Duchess Meghan’s editor’s letter for British Vogue: cringeworthy or fine?

The Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex watch the wheelchair basketball final in Australia

Earlier, I went off on the Duchess of Sussex’s unhinged critics, the people like Piers Morgan and Sarah Vine and basically the entire editorial board of the Daily Mail and The Sun. The parochial mindset, the xenophobia, the racism always JUMPS out whenever Meghan does anything. And as I said in that post, the hatred sucks all of the oxygen out of the room and it doesn’t even feel like there’s space to like and adore Meghan and everything she represents, and still take issue with one or two things about her. This whole British Vogue situation is a prime example of that – if the reaction to Meghan’s guest-editorship had been glowing and positive, there would have been room to say that actually, Meghan’s writing makes me cringe. But I can’t say that because I feel the need to defend her from a gang of racists and toxic a–holes.

So, British Vogue is hellbent on stepping on their own newscycle repeatedly, which is why they released two weeks’ worth of exclusive royal content in the space of about 24 hours. I don’t get that editorial decision, but sure. About 24 hours after the release of the guest-edited-by-Meghan cover and cover details, Vogue released Meghan’s editor’s letter (and this was about six hours after the Michelle Obama exclusive dropped). I’ve been sitting with Meghan’s editor’s letter for a moment, and let me tell you…if Goop and Pippa Tips had a love child, it would be Meghan’s flowery, cringeworthy writing style.

It was in early January, on a cold and blustery London day, that I sat down for a cup of tea with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful. Though we have several mutual friends, our first encounter had been years in the making, the impetus for which was my asking him to support an organisation I strongly believe in called Smart Works.

What evolved over the next hour was a promising pow wow of two like-minded thinkers, who have much in common, including our love of writing. Over a steaming cup of mint tea, we teased through how one can shine light in a world filled with seemingly daily darkness. Lofty? Of course. Worth it? Without question.

Within hours of our meeting’s end, we were already texting one another – philosophising about how to communicate this shared understanding and the lens through which we see the world, how to pivot from a perspective of frustration to one of optimism. So I asked the question. Actually, I typed and deleted the question several times until I built up the courage to ask the question in question.

“Edward… instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest editing your September issue?”

(Mind you, I know how important the September issue is for the fashion industry. I realise the reach, and I see the opportunity to be a part of fashion’s push for something greater, kinder, more impactful. But I am also a little nervous to be boldly asking the editor-in-chief, whom I’d only just met, to take a chance on me.)

I sent the text.

The ellipsis… the “dot dot dot” that inspires the greatest practice of patience in this digital era.

And then it appeared, EE’s reply: “Yes! I would love for you to be my guest editor.”

Sitting on my sofa at home, two dogs nestled across me, I quietly celebrated when the words appeared on my screen.

[From British Vogue]

She wanted to set the scene. I get that. She wanted to show us a glimpse into her life, and once she showed us that glimpse, she would redirect the interest to some issues she cares about. But good lord, this is some Lena Dunham-esque-level navel-gazing (the ellipsis line killed me). And it would have been so much better if she (gasp!) allowed a professional editor to work with her on the parts she wrote herself. But again, I feel like a sh-theel for mocking her writing style because the media has lined up to bully this poor woman for two years. It feels wrong to simply have some fun and roll my eyes at Meghan’s writing skills.

Oh, and this is another part which is getting wide coverage:

I was about five months pregnant when this process began, and by the time you hold this issue in your hands, my husband and I will be holding our three-month-old baby boy in ours. It’s a very special time for me personally, on so many levels; working with Edward and his team, both during my pregnancy and my maternity leave, has played no small part in that joy – it has been a privilege to be welcomed and supported by this amazing team. To Edward, thank you for entrusting me with this. I am deeply honoured. To the women who have taken my aspirations for this issue and brought them to life by being a part of this time capsule, both on the cover and in-book, I am so grateful; you are inspirations to me and I’m humbled by your support. And to you, the reader, thank you – and I hope you enjoy…

[From British Vogue]

I like that she’s reminding readers that she was actually working on all of this throughout the last four months of her pregnancy, and likely after she gave birth to Archie too. This is what she does – she works on big projects for months and then does a spectacular reveal. It’s her thing. And I have to wonder what the reaction would have been if the Duchess of Cambridge had ever done anything this big and managed to keep it mostly quiet for months, only for a big reveal? I say that because so much of Kate’s work IS the advanced hype, the multiple reports of keenness months in advance and updates on meetings and more reports of keenness. So, what would the reaction have been? Don’t tell me, I already know.

British Royals attend Trooping The Colour - The Queen's official birthday parade

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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224 Responses to “Duchess Meghan’s editor’s letter for British Vogue: cringeworthy or fine?”

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  1. Kittycat says:

    All I can say is I cant wait to buy the issue.

  2. Erinn says:

    It’s a little cringey/cheesy, but kind of in the best way?

    I can be a relatively cheesy writer at times. Mind you, I just wrote a scathing letter to a media company in our area this morning that wasn’t moderating posts on an article about a 12 year old girl who was groomed by an abuser. And I got relatively wordy, quoted specific court rulings, and I have a tendency to use a somewhat dramatic tone when writing something like that. So I certainly have no reason to tease her over this. I was questioned by a few teachers over the years because they assumed I’d stolen work from other people because I wrote at multiple grade levels higher than my peers.

    It was a sweet message, kind of flowery and dramatic, but I kind of love that about it. It’s not something EVERYONE is going to love, but I personally appreciate it. She’s trying to be reflective, and professional, and in my opinion it’s fine.

    • Molly says:

      I kind of love it too. She DEFINITELY wrote it herself.

      • bamaborn says:

        Yes! What was wrong with trying to convey and intimate relationship with the readers and then go on to explain how the process came about? Thought it was a personal touch and loved it.

