Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are set to take about six weeks off towards the end of the year to spend some valuable “family time” together, a royal source confirmed to PEOPLE.
Royal time off!
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will take about six weeks off towards the end of the year to spend some valuable “family time” together amid their concerns that the intense scrutiny they’ve faced has been tough on the couple.
Meghan and Harry will spend the time between the U.K. and the U.S. with the likelihood that they could celebrate Thanksgiving in America.
“The duke and duchess have a full schedule of engagements and commitments until mid-November, after which they will be taking some much-needed family time,” a royal source has confirmed to PEOPLE.
Suggestions that the couple might make a move to Africa, where they recently embarked on a royal tour, have also been reignited, with Harry saying in a new documentary that Cape Town would be “an amazing place” for the couple and baby Archie to live.
“I don’t know where we could live in Africa at the moment. We’ve just come from Cape Town. That would be an amazing place to be able to base ourselves,” he says in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which debuts on ITV in the U.K. on Sunday.
The documentary also highlights some of the difficulties the new parents have faced in the last year.
“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot,” Meghan says.
“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um …yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
Asked by ITV’s Tom Bradby if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really okay, as in it’s really been a struggle?” the duchess responds, “Yes.”
Harry also talks about the still raw emotions he feels about the death of his mother Princess Diana 22 years ago and his continuing feeling that press attention led to that .
“I think being part of this family — in this role, in this job — every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back,” he said. “In that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life as oppose to the best.”
“Being here now 22 years later trying to finish what she started will be incredibly emotional. But everything that I do reminds me of her,” he continued. “But as I said — with the role, with the job and sort of the pressures that come with that — I get reminded of the bad stuff.”
In a statement released towards the end of their tour of Southern Africa, Harry, 35, said, “Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.”
For Harry, Africa is always going to be at the center of his, and Meghan’s, work. He tells the ITV documentary, “The rest of our lives, especially our life’s work, will be predominantly focused on Africa, on conservation . . . . there’s a lot of things to be done. There’s a lot of problems here, but a huge potential for solutions.”
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are back together — for a good cause.
The two royal couples, who have split their offices and charitable endeavors after initially working side-by-side, have reunited to voice a PSA video for mental health, which will be aired by major U.K. broadcasters on Monday evening.
The three-minute clip — launched by Public Health England as part of its Every Mind Matters program — features the royals narrating a spot that stars Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close and Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.
It was written by Four Weddings and a Funeral creator Richard Curtis.
“When they heard about it, all four of them were really keen to take part,” says a royal source. “It is a really positive project, and all four of them have been involved and they hope it will have a huge impact.”
The palace will not say when and where the recordings were made, but they took place at various places.
After William says “Me, you,” Harry picks up with “your brother, your mother, your friend, your colleague, your neighbor,” adding that sufferers often feel they can’t do anything about it.
“There are things we can do,” says Meghan. “From today, there’s a new way to help turn things around. Every Mind Matters will show you simple ways to look after your mental health.”
Then Kate, who was the inspiration behind the royals’ successful Heads Together mental health initiative, adds, “It’ll get you started with a free online plan designed to help you deal with stress, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel more in control.”
With Prince Harry and Meghan due to touch down in South Africa in just a few hours time, anticipation is mounting for the Sussexes’ first tour as a family. And while there is still no word on when the public may catch its first glimpse of baby Archie, there is no doubt that he will be the star of the show when he does make an appearance.
Ahead of the royal arrival, a palace source said that the couple were “very much looking forward” to the trip, adding: “Africa holds a very special place in the duke’s heart and he’s looking forward to sharing South Africa with the duchess and their son.”
The source continued about the trip, “And obviously we have an extra special small passenger to make things a little more lively.”
The Sussexes and their entourage of 13 (with the addition of their newly appointed private secretary who is being paid for privately taking it to 14) will arrive in the country by scheduled flight on Monday, September 23, and their official program will begin later that day. In an itinerary that has been drawn up alongside officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office they will represent Britain in addition to focusing on their own areas of interest including conservation, young people, and women’s empowerment.
The British High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey told journalists that “visits like this play an important part in celebrating, sustaining and renewing what is a dynamic, modern relationship between the U.K. and South Africa.” He also highlighted how the U.K. is a leading investor in South Africa and that around 430,000 Brits visit the country every year spending more than £500 million (roughly $624 million).
