Duchess Meghan told photographer Peter Lindbergh: ‘I want to see freckles’

The Duke & Duchess Of Sussex Visit Sussex

Yes, I’ve seen all of the criticism lodged at the Duchess of Sussex for her guest-editorship of British Vogue’s September Issue. The sleepy late-summer months are always a bit fraught for royal coverage, because most of the royals are on vacation and most of the British tabloids just use “filler” royal stories, like trying to work up some energy for months-old controversies or they’ll simply repeat stuff we already know. So in some ways, the British Vogue drop was interesting because… Meghan’s going to be the topic of conversation for the next month. As I said previously, I don’t really care enough to detail the criticisms point by point. Just trust me that it’s the same-old same-old. Here’s something nice though – photographer Peter Lindbergh says that Meghan’s main editorial direction was “MOAR FRECKLES.”

The German photographer Peter Lindbergh has captured 15 cover stars for the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, his first cover for the magazine since the September 1992 issue. Here, he tells Ellie Pithers how the mammoth cover shoot came together over three continents, several days, and – in a first for the magazine – via video link.

When it came to photographing the extraordinary cast of women who appear on the cover of this collector’s edition of British Vogue, there was only one man for the job: Peter Lindbergh. “It was one of those brilliantly spontaneous moments when HRH The Duchess of Sussex and I had exactly the same idea at exactly the same time,” says Edward Enninful, of the choice. “Peter sees beauty in real people, in real situations. He makes everybody feel their best.”

The German photography titan boasts a long history with British Vogue, but it was his now-famous January 1990 cover, featuring a gang of supermodels, that was the reference for the Forces for Change issue. “Natural” was a word that came up repeatedly in cover discussions. “I hate retouching, I hate make-up. I always say, ‘Take the make-up off!’” Lindbergh, 74, confirms. “The number of beautiful women who have asked me to lengthen their legs or move their eyes further apart…” he breaks into a laugh. “You would not believe. It’s a culture of madness.”

The images for the ambitious cover shoot were captured in June, over three continents and several days. Pulling the portfolio together required gargantuan effort: co-ordinating the diaries of 15 of the world’s most successful and phenomenally busy women left little margin for missteps. Two separate shoots took place in studios in New York and London. “My instructions from the Duchess were clear: ‘I want to see freckles!’” says Lindbergh, who spoke to her over the phone on the morning of the New York shoot. “Well, that was like running through open doors for me. I love freckles.”

[From British Vogue]

Meghan wanted to see women’s freckles because she’s a big fan of her own freckles. She’s talked before about how she doesn’t like to wear so much makeup because she wants to show off her freckles, and how she hates it when magazines airbrush her freckles. When I first saw the British Vogue cover, my eye caught on all of the freckles too. It’s cute. Anyway, it sounds like Lindbergh had a great time shooting these editorials. Would you like me to preview another complaint from the haters? Why didn’t Meghan choose a BRITISH photographer? Why didn’t she choose a female photographer? I don’t know… probably because nothing is ever good enough when it concerns Meghan.

meghan vogue uk

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, British Vogue.

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20 Responses to “Duchess Meghan told photographer Peter Lindbergh: ‘I want to see freckles’”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I love the cover. They all look gorgeous, and like themselves. sometimes on magazine covers the people are unrecognizable.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Yes and Meg chose to feature other women she admires. Kate’s Vogue cover was just her looking perfectly photoshopped. Alsk, I love freckles. So sexy for some reason!

  2. Seraphina says:

    Kaiser, Love the sarcasm behind your last comment! And if it were ever true that nothing is ever good enough for Meghan, we could say she’s really becoming a RBF member 🤣

    I agree that we live in a wold where we women have a very distorted view of what beauty is and how we should age. I see the average woman downloading apps to change what she doesn’t like and it’s sad. Very sad. I too fight with what I see. Wish I could go back 10 years ago and 20 years ago and say: hey, stop criticizing, you are beautiful!

    • Borgqueen says:

      OMG @ I hate those filter apps that change your whole. It is sad. I too wish I could go back to my 20s and tell myself you are freaking stunning and rela.

