Adut Akech only found out Meghan, Duchess of Sussex had chosen her for British Vogue’s Forces for Change issue when she recently received a surprise call from the royal.
The model, who was born in South Sudan and raised in Adelaide, Australia, appears on the September 2019 issue of British Vogue alongside 14 other trailblazing women including Adwoa Aboah, Christy Turlington, and Jane Fonda.
The issue, entitled Forces for Change, was guest-edited by the actress-turned-royal, who began working with editor-in-chief Edward Enninful in January, but Akech had no idea she was involved in the cover until she received a phone call from the Duchess herself last week.
“Feeling so extremely honoured and proud to be on the September 2019 Issue cover of @britishvogue #forcesofchange along side the most inspirational women I know,” the 19-year-old wrote on Instagram. “A few nights ago I got one of the best surprise, a phone call from The Duchess of Sussex herself to tell me she was the guest-editor of this issue. She told me that she finds me and my story so inspiring and those words I will never forget for the rest of my life. The thought of being chosen by HRH The Duchess of Sussex @sussexroyal and @edward_enninful as one the fifteenth amazing women looked as the #Forcesofchange completely blows my mind!
“Thank you @edward_enninful… and your entire team at British Vogue for recognising me. What this moment means to me I can’t explain in words.”
The cover stars, also including actresses Yara Shadidi, Salma Hayek and Laverne Cox, were photographed by Peter Lindbergh in studios in London and New York, with the exception of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
According to Lindbergh, the Duchess instructed him over the phone to show the women as their natural selves.
“My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!'” he said. “Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles.”
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