ENTERTAINMENT
30/07/2019 3:48 PM IST

Meghan Markle's New Vogue Cover Is Already Sparking 'Controversy'

The cover shares some similarities with a book the Duchess of Sussex contributed three years ago.

Meghan Markle’s new British Vogue cover is making headlines for its similarities to a book the former “Suits” actress contributed an essay to three years ago. 

The book, called “The Game Changers,” and the Vogue cover, which reads “Forces for Change,” look alike in both the language and the black-and-white photos of the women on the front of both publications (the book also comes in a pink cover, in addition to a black-and-white version). Each cover has exactly 15 women on the front as well. 

Both of the publications highlight specific women who are working to change the world.

Vogue/Penguin

One of the authors of the book, bestselling writer and art director Steph Adams, told HuffPost on Monday that she and co-author Samantha Brett were “honestly just very flattered” when they saw Meghan’s new Vogue UK cover, saying they “have great admiration for British Vogue and the Duchess of Sussex.” 

“When we first put together ‘The Game Changers,’ we had carefully selected different women who we thought were inspirational and that were about making changes in the world, including Meghan Markle,” Adams said in an emailed statement.

“If the Duchess of Sussex now wants to do the same and with British Vogue and she is making a difference in the world by inspiring readers then that’s great. Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.”

Brett is a journalist at Australia’s 7 News. She spoke to 7 News on Monday about the “controversy,” as she put it, over the look-alike appearance of the cover and the book. 

Brett said she was “very, very, surprised” about the similarities, saying that people were writing to her all day to tell her about Meghan’s new Vogue cover and asking her if she’d collaborated on the September issue with her. 

“At first I thought, ‘OK, this is a coincidence.’ I know that she has multiple copies of the book ― I’ve sent them to her myself,” Brett said. “But then, I came across ― someone actually sent me the press release for this latest project ― and there were words that were used: ‘trail-blazing,’ ‘change makers’ and ‘fearless women.’” 

“Now, if you look at the back of our book, it says ‘trail-blazing,’ ‘game changers,’ ‘fearless women,’” Brett added. “There are too many similarities here.”

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the similarities between the two publications.

“I’m flattered, it was a great book so I always thought someone’s going to copy it and do their own,” she added. “She has amazing women, she’s supporting women, she’s trying to empower other women ― the cause is good.” 

But Brett said she and her co-author have thought about contacting the palace and Meghan before the issue comes out on Friday. 

“I’ve just seen tonight that it’s now on the front page of every paper in the U.K. so, it’s not us saying this, it’s other people ― it’s readers of this book and readers of these papers that have come out and commented and said, ‘Wow there are so many similarities here, you guys should look into it,’” she said. 

When asked what she would say to the duchess if given the chance, Brett said that the former actress should support their book first and then challenged her to give any proceeds to charity.

Meghan has done so in the past with the launch of the cookbook “Together: Our Community Kitchen,” which she worked on with the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. All proceeds from that book benefit the Hubb Community Kitchen. 

In an introduction to the issue published Monday, the duchess reminded readers that Vogue is “still a business, after all,” noting that the issue she guest-edited will include the usual advertising sections.

Meghan spoke about creating the issue with Vogue UK’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, in the same article.

“This issue is about the power of the collective. In identifying our personal strengths, it is anchored in the knowledge that we are even stronger together,” the duchess wrote. “You will find that spirit of inclusivity on the cover: diverse portraiture of women of varying age, colour, creed, nationality and life experience, and of unquestionable inspiration.” 

This article has been updated with comment from Steph Adams.