    • ADS says:

      I’m so glad you said that because I like it too. I mean I get where Kaiser is coming from about the cheesiness – and there have been little hints of it here and there over time. But I find it kind of endearing. As I read her editorial I could just see her as an 11 year old writing that letter to Proctor and Gamble about the sexist soap ad. So earnest, bless her!

    • himmiefan says:

      Points to her for saying “my asking” instead of “me asking.” Seriously though, I’m so outraged by the outrage that i don’t care if she just copied that back of a cereal box. We need to start pushing back in the comments of these websites and point out that Meghan’s guest-editing is nothing when compared to Andrew hanging out with Jeffrey Epstein and having sex with minors.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I am so outraged by the outrage too. I took your advice on the pushing back.

        However, I must agree with Kaiser, Meghan really needed to an editor to help tighten up her writing.

      • Jerusha says:

        I love that someone knows the proper pronoun to accompany a gerund. Now, if only everyone knew how to follow a preposition. Ex. “for he and I” arrrrgh! No!

      • Nahema says:

        While I agree, I think you’d be wasting your time in trying to push back. The only two publications who are consistently racist as far as I’m aware are the Sun & Daily Mail. We have to remember that this isn’t the majority of people who think that way. They’re a minority who have all grouped together in one place. Engaging with them just allows them more of an audience

    • Bettyrose says:

      As an English teacher, I could’ve lived without blustery day and steaming tea, but the rest is standard magazine level narrative. Fashion & fan mags are meant to give one the feel of lunching with the elite.

      • Anance says:

        Yes! The flowery language is a sign of an immature writer. Could have used some editing – the rest is standard fare for Vogue.

      • stephka says:

        I agree — this is standard Vogue fare. It’s always like this.

    • Kitten says:

      You are a really good writer, Erinn.

  3. Nina Simone says:

    She does need some editing. Her wording is too verbose. I was sort of cringing reading her MObama intro yesterday: Same with her ig captions: it doesn’t change the fact that she’s very thoughtful and earnest.

    But I will support her! Let the racists seethe.

    • Mac says:

      My god, if Kate had written something like this the tabs, gossip sights, and Twitter would implode. Edward Enninful should have insisted on professional editing to protect Meghan from the obvious negative reaction to bad writing.

      • M says:

        If Kate had written this, the tabloids would have lauded this magazine issue as if it was the greatest thing ever written. Kate is being protected by the media right now. She can do no wrong. You can’t compare Kate’s treatment to Meghan’s.
        Also, Meghan is going to receive negative reactions no matter what she does. This is her voice and style. Some people will love it and some won’t.

      • Yami says:

        I agree with M. If Kate had written it would tantamount to the second coming and perfection to rival that of Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf. The praise would be over the top because that lady makes a log seats and suddenly it’s revolutionary. It’s like Meghan has to win a Pulitzer to gain minimum acceptability.

      • nic919 says:

        Kate gets praise for visiting a garden a few times and playing on a swing. The media treated it like she solved climate change.

      • Duchess of Grumble says:

        The point is that the Duchess of Cambridge does not put herself or her interests first. English people are angry with the Duchess of Sussex because she thinks her title is a way to promote herself and her pet causes, however worthy. It’s not. Above all it is not a way to promote her politics.

        These people are supposed to be above the political fray – that’s what they get paid for with tax money. (Politicians get paid public money too, but at least they can be voted out again.) It’s not racism that makes people say that, it’s their expectation that royalty not be used as a means to an end. She isn’t an actress any more. When Diana got praised for shaking the hands of AIDS sufferers or the present Duchess of Cambridge gets praised for planting a tree, it’s because *that is what they are there for; it’s what they are supposed to do.* Everyone was ready to like Meghan (well, most people were) until she showed herself to be a narcissist.

    • Amy Too says:

      I think a large part of why people think it’s “cringey” is because she’s making it so obvious that she cares and is trying her best. Most people tend to be more jaded. We expect people to come off as effortlessly cool, and when we see someone acting really earnest, thoughtful, and caring, we cringe. Because we’re not used to people actively portraying that they are trying their very best at whatever it is they’re doing. I think part of it is second hand embarrassment. We would be crushed if we put something like what she wrote out into the world and people made fun of it for being too wordy, or serious, or earnest, or whatever. We would expect to be mocked for it. So we all tamp down the way we act, write, speak. And that’s kind of sad. I think it’s inspiring to see someone who has such a large platform to affect change in the world, overtly projecting that they care deeply and are not afraid to come off as “caring too much” or “acting too earnest.” I WANT to have the people who don’t feel like they have to dampen their light or shade their optimism and idealism out there doing big things in the world of charity and making the world a better place. This is a good field for those people to be working in. They’re not overly jaded. They honestly feel like they can make a difference if they try hard enough. Those are admirable qualities.

      • Harla says:

        Wow Amy Too, just Wow!!! I especially like “So we all tamp down the way we act, write, speak. And that’s kind of sad. I think it’s inspiring to see someone who has such a large platform to affect change in the world, overtly projecting that they care deeply and are not afraid to come off as “caring too much” or “acting too earnest.” ” I bet that each and every one of us here today can point to our own examples of where we “tamped down” in order to fit in and have others perceive us in a certain way. Maybe it’s time to stop and start believing that we can make a difference, that we can affect change even within ourselves.

      • swirlmamad says:

        Very insightful and so spot on!

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        This is a great perspective and you are absolutely right. It makes me think if the story about Anne Hathaway yesterday and how people mentioned how “cringe-y” she was during her Oscar campaign. I never got the vitriol towards her and her earnestness. We bash women over their speaking voices, their writing voices, how they move in the world, etc.
        And I do think this is a prime example of that. She is too “cringe-y, too earnest, too flowery”. Too, too, too.
        And honestly – I would love every person who feels the needs to criticize Meghan’s writing style to put THEIR writing in a magazine that will be sold to millions and she how well it holds up to critique.