“It’s also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some issues close to the hearts of the duke and duchess and of real importance to the South Africans.” he said. “It will also be a chance to underline the strength and continuity of our royal family’s ties to South Africa. And in particular to recall the warm and special relationship between her majesty the Queen and the late President Mandela.”
On their first day, the couple will visit a township in Cape Town and view a workshop that teaches children about their rights as well as providing self-defense classes and female empowerment training to young girls. Both Harry and Meghan will speak publicly there.
Later on, they will tour the District Six Museum to learn more about the forced relocation of 60,000 people during the apartheid era. They will then meet the public before visiting the nearby Homecoming Centre and joining a community cooking activity.
The first three days of the trip will see the couple carry out joint engagements in Cape Town before Harry goes to Botswana, Angola and Malawi alone, leaving Meghan and Archie in South Africa. The family will be reunited in Johannesburg for the final two days of the tour.
Notably, in Angola, Harry will make a particularly poignant visit to the location in Huambo where Princess Diana memorably raised awareness of the threat posed by landmines in 1997. He will see how the area has now been transformed into a thriving community with schools and businesses.
The royals will travel to South Africa next week, and if their schedule permits, they will visit Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary.
Prince Harry, who is an ambassador for the organisation, is passionate about saving the rhino.
Known as the largest rhino orphanage and sanctuary in the world, Care for Wild forms part of the 28 000 hectare Barberton Nature Reserve, the newest Unesco World Heritage Site in South Africa.
The organisation, founded by Petronel Nieuwoudt in 2001 in the Limpopo province, aims to provide care and rehabilitation to white and black rhinos. The centre was moved to Barberton in Mpumalanga in 2011 where she and Mark Cherry established the Care For Wild programme.
Dean Cherry of Nhongo Safaris, a company that hosts rhino experiences at the sanctuary, said Harry is set to visit the sanctuary with Meghan and their baby Archie during their visit.
“Prince Harry and his family will be visiting the sanctuary. He is very passionate about the cause, and we cannot wait to share the gripping rhino stories with the royal family,” he said.
Cherry did not reveal the exact date the royal family will visit and there was no mention of the visit on their official schedule released earlier this month.
Harry last visit to the sanctuary was in 2017.
Travellers have the opportunity to learn more about the sanctuary through a day experience hosted by Nhongo Safaris.
But, do not expect to touch these rhinos. Cherry said that there is no petting or physical interaction with the animal.
“The organisation believes in the rescue, rehabilitate and release premise. Many of these rhinos have been through significant trauma. Some youngsters, seen as threats by poachers, are beaten by pangas and other harmful objects that leave them injured.
“Due to the trauma, we try to ensure little human interaction. We feed them through the boma wall. We want these rhinos to heal from their trauma and to start a new life after their release without any fear.
“The rhinos are monitored, and the anti-poaching unit does regular patrols on horseback and specialised vehicles. Some rhinos decide to stay together in small groups while others form a herd,” he said.
Cherry said the experience was purely educational. Nhongo Safaris has built an 8 sleeper lodge where guests spend the night. Included in the itinerary is rhino safaris, where a guide will explain the different types of rhino and their current plight, and an early morning patrol with the anti-poaching unit.
BAZAAR.com can exclusively confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex donated in the name of their son to help realize an ambitious project: Building a swimming pool in Guinjata Bay, Mozambique, to teach locals to swim. The resort town is home to one of the most picturesque coastlines in the world, but the area has seen an average of 12 drownings a year that could easily be avoided if local children—many of whom grow up to be fishermen—were taught how to swim and be safe in open waters. At present, 90 percent of the local population is unable to swim.
Adam Knight, a swim coach and partner with marine conservation non-profit Love the Oceans, had been running a JustGiving.com fundraiser for almost a month and was still £4,350 ($5,440) away from their target of £5,000 ($6,250). BAZAAR understands that Duchess Meghan came across the page after browsing their most recent Instagram posts and wanted to help them reach their goal.
Knight tells BAZAAR.com that staff were “blown away” by the donation when it appeared in mid-August, but were unsure of who the mystery donor—simply named “Archie HMW”—was. Some wondered whether it was from the Sussexes after the couple pledged support for the charity on their Instagram account in August. “I said to my colleague, ‘That has to be Harry and Meghan,'” Knight says. “We made some calls and were able to verify that it was from them, which is just incredible. Without that donation and support this would not be happening.”
