Did Meghan Markle Copy the Vogue Cover She Guest-Edited From a Book She Helped Produce?
The world has finally gotten a glance at the upcoming September issue of British Vogue that Meghan Markle guest-edited. The issue is titled Forces for Change and features more than a dozen influential women who are “raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice, and open-mindedness.”
While many have praised the cover, other readers have called out the Duchess of Sussex. They’re accusing her of copying the best-selling book The Game Changers by Samantha Brett and Steph Adams, for which she penned an essay in 2016. Oof.
A closer look at the similarities
Let’s start with the Vogue cover. If you haven’t seen it, the cover uses a grid format with black-and-white photos of 15 women, including a variety of celebrities, activists, and politicians.
They include New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, LGBTQ advocate and actress Laverne Cox, boxer Ramla Ali, and novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The issue also features an interview between Markle and former first lady Michelle Obama.
The cover of The Game Changers, on the other hand, has a similar format. It also uses a black-and-white photo grid. Markle wrote an essay for the book, which offers “success secrets from 40 women at the top, roughly three years before guest-editing British Vogue’s upcoming issue.
Brett offered some thoughts on the matter to The Daily Mail, saying she was stunned by the cover. “It’s obviously very flattering; she obviously likes our concept. I love Meghan and am a huge fan, but if what people are alerting us to is true, then it’s extremely disappointing,” she said.
While there may be some vague similarities here, people have used black-and-white photo grids time after time. And besides, there are more important things to focus on here, like all the women both publications highlighted. Right?
Why is there a blank spot on the British Vogue cover?
The 16th spot on the cover is actually a mirror to “include the reader and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change.” The Instagram account for the Sussexes shared a statement that echoes that. It says the spot “was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective.”
Some people guessed that the duchess would get a spot on the cover, but she reportedly didn’t like the idea. “From the very beginning, we talked about the cover — whether she would be on it or not,” Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, said in a statement shared with People.
“In the end, she felt that it would be in some ways a ‘boastful’ thing to do for this particular project,” he explained of the duchess, who became “the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history.”
Instead, she wanted to focus on other women making a difference in the world.
Enninful went on to say that Markle wanted to focus on the women she “admires.” Markle herself opened up on her choices in a statement shared with People.
“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,” Markle said 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,” she continued.
Readers will be able to pick up a copy of the issue on Aug. 2, so you can get a closer look at it then.