Meghan Markle's Instructions for the Cover Shoot of Her 'British Vogue' Issue: "I Want to See Freckles!"

The key word for the cover shoot was "natural," according to the photographer.

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Yesterday, we got a first look at a very big deal: the Duchess of Sussex' guest-edited September issue of British Vogue, on sale Friday. And the cover is something pretty special. In keeping with the issue title, "Forces for Change," it features 15 impossibly inspiring women, including Laverne Cox, Greta Thunberg, Yara Shahidi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sinéad Burke, and Salma Hayek Pinault.

In an interview with editor Edward Enninful and photographer Peter Lindbergh, who shot each woman for the cover, British Vogue revealed Meghan's vision. Choosing Lindbergh, Enninful said, wasn't difficult. "It was one of those brilliantly spontaneous moments when HRH The Duchess of Sussex and I had exactly the same idea at exactly the same time," he said. "Peter sees beauty in real people, in real situations. He makes everybody feel their best."

The inspiration for the "Forces for Change" cover was Lindbergh's now iconic January 1990 cover, featuring Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford, while a recurring theme in pre-photoshoot discussions was "natural," according to the photographer.

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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. • “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” - and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” - The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange

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And Lindbergh shared one specific direction he received from Meghan. "My instructions from the Duchess were clear: 'I want to see freckles!'" he said. "Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles."

So does Meghan—back in 2017, she told Allure about "feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community," and being labeled "ethnically ambiguous" for castings. "Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum," she said. "To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot."

Meghan went on to encourage others to love their freckles, a mission she's continued with her British Vogue issue. "For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger," she told Allure. "'A face without freckles is a night without stars.'"


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