      • Tami says:

        This is a beautiful comment. “Effortless” takes an incredible amount of skill and effort; we just don’t realize that because our writing isn’t being scrutinized for every word. EB White talks a lot about how good writers can say it in fewer words. That said, most writing teachers (especially in the middle and high school level) are pushing students to add detail in order to make their readers feel like they are there. I don’t judge someone who attempts this, but can’t do it as “effortlessly” as a professional writer, especially when that professional writer has honed her craft for years and has a team of editors at her disposal.

      • lauren says:

        you’re right on this. also, culturally, the Brits do not do earnest. it is too close to emotion for the brits i know (i’m married to one whose sister and mom are both therapists so allegedly comfortable with emotions and yet…).

        so i think this level of earnest might not go over well. still not enough for all the racist vitriol and dog whistling going on.

        i’m american and cringed a little too with the flowery description but you get her from this letter, right? she’s is someone who tries hard. she cares. i think that matters more than the fact that it needed a kind and gentle editor.

      • Detriotgirl says:

        Hi Amy! My name is also Amy, and I agree with everything you said. Are you me??? Have I time traveled today? Lol, well either way, yes to everything! I don’t see the problem here.

      • kerwood says:

        @Amy Too Beautifully said! Condemning someone because they give a damn is a sad commentary on where we are as a society.

      • A says:

        Omg, YES. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this. I think this is the reason why so many people outright accuse Meghan of being fake and insincere. They’re simply not used to someone who is genuinely honest about this type of thing, so they simply assume that she HAS to be doing it for the attention, and not because she actually cares about doing a good job and isn’t afraid to show how much she cares and how much she’s trying. There’s a great deal of vulnerability involved in showing that, don’t you think? It’s so easy to act as if you don’t give a fck, but when you do, you don’t want people to know, because to care about something is to run the risk of being disappointed by something, and that’s scary to a lot of people.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I kind of like thoughtful and earnest, especially when it’s sincere.

    • minx says:

      I like her but yeah, it’s somewhat cringey . I get what she was aiming for—breezy fashion magazine-style patter—but she needed a good editor to chop some of the Goopiness here and there.

  4. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I really, really like Meghan too so I understand the reluctance to “pile on” with criticism because of all the racism and abuse directed at her. That said, she is a public figure and like all people she won’t do things 100% right every time and it’s okay to acknowledge that.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Yeah….BUT. Picking apart her writing style is a pile on at this point. Just keeping it real.

      • M says:

        It does come off as a pile on. There’s no way to sugarcoat what’s happening. There’s so much petty criticism of Meghan that even the Republicans and anti-monarchists are coming to her defense. And her writing style is a personal choice. It may not be for everyone, but it’s not uncommon. I don’t think she should change her voice to please fickle people.

      • Enn says:

        It’s really not, though. Honest question: what are we allowed to criticize Meghan for?

        Kate doesn’t work enough and her fashion sense isn’t great. She needs to hire a public speaking coach and spend more time with her patronages. These are valid critiques of the DoC.

        Meghan needs to streamline her writing style, both in published writing and her IG captions (and if you think anyone but Meghan is writing the IG posts, I have a great bridge for sale). That is a valid critique of the DoS.

      • Yami says:

        Because the criticism of Meghan is in large part rooted in racist attitudes and have very little to do with valid criticisms. People are going to give you the side of because of the bias of so many people who indulge in Meghan bashing not because of what legitimately does, but the color of her skin, the background of her family and the myriad of other thing people can come up with. People are going to question your motives and rightly so. In the grand scheme of things, a flowery writing style is hardly a criticism I’d die on a hill to make. If she stops working, or treats the people she meets in public horribly, then we’d have something to legitimately criticize.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @Enn you may see it as a “valid critique” but it’s literally just an opinion. It isn’t fact. Writing style is a personal thing. I say this as a writer myself. You don’t have to like someone’s writing style. And they don’t have to change it to suit your tastes. Kate not working enough is a verifiable fact.

        As for when are people allowed to criticize Meghan. The desire to do so about things like this make me wonder. If Meghan was shirking her responsibility and spending all her tike shopping I think those would be very valid reasons to criticize her. But she isn’t. She has shown nothing but poise and grace while be attacked on literally ALL SIDES. For doing things that other royals were applauded for. People are calling her a *hore on social media. Ripping apart everything she does and twisting it. And yet you want to complain about the length of her IG captions? And you don’t see that as a pile on??

      • Maria says:

        I do not think that to accuse a woman in this position of purposefully not editing her content or eschewing an editor is anything but a criticism of her professionalism and honestly I think there’s a little racism in that approach too.

      • Enn says:

        I write blog posts and digital media content for a living, so yes, I do see it as a valid standalone critique that has nothing to do with racism. I have two degrees and continue to take courses to improve my writing in the digital media age.

        The reason I ask “what are we allowed to critique?” is because she’s not perfect nor is she a paragon, but anything short of praise is considered a pile on. She. Is. Human. She. Makes. Mistakes.

      • Maria says:

        I have three degrees and professionally write and work with editors. Valiantly Varnished is correct. There are styles, and the style of the letter to the editor is not a thinktank speech or a TED talk or an abstract for an article on JSTOR. It is meant to be descriptive and casual.
        You can think a piece needs work without assuming the proper revision was done on it as well.

  5. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Le sigh… there is nothing wrong with it. It’s no kore verbose than any other editor’s note on a special issue.

    • LindaM says:

      I think it’s fine. Flowery, yes, and obviously her style. Definitely not worthy of addition to the pile on.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Exactly this. This just feels like an additional pile on and frankly Im not here for it.

