, whose appearance in 2018 documentary Feminists: What Were They Thinking? was mentioned by Markle earlier this year after she watched it on Netflix.
  10. Francesca Hayward, the Kenyan-born Royal Ballet principal dancer who stars in the remake of Cats.
  11. Jameela Jamil, a body positivity advocate and actor whose Instagram account was one of a small selection recently highlighted by Markle and Prince Harry.
  12. Salma Hayek Pinault, the actress, producer, businesswoman and women’s rights advocate.
  13. Yara Shahidi, the US actress, model, activist and founder of Eighteen x 18, which is focused on engaging young people in politics.
  14. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate change campaigner who started the “school strike for the climate”.
  15. Christy Turlington Burns, the US model and campaigner against maternal deaths.

The 16th spot on the cover has been left blank, reportedly at Markle’s request, to represent a mirror designed to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change”.