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Buckingham Palace was ‘blindsided’ by Meghan Markle’s Vogue issue, new book claims

The Duchess of Sussex became the fist guest editor of a September issue of British Vogue in 2019

Kate Ng
Sunday 17 July 2022 15:21 BST
Meghan Markle releases video to mark her 40th birthday
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Meghan Markle’s guest editorship of British Vogue in September 2019 came as a surprise to Buckingham Palace, a new book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has claimed.

The book by British journalist Tom Bower, titled Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors, includes interviews from royal insiders into the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family.

While the book was written without the cooperation of the Sussexes, Bower claims to pull back the veil to reveal the process behind Meghan’s “Forces for change” issue of British Vogue.

In an extract published in The Times, he wrote that Meghan “saw no reason to inform Palace officials about her decision” to become the first guest editor of the iconic fashion magazine.

Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful played a key role in keeping the special edition under wraps, and spoke of secret meetings, phone calls and emails to orchestrate it.

However, the secret was kept so well that Buckingham Palace was “blindsided” by the magazine’s publication, Bower wrote.

It fell to Palace staff member Sara Latham, the head of communications of the Sussexes at the time, to “mastermind [Meghan’s] latest publicity launch”.

According to the book, Meghan requested that Latham “demand that the official publication date in Britain be delayed by one day to let publication in the US take the lead”.

“Meghan’s order revealed that she was relying on her American advisers and hoped that a Palace request to Enninful would be obeyed,” Bower wrote.

But the request was rejected. Further demands “from Buckingham Palace” were communicated through Latham to Vogue’s team to “terminate the magazine’s promotion”, but were also refused.

The special edition, which featured 15 women described as “game changers” including Jane Fonda, Joni Mitchell, Laverne Cox, Gemma Chan, and Greta Thunberg, went on the become British Vogue’s fastest selling issue in its history.

The excerpt also revealed that Meghan “wanted to feature on the cover”, but the magazine’s editorial team convinced her otherwise because it would appear “boastful”.

Instead, the cover featured a black-and-white grid of the 15 women who were honoured in the issue. A 16th spot on the cover showed a silver reflective mirror, “to encourage [readers] to use your own platform to bring change”.

The Independent has contacted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Buckingham Palace for comment.

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