      • Becks1 says:

        I admit I NEVER read editor’s notes in magazines, so I have no context for this.

      • Mac says:

        @Becks The editor’s note is often the best piece in a magazine. I highly recommend reading it.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Mac – I don’t even really read magazines that much. I used to but stopped. I should start picking them up again.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Becks1, I hate editor’s notes in magazines too. I never read them as I find they are a waste of my time.

  6. Meg says:

    ‘the hatred sucks all of the oxygen out of the room and it doesn’t even feel like there’s space to like and adore Meghan and everything she represents, and still take issue with one or two things about her.’
    That was explained really well, as I can relate to feeling ganged up on and defending something I don’t even feel that strongly about because I’m sick of being kicked around.

    • Mumbles says:

      She’s a human being. The talk of “adoring” her makes me cringe. Like her, admire her, root for her, defend her – yes. “Adore”? Too much. Imagine if you read that someone adored Kate Middleton. Cuckoo, cuckoo, is what I would think.

  7. TeddyPicker says:

    If the next Sussex Foundation hire is an editor than she’ll be fine. It’s great that she wants to get the message out through writing

    • Mac says:

      Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning journalists and authors have editors, they are simply part of the writing process. No shame whatsoever in Meghan hiring an editor.

      • Tami says:

        And they have years, sometimes decades worth of experience. I don’t think it is fair to expect her to write at that level, especially in a narrative of a personal experience.

    • A says:

      Who’s to say that she doesn’t already have an editor? I mean, the presumptions that people are making here, that she didn’t get this looked at or get any feedback from anyone, as if she didn’t have a whole editorial team at her disposal, is just wild. Maybe she did have an editor, and they’ve done a shit job at whittling it down, lol.

      • windyriver says:

        A significant publication like British Vogue doing a unique version of their biggest issue of the year? Of course there was an editor working with her.

        The obvious conclusion is this is how BV wanted it to appear.

        Remember in The King’s Speech, Logue remarks after the big speech, “You still stumbled on the Ws”? The King replies, “I had to throw in a few, just so they knew it was me.”

        That’s what I’m reminded of. It’s clearly Meghan writing this. No, it’s not my style, and yes, it’s overly flowery and descriptive for my taste.

        But it comes across as warm and personal, a contrast to all the bitching we hear (not necessarily here) on how she and Harry are all about privacy. Meghan’s revealed something of herself, how she thinks, and what she cares about.

        More than likely she’s still learning how best to present herself and utilize the platform she has, and her style may evolve over time. Even if a lot of the attention she gets is sheer nastiness, it probably shocked her too just how much everything she does is noticed. Clothes she wears sell out right away, etc. What’s so interesting is how she (and Harry) is jumping right in, possible mistakes notwithstanding, because I just don’t see how anything in her previous life fully prepared her for where she is now.

  8. ds says:

    Mind you, she drinks tea :) i think that’s swell. Here you go I made a joke but in a positive way ’cause I’m not sideeying this. Actually I caught myself, a coffee addict, drinkin tea in the late afternoon when I moved to London. So yeah, it happens, and that’s why I thought it was so funny. The only phrase missing here is – to be fair. She needs to add that somewhere.

  9. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    I’m an ellipses overuser lol. Only it’s not to inspire patience in the digital age, it’s how my brain works. I kinda of wish I hadn’t read that. I truly do. If this is how she thinks and speaks, I’d like to remove my gloves and smack her lol.

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      I think she meant the ellipses that appears on the iPhone when the other person is typing a reply. You know they’re replying, but have to be patient while you wait for it.

    • CherHorowitz says:

      I think she means to dot dot dot that appears when someone is typing back

      • DS9 says:

        That’s exactly what she meant, the waiting on pins and needles when you know someone is typing a response.

        This is not my style of writing but it fits for what she was trying to accomplish so, whatevs.

    • Mab's A'Mabbin says:

      Ah, got it. I don’t pay much attention to that lol. Half the time it shows up, I don’t get a text until much later. Maybe they’re typing and decide, “Frak it. I’ll get back when I get back.”

  10. Arnk says:

    I absolutely love her choice of women to highlight, but her writing is so pretentious and contrived it’s hard to read.

    • Becks says:

      I agree. Her heart is in the right place but she is a not a writer. This was so cringeworthy and reminded me of a blog post. They definitely need to hire an editor.

      • Constance says:

        Yes! It is exactly like a food blog and you have to scroll through thirteen paragraphs before you get to the recipe. Having said that, I really like her. She does use her fame to create awareness of important issues.

      • Mac says:

        I actually like how OTT lifestyle blogs are because they are all about inspirational living. But when writing for a world class magazine, the lede should not border on “it was a dark and stormy night.”

        P.S. I love that she was promoting Smart Works. There is a similar charity near me and it is frequently in the news because it makes such a difference to women entering or looking to advance their position in the workplace.

      • Erinn says:

        OMFG. Nothing makes me angrier than food blogs. I want the recipe. I know that they probably enjoy writing, and are having fun doing what they do. Those who want to read their posts WILL READ THEM. The rest of us who are just here for the recipe don’t want to scroll through thousands of pixels of text and photos to get to them. They should all have anchor links at the top to jump to the recipe.

        My husband looked one up the other day – normally he just grabs stuff that I’ve saved. This time he went out looking for something specific. He was just like “wait… I clicked on what looked like a good search result, but I can’t find the recipe. Where is it?” I was just like “keep scrolling, bud” and he finally got a taste of what I go through every time I search for a recipe haha.

