meghan-markle

REVEALED: Why there's a blank space on Meghan Markle's Vogue cover

The Duchess selected 15 'campaigning' women to feature

Gemma Strong

Meghan Markle has become the first person to guest edit the prestigious September issue of British Vogue magazine, and in honour of the occasion selected 15 cover stars to help promote female empowerment and diversity. The Duchess focused on women who "break barriers", choosing not to put herself on the cover because she felt it would be a "boastful thing to do", the magazine's editor-in-chief Edward Enninful has revealed. The cover of the magazine, entitled Forces for Change, is divided into 16 boxes, with 15 stars gracing the front. There is, however, one unfilled space that has been taken by a mirror designed to "include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change".

Meghan guest-edited the September issue of Vogue, selecting 15 cover stars

Meghan, 37, spent the past seven months secretly working on the project. "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," she said. "I hope readers feel as inspired as I do by the forces of change they'll find within these pages." The issue includes a conversation between Meghan and former US First Lady Michelle Obama, well as an interview between her husband, Prince Harry, and Dr Jane Goodall, a primatologist whom she has idolised since childhood.

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Speaking about Meghan's contribution to the magazine, Edward said: "To have the country's most influential beacon of change guest edit British Vogue at this time has been an honour, a pleasure and a wonderful surprise. 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.

The royal spent seven months secretly working on the project

"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."

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The Duchess of Cambridge famously appeared on the cover of Vogue in 2016 to celebrate its centenary, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. She is the most senior royal to grace the cover since Diana, Princess of Wales, who featured four times, including a posthumous appearance in October 1997.