Knight began working with Love The Oceans in the summer of 2018, and gave swim lessons to a small group of local children during that visit. “It was a little nerve-wracking going out [in the water] with just one other person, but I thought, “We’ve got a whole community of children that don’t know how to swim,” says the trainer of 12 years. “There’s a scuba diving resort with a swimming pool—let’s do something with this, let’s change things.”
During his summer 2019 visit, Knight and Love The Oceans brought together a small team to coach 200 young children how to swim, help 10 teenagers become assistant tutors, and train one new teacher: Mozambique’s first citizen with a Safety Training Award Level 2 qualification. “For our second summer we were able to expand and focus on open water swimming, teaching rescue work, and CPR,” says Knight. “Every Saturday since we left, the group have continued with lessons.”
Thanks to Archie’s donation, next August will see the charity’s efforts go further with the opening of the successfully-funded swimming pool. The venue will provide a safe space to train, and means that local children won’t need to pile on the back of a truck for a 45-minute off-road drive to use a local diving resort’s pool, which is often not available anyway. “Having our own pool means we’ll be able to double the amount of swimming lessons and also help create paying jobs for the teachers we’ve trained,” explains Knight. “Swimming isn’t just a skill that ensures the safety of children and adults in the surrounding areas. It also provides employment opportunities in an area that thrives on marine eco-tourism and scuba diving trips, but has so many living below the poverty line.”
He adds, “Now that we’re able to go ahead with this, we will all be thinking of Archie when we open the pool next August. What started out as a passion project is now transforming a community and beyond.” Knight also hopes to extend the program to the rest of the country. “Initially this was a small project to help one specific village and community, but now we’re able to start thinking about the whole of Mozambique,” he says. “People there encounter water every day—instead of it being something to fear, we want to turn it into something that’s enjoyed and provides for them in even more ways.”
Love the Oceans has been working in Guinjata Bay since 2014 and relies on volunteers to protect and study the diverse marine life in the area, including numerous species of sharks, rays, and humpback whales. As a thank you for their recognition on the @SussexRoyal Instagram account in August, the organization named one of their juvenile whale sharks after Harry and Meghan’s son.
Since the donation, Love The Oceans executive director Andrea Biden and Meghan have continued working together, with the duchess even connecting the organization with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. The Monaco royal’s charity runs a successful program teaching children how to swim in communities across South Africa.
“What the Sussexes do is just incredible and I honestly can’t thank them enough,” says Knight, who is currently recruiting a team of instructors to join next August’s trip. “Bringing the next phase of this project to life for us means that we’re one step closer to making this program a sustainable community-led initiative, which was always the aim. As the saying goes, ‘Don’t give a man a fish, give him a fishing rod.'”
Meghan Markle was just 11 years old when she was so struck by sexist language in a TV commercial for dishwashing soap that she decided to campaign to have it changed. Despite being a schoolgirl with no public profile or connections, she was successful, and so began a lifetime commitment to standing up for gender equality and women’s rights.
It is no surprise, then, that these issues feature highly on the agenda for the Duchess of Sussex throughout the itinerary of her trip to South Africa, which begins later this month.
“Through her Patronages, the Duchess will be working with organisations to promote women’s education, health, entrepreneurship and leadership,” the Sussexes’ private secretary Samantha Cohen said as she announced details of the 10-day visit. She continued, sharing that the duchess is “particularly looking forward” to learning from “inspirational women in the region.”
The focus on women and girls begins right at the start of the visit in Cape Town on Monday September 23. Harry and Meghan will attend an event with a project that teaches children about their rights and provides self-defense classes and female empowerment training to young girls. Two days later, Meghan will make a solo visit to the Woodstock Exchange area, where she will meet with female entrepreneurs and investors working in technology. “Her Royal Highness will highlight the benefits of networking between aspiring female entrepreneurs and successful female role models,” Cohen said.
