The Duchess of Sussex guest edits British Vogue. (Reuters)

The Duchess of Sussex has delivered a powerful statement of her feminist credentials by choosing 15 women activists for the front cover of the new issue of Vogue.

Meghan has become the first royal to guest-edit the fashion bible, bringing together 15 "trailblazers" and "changemakers" for a special "Forces for Change" issue.

The line-up of women she admires includes celebrities, politicians and activists known for championing issues such as diversity, body positivity, transgender rights and climate change.

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Introducing the September 2019 issue of #BritishVogue, guest-edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal. Entitled #ForcesForChange, the cover features 15 world-leading women who are reshaping public life for global good, and were personally chosen by The Duchess of Sussex, and British Vogue’s editor-in-chief @Edward_Enninful. The 16th slot – which, in print, appears as a mirror – is intended by The Duchess to show how you are part of this collective moment of change too. Click the link in bio to read about how The #DuchessOfSussex became the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history. Photographed in New York, Stockholm, London and Auckland by @TheRealPeterLindbergh, with fashion editors @Edward_Enninful and @TheRealGraceCoddington, hair by @BartPumpkin and @SergeNormant, make-up by @TheValGarland and @Diane.Kendal, nails by @LorraineVGriffin and @YukoTsuchihashi. On newsstands Friday 2 August. Starring: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington

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It represents one of the most radical moves in Vogue’s 100-year history, with the magazine saying it considers the new September issue to be its most important edition of the year.

The duchess, a former actress and avowed feminist, had initially been asked to appear on the cover herself. But Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said Meghan refused as she thought it would appear too "boastful".

Instead the duchess wanted to focus on the "women she admires" from the "frontline of fashion, film, tech and wellness". Meghan has also selected content for the issue which, according to Enninful, shows she is willing to wade into issues of "female empowerment, mental health, race or privilege".


Meghan’s trailblazers include actress Jane Fonda, mental health campaigner and model Adwoa Aboah, transgender Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. 

The 16th image on the cover is a mirror to "include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change" – the duchess’s idea. Prince Charles, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge have all tried their hand at being journalists in recent years to plug causes close to their hearts.

* The September issue of Vogue is available by digital download and on news-stands on Friday.

Daily Mail