      • Redgrl says:

        @constance – YES! Food blogs are the worst. Exhibit 1:
        “Ever think about cooking? Well I do! And one day I said to my husband – would you like some comfort food? Now, not the kind you’re used to, but fresh and creative! I reminded him of our recent trip to the health farm where we used Le Creuset kitchenware and Waterford crystal glasses – but more on that later. Shepherd’s pie! Who knew it could be so refreshing? The trick is really to cut the corn from the cob with love – and with knives from Ricardo’s new kitchen line! So fun!”
        So so so annoying…

      • Mac says:

        Food bloggers make their money by selling ads on their sites. The more you scroll, the more ads you are served.

      • A says:

        Well, in all fairness, food blogs and lifestyle blogs (and blogs in general) employ a different style. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I get it, but frankly, the outrage about food blogs including a bit of background and a story in the lead up to the recipe is outstaying its welcome. There are definitely some long winded food blogs that could cut down on its content, but otherwise, it’s nowhere near as bad as its made out to be lol.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Would it not be funny if Meghan won “The Bulwer-Lytton Award” and actually went to pick it up the way Halle Berry did her Razzie Award when she one Worst Actress for Catwoman?

      Meghan could thank Piers Morgan and Sarah Vine in her acceptance speech. I would pay good money for a ticket to see Meghan make fun of all the crap & mud slung on her by the Royal Reporters.

  11. Danielle says:

    I’m really looking forward to buying the issue, but Vogue seem to be after giving most of it away on the website already. I’ve kinda been avoiding reading it all because I want to read it in the actual magazine and enjoy it then – if that makes sense?

  12. MrsBanjo says:

    In the grand scheme, even if there weren’t endless racist attacks against her, this isn’t a big deal. I can see not being into flowery language, but I quite enjoy it. No matter how hard I try, my sentences tend to be super long, so I love that she tends to do that, too.

    I completely understand seeing little things like this but not wanting to nitpick. The racism is so bad and obvious that even commenting on little things can feel like piling on.

  13. Marigold says:

    It’s okay to say it’s bad. I think it would be patronizing to say otherwise. Of course she wants it to be well-received but I very much doubt she would appreciate false praise. And I cannot praise the over inclusion of innocuous details. Two or three is fine through the whole piece but 2 or 3 in a sentence is overkill.

  14. Becks1 says:

    I think she uses a lot of commas and her sentences are a bit long. But, I’m fine with it overall, she’s not a bad writer by any means, she just has a distinct style that is a bit flower-y. Some people may not like it, some people do, same ways some people like certain books and others don’t.

    I like her letter because I think it makes it clear how nervous she was about this project, but how important it was to her – and that’s the point of the letter IMO.

  15. LinaB says:

    Have you like….never read the editors letter in a fashion mag before? Literally all of them are written like that.

    • Maria says:

      Came here to say this. This letter is fine. I have no idea what people are going on about in terms of flowery writing. I have three university degrees where I got knocked down and remolded in terms of polishing my writing and have been writing for pay since, I really don’t see anything wrong with her letter. It’s lovely and personal without being too gushing.
      If anything, the poor thing realizes how much crap she’s getting and keeps apologizing for herself, which saddens me. She’s beautiful and has a beautiful soul, and I loved her ideas for this issue.

  16. Becks1 says:

    Also, in general, I kind of feel like this is Meghan’s new MO as a royal. Works on something in relatively secrecy/privacy for months and then bam! “here you all go! Finished project. enjoy.” She did it with the cookbook, she did it with this. Yes we heard rumors about this but nothing confirmed, nothing definite, and no clue she was going to be THIS involved in it.

    • Erinn says:

      I think it’s incredibly smart considering how much blowback she gets at each phase. Working on it quietly behind the scenes allows her to focus on that without the constant criticism as she’s working on it.

  17. bored at work says:

    Not my favorite style but whatever.
    And, yes, Meghan, we know: You were pregnant! ;)

  18. Vauvert says:

    She’s not a writer or an editor. Not sure why people expect the polished prose of a professional. I’m neither a fan nor a critic of MM, I don’t get either side of the passionate response she generates in people. All I see is Vogue choosing her to sell copy, which, good on them. I also don’t see this as some huge amount of work that requires praise (sure if you compare her to Waity but then pretty much anyone outworks her). I say this as someone who watched her US coworkers literally put in full days at the office until the last day before giving birth while also running a household, travelling for business etc. And leaving all the work covered for the lousy six weeks they were going to be away. So I reserve my respect for them, no offence to MM.

    The only part I’m interested in is the Michelle Q&A which fortunately I can read online. I haven’t bought any fashion magazine in ages and have no desire to ever support them as long as all the ads feature teenagers posing as adults in overpriced fashions designed for bodies that require genetic lottery winners, or articles telling me that my worth as a person is tied to buying this year’s version of a $5,000 purse. Ain’t got no time for that. Salty? Hell yeah….

    • Burdzeye View says:

      Well said. I thought her letter was a bit breathless and gauche. I dont buy fashion mags either as they encourage style over substance. The bar has been set so low with Kate that this looks like a major project in that context.

  19. Case says:

    I can’t stand her writing style. It’s so flowery; not colloquial at all. It just takes me out of the moment to imagine someone actually talking like this in real life.

    No hate, of course — I think Meghan is lovely. I just think she writes like someone who thinks she’s a really awesome writer, but she’s not.

    • Julie says:

      She writes like someone trying to imitate a writer. You could really see it on her blog too. As a writer she has no voice of her own, so she just borrows a suitable voice from other writers. Unfortunately she’s also not a technically good writer, so she can’t disguise that she’s faking it, and it comes across as really put on and almost bordering on parody

      It wasn’t a big deal on her blog because she was just one thousands doing a bad job of copying popular bloggers, but if she wants to write in her current position she really needs to work with someone on finding an authentic voice, and in the mean time make good use of editors.

      • Redgrl says:

        @julie – this. And she should know better than to use the word “pow wow” – very disrespectful.

