As you probably know, the Duchess of Sussex was the guest editor for British Vogue’s September issue, which hits newsstands in the UK on August 2nd. (I’ve gotten some messages asking how to get this here in the United States; if you have a large newsstand near you, it will probably carry it. My local newsstand is at Vroman’s, the Pasadena independent bookstore, and they will definitely have it, for example. You can order a single issue of the magazine at Magazine Cafe, if you don’t have a good newsstand near you, but I say this with the caveat that I have not used them before.)
These are the fifteen women on the cover; that square that looks blank in this shot is actually reflective, to include the reader. (I have to admit, I am surprised that these photos were not shot by a female photographer, though Peter Lindbergh is, of course, legendary.) I think the cover is…fine! I actually liked it more once I read Meghan’s letter from the editor. As it is, while it makes me want to pick up the issue — the ultimate goal of a cover, after all — as a piece of art, it feels a little busy. But given that Meghan didn’t want to put herself on her own cover (probably a good call; Kate was on the cover of British Vogue for their 100th anniversary, but she was not also acting as EiC [also, if you click through to that post, there’s coverage of former royals who appeared on the cover of this magazine and the Anne covers are magical]), and that it was probably cost prohibitive to give each of these women their own cover, and it was logistically impossible to shoot them all together, a la the Vanity Fair Hollywood covers, this is probably the smartest solution.
This was the handout of Meghan At Work that was provided to the press:
It’s true that nothing says, “British Fall Fashion” like a classic trench! (FWIW, Meghan here is wearing this Gucci dress if you want to take a gander at the entire thing/splash out and buy it.)
Here’s Meghan’s editor’s letter. It is pleasantly very logistics-y to me, which surprised me (in a good way; Meghan, please always give us all your logistics), and it’s really very lovely. It also had the benefit of making me like the cover more:
But more than anything, this issue is about the power of the collective. In identifying our personal strengths, it is anchored in the knowledge that we are even stronger together. You will find that spirit of inclusivity on the cover: diverse portraiture of women of varying age, colour, creed, nationality and life experience, and of unquestionable inspiration. Some, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and enlisted personally for this issue, others I’ve admired from afar for their commitment to a cause, their fearlessness in breaking barriers, or what they represent simply by being. These are our forces for change. And among all of these strong women on the cover, a mirror – a space for you, the reader, to see yourself. Because you, too, are part of this collective.
In addition to guest-editing this issue, Meghan also interviewed (briefly) Michelle Obama and I suppose, in this one instance, I will not do my usual screechy screeching about how I hate it when celebrities interview other celebrities, although I will note that I am HIGHLY IRKED that the photo for this feature is not Michelle holding Baby Archie while the Cambridge cousins roll around her and the Queen, in the background, eats a piece of cake as William and Harry wrestle and Kate stands on her head. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT WE WANT. It’s a Q&A for the back page of the issue, and it is quite thoughtful and great. This spoke to me even though I am definitely not a “young girl” anymore:
As a younger woman, I spent too much time worrying that I wasn’t achieving enough, or I was straying too far from what I thought was the prescribed path. What I hope my daughters will realise a little earlier is that there is no prescribed path, that it’s OK to swerve, and that the confidence they need to recognise that will come with time.
Good advice for us all.