While Harry is in Angola, Meghan will remain in Cape Town and take part in a “Women in Public Service” breakfast at the High Commission. She will speak with women who have played a key role in the development of South Africa’s Parliament, government, education and healthcare systems, and those who advocate for gender equality. A few days later, in Johannesburg, the duchess will meet with academics and students, and discuss the challenges faced by young women in accessing higher education. After that, she will visit a school to see the work of a charity which receives U.K. aid funding for its mission to raise awareness of and tackle sexual violence in schools.
The issue of violence against women is particularly pertinent in South Africa right now. President Cyril Ramaphosa recently addressed the nation, saying: “Violence against women has become more than a national crisis. It is a crime against our common humanity.” And in September, people took to the streets to protest gender-based violence in protests following the rape and murder of 19-year-old university student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
In 2017, South Africa ranked 90th out of 160 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s gender inequality inde, which measures the gender disparity within a country. The index takes into account reproductive health, parliamentary representation, attainment in education, and labor market participation.
The program for Harry and Meghan’s trip has been organized alongside the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the royals and their staff have worked closely with representatives in host countries to create the final itinerary.
As Samantha Cohen said, “Not only will this visit serve as an opportunity for the Duke and Duchess to highlight many of the causes they have been involved with for many years, it will demonstrate a modern UK-Africa partnership in action.”
The Duchess of Sussex and a friend headed to Modo Yoga, which offers hot yoga classes in an eco-conscious studio, in the West Village neighborhood of N.Y.C. The royal is in New York to see close friend Serena Williams play in the final of the US Open on Saturday.
Meghan, 38, joined a surprisingly full yoga class of up to 60 people on Friday.
“There were lots of sweet, knowing smiles” among some of the respectful patrons, a source tells PEOPLE.
And it comes as no surprise that one of her first stops in N.Y.C. was to a yoga class. Meghan has been a long-time advocate of yoga, with her mom Doria Ragland — who is an instructor in L.A. — playing a major role in her love for the practice.
“She has been going to Modo Yoga for many years and tries to do so whenever she is in New York,” the source adds. “It was the perfect remedy for jet lag.”
This isn’t the first time Meghan has turned to yoga to beat travel fatigue. During Meghan and Prince Harry‘s royal tour Down Under last October, she admitted she was fighting jet lag with a morning yoga session at 4:30 a.m.
Meghan arrived in New York on Friday afternoon after taking a commercial flight out of London at the last minute early in the morning.
Husband Prince Harry and 4-month-old son Archie are staying at home in Windsor — marking the first time Meghan is traveling without her baby. Meghan will return to Britain at the end of the weekend
Meghan’s surprise trip to New York comes as Buckingham Palace released more news and details of her upcoming royal visit to South Africa alongside Prince Harry, 34, and baby Archie.
Her return to New York City also has a special significance for Meghan. In addition to it being one of her favorite cities, it’s also where the California native celebrated her baby shower in February with some of her closest friends.
Meghan, Harry and Archie have also done some traveling as a family of three this summer. They headed to the Spanish island of Ibiza in early August, when Meghan celebrated her 38th birthday.
Shortly after, the family headed to Nice in the south of France, where they stayed at the private home of family friend Elton John.
Buckingham Palace has revealed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal tour itinerary for their upcoming visit to Africa this autumn. Harry and Meghan, who will be accompanied by their baby son Archie, will undertake a ten-day tour from Monday 23 September to Wednesday 2 October. They will spend the first three days in Cape Town, South Africa before Harry travels to Kasane, Botswana alone for a one-day private working visit. Scroll down for tour itinerary.
The Duke will then resume the tour, which is being carried out at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in Angola. Harry will spend two days in Dirico, Huambo and Luanda. He will then travel to Malawi where he will be reunited with his wife Meghan and baby Archie. The couple will end their tour in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This will be Archie’s first long-haul tour abroad. The royal baby will only be four months old; in comparison, his cousin Prince George was eight months old when he joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Australia and New Zealand in 2014. Archie is expected to make at least a couple of official appearances on tour, but the palace has not revealed when.
A royal source told HELLO!: “The couple hope to include Archie at some point in the programme, but it’s difficult to schedule. He’s five months old. But they hope to.” Another source told HELLO! the programme had been designed to allow the couple to be with Archie at bathtime and bedtime and for other key times in his routine. Because there isn’t an official arrival, the couple will first be seen in a township in Cape Town on day one of the tour. Archie won’t be there.