    • shirurusu says:

      Yes, I agree. It reminds of the awful “I couldn’t help but wonder” moments of Carrie Bradshaw with a smoke in SATC lol – but SATC actually had some good writing on it too… She means well with this but the writing is very try hard/ aspiring writer-ista – taking herself and her words too seriously

  20. Tiffany27 says:

    Her writing is hella cringe. Like it reminds me of my old college essays when I was trying to get that thing to page 15 by any means necessary. But whatever, I love her. Keep making them seethe Meg.

  21. OriginalLala says:

    It’s fine, she has always written like this.

    I’m just not a big fan of people using the term Pow-wow in reference to a meeting. Pow wows are social gatherings for ceremonial and celebratory purposes and are conducted under strict protocol. Using this phrase to refer to a quick business meeting denigrates the long, cultural significance of the pow wow. (https://www.ictinc.ca/blog/culturally-offensive-phrases-you-should-use-at)

    • Redgrl says:

      @original – agree re pow wow – just commented on that above….

      • OriginalLala says:

        I’m actually pretty disappointed in her for using that term – language is an important tool in reconciliation…

    • Jordana says:

      Same thoughts as I read “pow-wow”. It’s not a pow-wow. Far from it. She could have just said “brainstorming” “power meeting of the minds” or a “tete-a-tete” or some other equally cringey phrase.

  22. Beli says:

    Flowery, yes, but that’s par for the course for an editor’s letter in a magazine.

    I rarely buy fashion magazines, usually when I’ve got a long journey, but will definitely be getting myself a copy of this one.

  23. CJ says:

    I think what strikes me most about Meghan’s editor letter and her interview/Q&A with Michelle Obama is the apologetic tone that is included, almost as though she is preparing for the criticisms that inevitably and unfairly come her way.

    In her editor’s letter, she seems to be apologizing for the presence of advertisements within the magazine. I don’t recall any apology on Kate’s behalf for the pop-up ads or sidebar ads visible on the HuffPo site; Harry didn’t apologize for the ads on Radio 4, and Charles didn’t apologize for the ads that must have been included in Country Life Magazine when they were all guest editors. Magazines and radio programs have ads. It’s simply how they generate revenue in order to continue on air or being published, and I think it’s notable that Meghan felt the need to preemptively apologize for something that was never within her control.

    Then, Meghan apologizes for not asking the right — or at least better — questions of Michelle Obama, when there is nothing ‘wrong’ about the questions that she did ask or the transcript that was created.

    It reminds me of how women often apologize for their words in email or in direct conversation: “I’m sorry to be a bother, but….” “I don’t mean to criticize, but….” “I should have said something in the meeting, but….” These seem to me to be apologies for having an opinion, for disagreeing, sometimes even for taking up space itself.

    Meghan’s vision of the September issue of British Vogue is wonderful. It’s different, it’s challenging, it forces Vogue to operate beyond a lavish lifestyle magazine. She doesn’t need to apologize for the hard work that she has done.

    Whatever you think of Meghan’s writing, verbose or engaging, it saddens me that she feels as though she has to apologize for her work. Even before anyone has read it.

    • ADS says:

      This is something I had not even thought about, but you are spot on. Very well said.

    • Becks1 says:

      I noticed this too and it made me kind of sad. She sounds self-conscious and apologetic, like she KNOWS she is going to get criticized for this. It’s disheartening that she’s so aware of that.

    • Marjorie says:

      Yes I noted the self-effacing phrases also. I cringe when women do that. You’d think that someone who walked down an aisle in front of the Queen and Oprah Winfrey without even a single show of nerves would write more confidently. She had a double major in theater and international studies at Northwestern- I doubt she wrote “dark and stormy night” prose then.

    • Vv says:

      The ads that pop up on the Huffington Post,Radio 4 are not the Vogue’s ads. She’s not apologizing about the advertising,that is normal. She’s apologizing for the content of these ads that may not be in line with her “ethos” and her thumbprints on the issue. But,again,Vogue is sponsored by luxury brands,and it’s not like they avoid that type of items (think about what they wear),a lifestyle that isn’t completely sustainable, etc..

  24. Cousin Chrissy says:

    Personally I don’t have any issues with her editor’s letter. I think you’re being too critical.

  25. Sof says:

    “But I can’t say that because I feel the need to defend her from a gang of racists and toxic a–holes”

    That’s how I feel. Plus, she is obviously homesick, living in a country in which her mannerisms (and everything she does) are wrong apparently.
    Can you believe she is being accused of coping the cover of a book called The Game Changers? They look similar, but I don’t think Meghan is to blame for that!

    • Anon says:

      Agreed. Like, I don’t want to pile on, because overall, by her mere presence she’s already done what the BRF has failed to do among their 53 nation cohort: Show that inclusion and diversity is not a bad thing.

      William may be King one day. But his brother, whether he likes it or not, is already a global icon for the ages.

  26. Ader says:

    Yes! I adore Meghan, but not her writing. House Sussex needs an editor for its projects.

  27. Wisca says:

    It’s fine! DOT DOT DOT!

    • PleaseAndThankYou says:

      You seem to fundamentally misunderstand what she was saying – the ellipses in question are the ones that appear when someone is typing a response to you while texting.

  28. Snap Happy says:

    I think Meghan is doing a lot of good and is genuine in her mission, but it’s an ironic message coming from a member of the royal family. An institution based on tradition, hierarchy and colonial destruction. Wouldn’t true change mean seeing an end to things like royalty? But, if she didn’t married Harry she wouldn’t have such a global platform to spread the good word. And we do need all the people we can get right now spreading a kinder message.

