Who came first? Meghan Markle or a book about trailblazing women?
It's been 24 hours since Meghan Markle revealed the cover of the British Vogue issue she guest-edited, and it has already caused quite the controversy.
Shortly after the news broke, authors Samanta Brett and Steph Adams accused the duchess of ripping off the cover of their book The Game Changers. And there's no denying the similarities between the two covers, as both adopt a grid format with black and white photos of fifteen successful women inspiring change.
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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
Interestingly, Meghan played a roll in the production of The Game Changers as not only was she featured on the cover but she personally approved the concept and even wrote an essay for the book's release nearly three years ago.
Brett told the Daily Mail she was stunned when she first saw Meghan's Vogue issue:
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.
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While there are definitely some similarities, a black-and-white photo grid isn't exactly the most groundbreaking idea.
We can't know for sure if the cover's design was even Meghan's idea but she did suggest adding a reflective 16th tile to the page.
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,
What’s most important here is not who invented the grid, it's the women highlighted in Meghan’s Vogue issue, including actress Jane Fonda, activist and model Adwoa Aboah, and our very own Sinead Burke, among many others.
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What changes do you want to see in the world? That’s the question HRH The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal and #BritishVogue posed to 15 women with 15 unique causes in the September 2019 #ForcesForChange issue. Meet the September issue cover stars as they discuss who and what is inspiring change today. Stay tuned for the full film on Vogue.co.uk/video. Directed and edited by @Kloss_Films. Starring: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington
Plus, if we need to discuss originality, the cover’s mirror feature is pretty unique.
Main image by @sussexroyal on Instagram