Meghan Markle is making a last-minute trip to New York City so she can support her good friend Serena Williams in the US Open final this weekend.
The Duchess of Sussex, 38, boarded a commercial flight from London on Friday morning, PEOPLE confirms. She is making the trip without husband Prince Harry and 4-month-old son Archie, who will remain home in Windsor.
Meghan is expected to return to Britain at the end of the weekend. “It is a last-minute trip,” a source told The Times, which broke the story of the royal’s plans. “Excited to support her friend, and then come back.”
The royal’s last trip to America was in February for her baby shower with close friends.
The news comes as it has emerged that Meghan, Harry and baby Archie will not be heading to Balmoral, Scotland, to spend time with Queen Elizabeth this season. Meghan has yet to visit the castle in the Scottish Highlands.
Meghan and Harry declined the invitation to spend time with the Queen, 93, and the royal family at Balmoral. A royal source says that the couple see Harry’s grandmother regularly as they live close to her at Windsor. They have also been busy planning their upcoming tour to Africa and preparing for the unveiling of Meghan’s capsule collection she has created with pal Misha Nonoo next week.
On Saturday, Meghan will be cheering on her close friend Williams at the final against Bianca Andreescu.
Meghan first met Williams at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami where they immediately hit it off. Last summer, the tennis pro and her husband Alexis Ohanian, who both attended the royal wedding, joined Meghan to watch Harry compete in a polo match in Ascot, England. Williams also helped throw a baby shower for her friend in N.Y.C.earlier this year.
In July, Meghan and some friends watched Serena’s match at the Wimbledon championships. She then joined sister-in-law Kate Middleton for the women’s final.
The Duchess of Sussex will step out next Thursday to launch the capsule collection of women’s workwear she created with her designer friend Misha Nonoo
Meghan Markle is making her official return to royal duties after maternity leave!
The Duchess of Sussex will step out next Thursday, Sept. 12, to launch the capsule collection of women’s workwear she created with her designer friend Misha Nonoo.
The outing marks her first official work engagement since she and Prince Harry welcomed their first child, a son they named Archie Harrison, on May 6, making her return to royal duties just over four months after Archie’s birth.
The clothing line will benefit her patronage Smart Works, a charity that helps women find employment with coaching tips and professional attire for their job interviews. For every item bought during the sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works.
“When you walk into a Smart Works space you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes,” Meghan wrote in the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited. “Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colors, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes.”
“To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friends, the designer Mischa Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe,” she added. “Taking the idea further, many of the brands agreed to use the one-for-one model: for each item purchased by a customer, one is donated to the charity. Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together.”
The royal mom shared the first glimpse of her project in a candid Instagram Story last month. In the video, which is set to the Bill Withers’ 1977 hit, “Lovely Day,” the Meghan surprises a group of women as they arrive to the collection’s photo shoot.
Meghan excitedly puts her hand to her face as the women come up the stairs to be greeted by the royal with a hug. She proceeds to help direct the shoot from the sidelines and even styles the women.
Dressed casually chic in skinny jeans, a blue-and-white striped collared shirt by sustainable British women’s shirt brand With Nothing Underneath and nude heels, Meghan is animated as she laughs and jokes around on set. At the end of the video, she excitedly claps in front of the camera.
Although Meghan has been mostly out of the spotlight since Archie’s arrival, she’s stayed very busy. In addition to her work as the guest editor of British Vogue and the capsule collection, Meghan made her first post-baby appearance at Trooping the Colour in June to celebrate Queen Elizabeth‘s birthday with the rest of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Meghan, 38, also made a surprise appearance alongside Harry when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox faced off for the first-ever regular season MLB game in London, where the new parents were presented with some baseball-themed gifts for Archie.
Meghan’s summer also included Archie’s christening, outings to Wimbledon (including watching the women’s final with sister-in-law Kate Middleton and Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton), a family outing to watch Prince William and Prince Harry play polo that marked Archie’s first public appearance and a “date night” with Harry to see The Lion King, where they met the film’s stars including Beyoncé.
The clips show the royal-turned-designer behind the scenes at a photo shoot promoting her range of work attire, which launches this autumn. In the footage, the duchess is seen hugging models, working with photographers, and smiling proudly from the sidelines.
