Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to edit September issue of British Vogue

The duchess, however, will not appear on the cover.

July 28, 2019, 5:30 PM

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, frequently hailed as a fashion icon, is the guest editor of the September issue of British Vogue, Buckingham Palace announced Sunday.

In the issue, Meghan curated special articles on topics including female empowerment, mental health, race and privilege, demonstrating a willingness to “wade into more complex and nuanced areas," according to Vogue's press release.

“These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, to take the year’s most read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today," the duchess wrote in a statement.

"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.

"I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the 'Forces for Change' they’ll find within these pages."

PHOTO: The cover of British Vogue's September issue, entitled "Forces for Change", which is guest-edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in this undated handout image released, July 28, 2019.
The cover of British Vogue's September issue, entitled "Forces for Change", which is guest-edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in this undated handout image released, July 28, 2019.
Peter Lindbergh/PA Wire via Reuters

The collaboration is a coup for editor Edward Enninful, who recently took over as Editor-in-Chief from longtime Vogue boss Alexandra Shulman.

Having made his mark championing diversity in fashion and spotlighting underrepresented voices in art and culture, Enninful said he was delighted to welcome the duchess for "the most important edition of 2019," with the theme "Forces for Change."

"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," Enninful wrote in a statement.

PHOTO: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, patron of Smart Works, is pictured in the workroom of the Smart Works, London office in this undated handout image released by Kensington Palace, July 28, 2019.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, patron of Smart Works, is pictured in the workroom of the Smart Works, London office in this undated handout image released by Kensington Palace, July 28, 2019.
SussexRoyal/PA Wire/Handout via Reuters

Enninful also divulged the decision-making process on the issue’s front cover, which Meghan decided not to appear on herself.

"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,” said Enninful.

PHOTO: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend "The Lion King" European Premiere at Leicester Square, July 14, 2019, in London.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend "The Lion King" European Premiere at Leicester Square, July 14, 2019, in London.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The cover features a grid of 15 influential women, with one square of the grid embossed in a shiny, mirror-like effect to reflect the reader.

"The Duchess believes British Vogue’s readers are part of this moment too -- as a result the 16th spot on the magazine’s cover is a mirror to include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change," Vogue wrote in a statement.

PHOTO: Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex chat as they sit in the Royal Box on Centre Court to watch the women's singles final match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Romania's Simona Halep  in London, July 13, 2019.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex chat as they sit in the Royal Box on Centre Court to watch the women's singles final match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Romania's Simona Halep on day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 13, 2019.
Ben Curtis/AP

Among the featured women are New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, model and former refugee Adut Akech, body positivity activist Jameela Jamil, and Greta Thunberg – the teenage climate change activist who took the world by storm protesting for the environment earlier this year.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Instagram account shared a sneak peek video inside the issue, describing it as "focusing on what connects us rather than what divides us." The sneak peek video highlights the issue's influential women, including Ardern who the duchess met on their royal tour of New Zealand last fall, discussing who or what their forces for change are.

"One change that I’ve noticed over the course of my career, is just how polarized the world is now. I do think there is a solution to that though, and that’s ultimately us coming back to the humanity that we all share," Arden said in the video.

The September issue is usually the weightiest and most significant edition of Vogue every year, showcasing the Fall/Winter fashion collections, and frequently involving special guest appearances or cover stars.

PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, hold their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, May 8, 2019.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, hold their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, May 8, 2019.
Pool/Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters

The lead up to the important issue in American Vogue was captured in R. J. Cutler’s 2009 documentary, "The September Issue."

The September issue of British Vogue will hit newsstands in the U.K. and will be available for digital download on Friday, Aug. 2.

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