The 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex guest-edited the September edition of British Vogue, dubbed the Forces for Change issue, and worked with famous photographer Peter Lindbergh. Lindbergh talked to the magazine about teaming up with Meghan to photograph powerful and impactful women that the former Suits star admires -- including Gemma Chan, Jane Fonda, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and more -- as well as what Meghan wanted most from him.
"My instructions from the Duchess were clear: 'I want to see freckles!'" he shares. "Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles."
Lindbergh -- who's known for shooting Vogue's memorable January 1990 cover featuring A-list supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and more, which was used as a reference for Meghan's issue -- was all for the directive.
"I hate retouching, I hate makeup," he says. "I always say, 'Take the makeup off!' The number of beautiful women who have asked me to lengthen their legs or move their eyes further apart… You would not believe. It's a culture of madness."
Meghan has long been an advocate for letting her freckles show. In an interview with Allure in 2017, she talked about being a biracial actress in Hollywood and how she was photographed.
"To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot," she said. "For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: 'A face without freckles is a night without stars.'"
"From the very beginning, we talked about the cover -- whether she would be on it or not," he writes in his Editor's Letter to readers about the issue. "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."
He also reveals that it was Meghan who initially reached out to him via email -- simply going by "M" -- and that she also took it upon herself to ask if she can guest edit the September issue. He praises her work ethic and her warm personality.
"When you only know someone by their public persona, all too often you find yourself disappointed by the reality," he writes. "But, once in a while, someone comes along who exceeds all your expectations. Let me say this for The Duchess of Sussex: she is the real deal -- and an ultimate force for change."
In her own Guest Editor letter, Meghan explains her choice for the cover.
"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," she writes. "Some I've had the pleasure of meeting and enlisted personally for this issue, others I've admired from afar for their commitment to a cause, their fearlessness in breaking barriers, or what they represent simply by being. These are our forces for change. And among all these strong women on the cover, a mirror -- a space for the you, the reader, to see yourself. Because, you, too, are part of this collective. "