  29. Des says:

    I’m pretty sure they released this because of all the dumb racist outrage being peddled on the basis that she is being woke off the back of a giant fashion magazine. Here she lays out why she chose the giant fashion magazine – something that should have been clear to someone with basic common sense i.e. it’s the reach, stupid. Obviously she wanted the most eyeballs for her cause and now she’s gonna get it.

  30. LC says:

    As a longtime follower of Meghan (watched Suits from the beginning) this is who she is, it’s how she writes, and, if you pay attention, it’s also how she speaks. I like that it’s clear she wrote this herself, and her new life hasn’t changed her voice. I can see how it’s a bit corny but I’d much rather have a note that I know came from her than something that someone else wrote. I also see the flipside of this: a woman who is unafraid to be herself, critics be damned.

  31. Thaisajs says:

    Painfully earnest. Also, what the heck was her PR team thinking letting her write something like that? That’s a whole lot of no right there, IMHO.

  32. Ader says:

    I was just thinking…

    To be honest, Meghan wasn’t a good actress either. Yet, look where she ended up! I think her life is a testament to the fact that you don’t have to be “great” or “naturally talented” to be a success, you just need a super work ethic, an ability to ignore naysayers, and believe in the power of positivity.

    I’ve spent a lifetime looking on the dark side, staring at the problems of the world and my life. But Meghan kinda makes me want to try positivity. Maybe there IS some magic to be had by living on the sunny side of the street?

    (But then I remember that I’m missing one essential ingredient: physical beauty. Meghan would not be an HRH today if she looked like me! :-) Oh well.)

    • Rhys says:

      Also, never be afraid to ask? Ingratiate yourself with the right circle and self-promote. I don’t mean it as a bad thing, just a strategy if you want things to happen to you.

      • Ader says:

        My problem is that I am not a people person at all! lol. Honestly, I’m terrible with people.

  33. Rhys says:

    Who cares about her writing style – she basically asked the editor of a magazine to let her guest edit their most important issue. I don’t know, I’m must be super old-school in my thinking that people should invite you to do a job like that, not you asking them to let you ( especially considering that the answer to the Royal of course would be “yes”). I would have been thinking myself too presumptuous :)

    • ADS says:

      “I’m must be super old-school in my thinking that people should invite you to do a job like that, not you asking them to let you…”

      I instinctively think like this too – as do many women I know. However men do not. They are far more likely to ask for what they want – and look where it gets them. I think we women should put ourselves out there more and demand more. You first though! And let me know how it goes…! :)

      • Yami says:

        Yes, why can’t we pick ourselves? If we always wait to be invited to the table we may never get there. It’s a new day.

      • Rhys says:

        The way I see it is that it is a little different than just not wanting to “shamelessly” ask for promotion, because you want to be invited. There’s no shame in that. I have no problem asking for more money or a better name tag. But, when you are a royalty, of course the Vogue editor won’t say “Nah, thanks!” They will let you write that column. If they had asked her to do that – that would’ve been different. She basically self-published, bought her Nobel so to say. It doesn’t matter what it looks like to others. If you yourself know that you were not invited, it’s different.

    • MrsBump says:

      Being unafraid to ask is probably how Meghan is where she is today and that is what i admire about her.
      Though this was described uncharitably by the DM ( as is their norm), i was impressed that she was unafraid to ask Piers for a meeting, unafraid to ask that woman to introduce her to eligible british men, and now to guest edit Vogue.
      I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she asked for the blind date with Harry and zero shade from me here.
      It’s a lesson that more women, including myself, should learn, network and be unafraid to ask for more.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, I’m not shading her at all for asking to guest edit Vogue. Especially because it came AFTER they were discussing her being on the cover of this issue (I’m assuming it was the September issue.) So it seems like a natural thing to say, “hey, I don’t want to be on the cover. I want to be behind the scenes.” And I bet it will end selling more copies than if she was “just” on the cover. People are REALLY excited about this, naysayers aside.

        If you don’t ask, the answer’s always no.

  34. Anon says:

    Honestly, I love Meghan.

    But. I have read her stuff since she still had The Tig and even back then, she always seemed to choose the biggest, most $10 words she could muster to talk about, say, tomatoes, when a regular nickel word would do. Like she was *trying* too hard to show us her vocabulary.

    Now, I’m a professional writer and editor, so it’s a natural instinct to hitch on words and phrases that seem a little bloated, a little precious. So I agree with Kaiser that she could have used some gentle editing.

    Having said all that, listen, she’s tops in my book. Anyone who could take on the British Royal family and their wildly racist citizens and live to tell about it, AND have a baby, deserves a medal.

  35. CynicalCeleste says:

    Agree that one feels the need to defend MM in light of the pile-on, yet it was the presence of salma hayek that deeply rankled me yesterday, while today it’s the cup of tea. Can’t shake the image of MM & EE literally sharing one cup of tea. Were there no more cups? No more tea? Did they not have a pot, or just one stringy bag in one sad cup they were forced to share? The trouble with bad writing is that it distracts.

  36. Maria says:

    I’m taking the comments from all the “professional writers and editors” criticizing her with a grain of salt. This is the letter from the editor for an issue of British Vogue, not a speech to the United Nations. It’s colloquial, descriptive, loving, and sweet. For what she is trying to do, she hits exactly the right tone. And the idea that she was “entitled” for asking if she could guest edit is ludicrous. The garbage criticisms piled upon this woman are ridiculous and over the top and it is getting to her self-confidence, you can tell. That angers me.

    • Pixie says:

      Couldn’t agree more! +1

    • Ader says:

      Or you could look at it another way…

      Professional writers get their work torn apart regularly. One can’t become a working writer — actually make money at it — without learning how to take criticism. It’s part of the job. It’s part of a writer’s education. They’re used to it. It’s part of their everyday lives. So they don’t see it as particularly awful to criticize somebody else’s work. That’s what writers do and have done to them!

