meg-ed

The question Meghan Markle was nervous to ask Edward Enninful

If you don't ask, you don't get...

Leanne Bayley

You might think it was Vogue's Editor Edward Enninful who asked the Duchess of Sussex to guest edit the September issue of Vogue, but it turns out that it was Meghan who did the asking. She said she had to "summon up the courage" to ask the question to British Vogue's Edward, but hopes she has created a magazine of "positivity, kindness, humour and inclusivity".

In a letter to readers, Meghan describes how she set out to produce a publication of "both substance and levity" with its editor-in-chief Edward who revealed the Duchess thought it would be "boastful" to be the magazine's cover star herself.

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The Duchess writes in her guest editor's letter how just a few hours after meeting Enninful she summoned up the nerve to quiz him about taking on the September edition - an important issue as it is published just before the autumn/winter fashion season.

Meghan, who at the time was five months' pregnant with son Archie, said: "So I asked the question. Actually, I typed and deleted the question several times until I built up the courage to ask the question in question: 'Edward... instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest editing your September issue?'"

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Naturally, the reply was a yes, and Edward said that he would "love" for Meghan to be his guest editor. The former Suits star said about her edition: "The overall sentiment I hope you'll find, however, will be one of positivity, kindness, humour and inclusivity."

And she describes her interview with the "extraordinary" former US first lady Michelle Obama as "a candid and heartfelt conversation".

Photographer Peter Lindbergh was the man behind this cover of British Vogue

The Duchess goes on to say: "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.

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"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.

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"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."

Meghan writes: "For this issue, I imagined, 'why would we swim in the shallow end of the pool when we could go to the deep end?' A metaphor for life, as well as for this issue. Let's be braver. Let's go a bit deeper.

"That's what Edward and I have aimed to achieve. An issue of both substance and levity."

Speaking about Meghan's request to take the helm of his magazine, he wrote: "I didn't have to think: I knew the answer was yes. 'We could call it Forces For Change', I said, and the adventure began."

Visits with his team to Kensington Palace followed and there were even "emoji-filled" text conversations with the Duchess as the project progressed, he revealed.

Edward went on to pay tribute to Meghan: "To have the country's most influential beacon of change guest edit Vogue at this time has been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise."

The September issue of British Vogue is available on Friday 2 August.

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