      • Seraphina says:

        I am guilty of playing around with it to see what I can change. I don’t post or sue the pics. I’ve realized even playing around with it is more than likely not healthy.

  3. Toot says:

    I love the cover photos and Peter seems to be able to showcase ones natural beauty.

  4. ff says:

    freckles are so in rn, there are countless tutorials on youtube on how to fake them

  5. Mignionette says:

    PR genius – take over ‘silly season’ of August by using the media to highlight something you want to promote.

    These idiots are so shortsighted that they’re about to make September 2019 the biggest selling issue of Vogue in history.

    This partially explains all the advance editorials.

    For all the bitching and complaining from middle england Fail readership, you can bet they will be first in line at M&S when that capsule collection drops…

  6. Fleur says:

    I love freckles and I love mms freckles. I also like who she chose and her letter to the editor, and thought people were being petty to criticize it. Can I just say the only thing I hate about the cover is the block-y layout with the one gray block in the middle. I don’t know if it’s supposed to represent a mirror or what but I think it looks like a year book cover.

    • Betsy says:

      As someone who can’t afford to buy British Vogue regularly, it will still be a nice break from Anna Wintour’s crappy celebrity cavalcade.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yes, its a mirror, to indicate that each person can be a force for change (so your face is among the others on the cover.) It’s a little cheesy but I like it.

  7. Kim says:

    I haven’t read the criticisms because, quite frankly, I don’t want to hear them. I don’t like this age of breaking people down rather than lifting them up. If people can’t see the “lifting then up” part of this cover and HRH’s work, then I feel sorry for them. I assume they’d prefer she shuts up, wears pretty fashion and holds tea cups just so. I, personally, was very moved when I saw her work on this cover. Keep on your path, Meghan. There are people in the world cheering you on. Ignore the naysayers and crazy family members. It’s a lesson we can all use.

    • Market Street Minifig says:

      “I don’t like this age of breaking people down rather than lifting them up.”

      Absolutely. It is incredibly disheartening that unabashed unkindness seems to be the current fashion. Maybe that’s why Meghan’s keenness and flowery writing feel cringey to some. As for her detractors, it’s becoming clearer that the only thing that would satisfy them is for her to have never have had the temerity to date, let alone marry, Prince Harry.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Meghan probably chose Lindbergh because he photographed her VF cover a few years back.

    I mean….if these people are gonna complain, have something to back it up first. Please ????

  9. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I love the cover, I love the freckles, and I love the letter to the editor. All these people whining can shove off.

  10. Meg says:

    It wasn’t until Emma Watson insisted in beauty and the beast that they not cover her freckles did I think about it, growing up I didn’t see women portrayed in a flattering attractive context in the media with freckles. Even today you’ll see articles insinuating how brave it is for these celebs to bare their freckles. The not so subtle message is: freckles aren’t attractive. U can’t show freckles and be attractive at the same time. As a woman with lots of freckles this was a crappy message to get and really affected my self esteem.

  11. Sunnee says:

    I get her love of freckles because I LOVE mine. They go my from my forehead to my chest. My mom used to call them my cinnamon sprinkles. I got them from her and my deep dimples are from my dad. I’m the only one of my siblings to have them and I always felt like it was their gift to me. In college my roommate urged me to use foundation like she did. I declined. None of my kids have them, but hopefully a grandchild will.

  12. Spicecake38 says:

    In US people are going to plastic surgery/dermatologist,and tattoo artists to mimic Meghan with her freckles.I have a couple and although I’d not go so far as to pay to have some cosmetically enhanced,or to have more it makes me feel good to know that people are embracing some unique qualities instead of the constant photoshop ,airbrush and heavy makeup look of sooo many (regular people not just the famous).

  13. Lisa Lazzara says:

    My son has the most perfect freckles dotted on his cheeks and nose. Thanks to MM, every time I look at him, I can’t help but think they’re so cute.

  14. Alyse says:

    That header pic of her is SO pretty! Kept having to scroll back up in awe