Double Standard? Meghan Markle's Vogue Cover Receives Backlash, While Kate Middleton's Was Widely Praised

Double Standard? Meghan Markle’s Vogue Cover Receives Backlash, While Kate Middleton’s Was Widely Praised
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England. Clive Mason/Getty Images

The battle of the princesses, Meghan Markle vs. Kate Middleton, continues in the press with Markle's guest-edited September issue of British Vogue magazine.

While Middleton appeared on the cover in 2016 to promote pictures of herself at the National Portrait Gallery, Markle opted not to grace the cover—she felt it would seem "boastful." Instead, she selected 15 women she admired to feature on the front page of the iconic fashion magazine.

Markle's decision is receiving backlash online, with some accusing her of stroking the fires of the feud between the princesses in the press, while others question her decision not to include the queen as one of her favorite trailblazing women. Markle's supporters, however, see a double standard of the treatment of the two princesses covers.

Markle's Vogue cover features leaders and activists like Salma Hayek Pinault, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacina Ardern, Jane Fonda, Laverne Cox, Yara Shahidi and Greta Thunberg, to name a few. One of the boxes features a reflective mirror as a metaphor, meant to tell readers they too can be "Forces for Change," the theme of the issue.

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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

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"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," Markle said about the issue. "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," she concluded.

British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful also commented on Markle's decision not to appear on the cover, saying, "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."

People's reactions on Twitter have been mixed, with many faulting the princess for not including the queen.

"Why didn't she put more British people on the cover. And isn't the Queen an inspirational figure?" one Twitter user wrote.

Echoing the same sentiment, another Twitter user said, "Why isn't HM The Queen included on the cover of September's Vogue, @RoyalFamily? Her Majesty is the perfect role model: like many of us she had no choice but to do the job she was given."

"#MeghanMarkle has finally hit Narcissism Platinum Level. I don't think it is actually possible to be more of a Narcissist than her. Congratulations Meg. If there was an Award for Global Lifetime Achievement in Narcissim - you'd OWN that award."

While others on Twitter are coming to Markle's defense, applauding her for her decision not to appear on the cover and calling out some of her critics as racist.

"Meghan didn't want to be on the cover of British Vogue. She wanted to be the guest editor. She's not just a pretty face. She's a brain. She's a hard worker. She's a boss. Slay."

"We all know the real reason why people are criticizing Meghan Markle for being the Guest Editor of British Vogue and it's not because 'royals don't guest edit magazines.'"

Back in 2016, Middleton was asked by British Vogue to appear in the 100th-anniversary edition of the magazine to help promote the exhibition "Vogue 100: A Century of Style" at the National Portrait Gallery, which included shots of herself. Middleton agreed to appear on the cover and in a 10-page spread in the magazine.

"The Duchess is incredibly grateful to the team at British Vogue and at the National Portrait Gallery for asking her to take part," the Royal Palace said in a statement at the time.

Middleton became the third royal to appear on the magazine's cover, following her late mother-in-law Princess Diana and Anne, Princess Royal.

Upon publication of Middleton's Vogue issue, many online praised her for looking "graceful" and "lovely."

Markle's September issue of British Vogue, which will feature photos of the princess inside the magazine, goes on sale in August.

Double Standard? Meghan Markle's Vogue Cover Receives Backlash, While Kate Middleton's Was Widely Praised | World