Edward Enninful On Why HRH The Duchess Of Sussex Is The Ultimate Force For Change

It began with an email received in the chilly depths of January. I was spending a few days in the Austrian mountains when a message arrived in my inbox out of the blue. The sender went by the simplest of monikers – “M” – and for a second I was confused, wondering who this mysterious, one-lettered correspondent could possibly be. I couldn’t have known then how the answer to this question would come to define an extraordinary few months in the life of this magazine, or that it would lead to HRH The Duchess of Sussex becoming the first person ever to guest edit a September issue of British Vogue.

Anyone who knows me, or has read this title since I became its editor two years ago, will already appreciate that the Duchess is a woman for whom I have a deep and profound respect. Since she first began to navigate the waters of the British establishment, I, like so many in this country, have found her to be an inspirational woman of action. From her hands-on approach to transforming women’s lives at Smart Works (which she writes about in this issue), to the variety of her broader charity commitments, she bears all the hallmarks of a true activist. And then there is the gently modernising manner in which she has approached her new role at the centre of Britain’s public life. From negotiating first-time motherhood within an ancient institution to changing how we frame the conversation around women who face rabid media interest, her positive influence is everywhere.