Meghan is guest editing British Vogue

A supergroup of leading women coming wither her

By Rob Picheta, CNN
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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a panel discussion convened by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust to mark International Women's Day on March 8, 2019, in London.

(CNN) - Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is guest-editing the September edition of British Vogue -- and she's bringing a host of change-making women with her.

Student climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and actress-turned-campaigner Jane Fonda are among 15 leading female figures set to appear on the magazine's cover. Titled "Forces for Change," the September issue will also feature a conversation between Meghan and former US first lady Michelle Obama.

But Meghan won't be on the cover herself -- she felt it would be "boastful" to include her image, according to British Vogue's editor-in-chief Edward Enninful -- and instead chose to shine a light on women who inspire her.

Actresses Salma Hayek Pinault and Jameela Jamil, boxer Ramla Ali and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are among the other figures chosen to appear in the September issue. An interview between Meghan's husband Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and anthropologist Jane Goodall is also set for inclusion in the magazine.

The Duchess has highlighted a number of different causes through her picks, with high-profile campaigners on climate change, LGBTQ rights, mental health and the migrant crisis all put in the spotlight.

The group is described as a collection of "trailblazing changemakers, united by their fearlessness in breaking barriers," according to a statement released by the royal family. The edition will hit newsstands on Friday, Aug. 2, and the royal couple released a promotional video on their Instagram page on Monday showing several of the cover stars during their photo shoots.

"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," Meghan 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."

Vogue's September issue is its most-read each year, and the Duchess has worked on the project during the latter stages of her pregnancy and her first weeks of motherhood. Meghan is the first person to be asked to guest-edit the September edition.

"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," said Enninful.

"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."

"From 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. She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires," Enninful added.

Among the most anticipated parts of the issue will be Meghan's "candid conversation" with her friend Michelle Obama. In December, the former first lady told Good Housekeeping magazine that she'd offered the Duchess advice on how to handle her new royal life.

"Like me, Meghan probably never dreamt that she'd have a life like this, and the pressure you feel -- from yourself and from others -- can sometimes feel like a lot," Obama said.

"What I'd say is that there's so much opportunity to do good with a platform like that -- and I think Meghan can maximize her impact for others, as well her own happiness, if she's doing something that resonates with her personally," she added.

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