For the past seven months, Meghan Markle has been secretly working as a guest editor for the prestigious September issue of British Vogue.
And she’s used the opportunity to profile 15 incredible women doing great things for “equality, kindness, justice, and open mindedness,” according to a statement on Meghan and Harry’s official Instagram, Sussex Royal.
The Duchess of Sussex is the first person to guest edit the magazine’s September issue, which is typically the most read of the year as the start of the fashion season.
Meghan decided 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,” according to the statement.
As well as the 15 women who appear on the cover, there is a 16th space deliberately left open, featuring a mirror so that “when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective.”
The issue, which will be available on Aug. 2, is entitled “Forces for Change”, and all of the women featured in it are women that Meghan admires personally.
Here are the 15 activists, politicians, advocates, actors, models, and more, that Meghan has picked out to profile in the issue:
1. Greta Thunberg: the 16-year-old climate activist who spearheaded the School Strike 4 Climate movement.
2. Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand’s prime minister and champion of women’s empowerment and maternal rights, the environment, and wellbeing and mental health.
3. Ramla Ali: London-based champion boxer whose family fled was in Mogadishu when she was a toddler.
4. Salma Hayek Pinault: UNICEF advocate for immunisation, who was presented with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award in 2018 for leading the UNICEF campaign to end maternal and neonatal tetanus.
5. Gemma Chan: British actor who is a fierce voice for equality.
6. Laverne Cox: Orange Is the New Black star and advocate for transgender rights.
7. Jane Fonda: American actor and political activist.
8. Christy Turlington Burns: model and campaigner against maternal deaths.
9. Yara Shahidi: American actress and founder of Eighteen x 18, which works to encourage young people to get involved in politics.
10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Nigerian author and gender equality champion.
11. Francesca Hayward: Kenyan-born ballerina who is a principal dancer in London’s Royal Ballet.
12. Adut Akech: South Sudanese-Austalian model and refugee.
13. Adwoa Aboah: supermodel and founder of the gender equality platform Gurls Talk (and who also hosted Global Citizen Live in Brixton last year!)
14. Jameela Jamil: actress and radio presenter who is also well known for her body positivity advocacy.
15. Sinead Burke: Irish writer, academic, activist, and broadcaster who champions inclusivity for people with disabilities.
“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,” said Meghan in a statement.
“I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the ‘Forces for Change’ they’ll find within these pages,” she added.
The issue also reportedly features a “candid conversation” with former First Lady Michelle Obama, and an interview with environmental activist Jane Goodall.
British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said that “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,” he added.
“For 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,” he added. “She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires.”