“Meghan surprised everyone at Smart Works when she showed up for the shoot, ” which took place today in London, a source tells BAZAAR.com.
Following the theme of office-inspired fashion, Meghan wore a blue and white striped button-down shirt by Frank & Eileen, skinny jeans, and nude pumps for the shoot.
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Duchess Meghan is collaborating with the brands Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Jigsaw, and Misha Nonoo for the collection. The initiative will support the charity Smart Works, one of her royal patronages, which helps women entering the workforce by helping them dress for jobs or prepare for interviews.
The pieces in Meghan’s capsule will sell on a “one-for-one” basis, meaning an item is donated for each item purchased. “Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together,” the Duchess of Sussex explained in British Vogue in July, when she first unveiled the project.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is on a roll with her fashionable projects this week. Days after revealing that she guest edited the September issue of British Vogue, Meghan has announced that she’s launching a capsule collection of workwear to benefit her royal patronage Smart Works, a charity that benefits disadvantaged and unemployed women who are entering or returning to the workforce.
Meghan broke the news in her British Vogue issue, according to royal reporter Omid Scobie. She recruited an impressive set of collaborators for the project: British department stores Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, the brand Jigsaw, and her close friend and fashion designer Misha Nonoo.
The collection will launch later this year and will be sold on a “one-for-one basis,” meaning an item is donated for each item purchased. “Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together,” Meghan explained in the magazine.
The duchess became the royal patron of Smart Works in January and had a public engagement at the headquarters that month. During her visit, she helped style one woman for a job interview.
Meghan said during her trip, “It’s not just donating your clothes and seeing where they land, it’s really being part of each other’s success stories as women.”
Smart Works has grown quickly ever since Duchess Meghan became involved. In February, the organization helped 187 women in London, which is almost 50 percent more than it assisted in the same month last year. Considering the ever-persistent “Meghan effect,” the phenomenon of an article of clothing selling out after the duchess wears it in public, we can only imagine the impact her upcoming collection will have on Smart Works.
In formulating the content of the Forces for Change issue, I knew that I wanted to create a magazine that would speak not just to where we are, but to where we hope to be. In doing so, I knew we needed to both open and close strong. Like a beautiful meal: the first bite sets the tone and the final spoonful leaves you satiated, smiling, and sometimes (if you’re dining under the direction of a forward-thinking chef) even inspired. So how could I bring this issue to its logical conclusion? How could I meet that very lofty self-imposed goal?
Turns out British Vogue famously has a back page Q&A feature that is equal parts informative and whimsical, with a special guest each month. My first thought was that it needed to be someone kind, inspirational, motivating, funny, with gravitas and as much depth as levity. My second thought: it needed to be Michelle Obama.
So, over a casual lunch of chicken tacos and my ever-burgeoning bump, I asked Michelle if she would help me with this secret project.
It wasn’t a huge ask, so to speak, because the back page of Vogue comprises a few simple questions to garner a few simple answers – tidbits that would leave you, the reader, feeling all of the aforementioned sensations of this analogous culinary experience. She graciously said yes (because she’s Michelle, she’s gracious), and then very promptly sent answers (because she’s Michelle, she’s prompt).
It was in early January, on a cold and blustery London day, that I sat down for a cup of tea with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful. Though we have several mutual friends, our first encounter had been years in the making, the impetus for which was my asking him to support an organisation I strongly believe in called Smart Works.
What evolved over the next hour was a promising pow wow of two like-minded thinkers, who have much in common, including our love of writing. Over a steaming cup of mint tea, we teased through how one can shine light in a world filled with seemingly daily darkness. Lofty? Of course. Worth it? Without question.
Within hours of our meeting’s end, we were already texting one another – philosophising about how to communicate this shared understanding and the lens through which we see the world, how to pivot from a perspective of frustration to one of optimism.
So I asked the question. Actually, I typed and deleted the question several times until I built up the courage to ask the question in question.
“Edward… instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest editing your September issue?”
(Mind you, I know how important the September issue is for the fashion industry. I realise the reach, and I see the opportunity to be a part of fashion’s push for something greater, kinder, more impactful. But I am also a little nervous to be boldly asking the editor-in-chief, whom I’d only just met, to take a chance on me.) Continue reading HRH The Duchess of Sussex Introduces The September Issue In Her Own Words