      Same goes for editors. It’s what they do for a living — pick apart writer’s work.

      • Maria says:

        Who is disputing this?
        The point is that people are expecting way too much out of a letter from the editor from a women’s magazine and criticizing it in ways that make no sense. People are upset that a letter from the editor in Vogue has a few descriptive phrases and uses positive language and is heartfelt? Please. People are on here basically implying that Meghan forced the poor editor in chief to run her letter foaming at the mouth with rage at the concept of ANYONE taking a second look at it– a scenario I highly doubt happened. If Vogue ran the letter, they’re fine with it. People need to get over it. It’s not a Nobel speech, and if it were it would have been written accordingly.

      • Ader says:

        “People are on here basically implying that Meghan forced the poor editor in chief to run her letter foaming at the mouth with rage at the concept of ANYONE taking a second look at it– a scenario I highly doubt happened. ”

        Really!? LOL. I haven’t gotten that vibe at ALL! I see some people, a few writers and editors among them, offering constructive criticism to a piece. And it’s criticism many writers have likely heard before and are taught to avoid: “purple prose” and redundancy. This piece has glaring examples of both. (FYI, I’m not foaming at the mouth right now. I assure I’m calm; even giggling a little.) But just because folks do that doesn’t mean they think she is an entitled diva who wouldn’t allow an editor. Who said that!?

        “Who is disputing this?”

        It seemed like you were. To wit: “I’m taking the comments from all the “professional writers and editors” criticizing her with a grain of salt.”

      • Maria says:

        …Being skeptical of the writing skills of everyone here dumping on her has nothing to do with disputing that writers and editors pick apart people’s work. Sorry but I highly doubt anyone on this website picking at her is up to the level of the editors they have at British Vogue, that goes for myself as well, so, yes I’m taking everyone’s comments HERE with a grain of salt. And there are comments on here that her writing is so cringey, worse than Sex and the City, too emotional, too happy, PLENTY of people are saying “WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST USE AN EDITOR HUHH???!111!” as if she just popped it in the magazine the night before, what a strange question and assumption.
        Not saying you did, but others are implying this.

      • Ader says:

        Oh no. I absolutely said that House Sussex needs to hire an editor. But in saying that I wasn’t implying that Meghan is unprofessional or a huge diva. The piece just reads like it hasn’t been touched by an editor. No more; no less.

        As for your comments about British Vogue, I agree. They probably have super editors. And I think, maybe, that’s why the writers hanging out around these parts are a little shocked that it got through as is — because they know that if they had turned this in, it would have been mercilessly red-lined by their editors.

  37. Godwina says:

    It’s fine. It’s obviously her. I’ve had to edit worse navel-gazer editorials. I would have splashed this with red ink personally, but then the authenticity is likely what Vogue was going for, ineptitudes and all.

    The one thing that makes me recoil is the use of “pow-wow”. And I’d take the real editorial team to task if I wasn’t already super aware (living here) of Europe’s general ignorance/indifference to Indigenous issues in the Americas. Unless you are Indigenous or Native American, step away from that rank appropriation. Yikes. That’s one thing an editor should know and not let slide, not just to do the right thing, but to protect your client from criticism. But Europe.

    • Jenna says:

      Yeah, I was really surprised and disappointed by the use of pow wow. It’s weird that the Vogue editors wouldn’t catch that, eh?

    • OriginalLala says:

      yeah it was pretty dis-respectful to use that word in that context…

    • Maria says:

      That was the part I objected to.

      Reminds me of William dressing up as a cowboy and Kate dressing up in “Native American feathers” as his “squaw” at a party years ago. It’s gross how tone deaf it gets in Britain/Europe at times.

  38. Angela says:

    It could definitely use some editing. Her writing is a little too ‘try-hard’ for me.

  39. Betsy says:

    It’s not my style, but the lady gets enough criticism from every angle that I don’t even care that it’s not my style. Good on her.

  40. AprilMay says:

    Well we were told about Kate’s broken Britain project nearly a year ago and you know there’s still nothing forthcoming.
    Have to agree on Meghan’s writing style. It’s very blogger/influencer/peppy happiness.

  41. gingersnaps says:

    I can’t wait to buy the issue and I haven’t even bought a magazine in decades. I’ve had a look in the shops in the hopes that British Vogue have released their September issue but no joy yet. Going to try again on Friday.

  42. Lisa says:

    I thought it was perfectly fine .

  43. wisdomheaven says:

    I write a lot for work and also do articles for big papers on occasion because of that work. I honestly liked her writing in this issue that we have seen thus far lol. I was not a fan of her writing on the Tig, generally though.

    I actually thought her editors note felt extremely heartfelt and genuine. She has a tendency to over explain, but I found her writing for this really personal in a way I was not expecting. Is it cheesy at times? Sure. But have you read most editors notes in most magazines? Not the most amazing writing overall.

    I also agree that it feels like she is trying to pre-empt some attack :( Its becoming clearer and clearer that the smear campaign has and is getting to her. I can’t imagine how it feels for her sometimes. Just being a follower, looking in, I feel triggered by it sometimes myself.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      It is sad. She’s human. There’s no way to protect and shield her completely from all of the criticism. Of course, she knows and here she is with another amazing accomplishment and she has to apologize for being a competent human being. From everything we’ve learned about her from her friends, she’s a nice person. To have so much hatred and vitriol directed at her on a daily basis, has to shake her. She has done nothing to warrant this.

      • blue36 says:

        It makes me wonder what’s going to happen next. I wonder if she’ll stop with doing projects altogether? Some posters have mentioned how the criticism is starting to hit her self confidence… and I agree, she’s slowly starting to give up. Idk how mentally strong she actually is, but if I were in her position I would have entered into a state of depression already.

  44. TheOriginalMia says:

    It was fine because it was her words, her enthusiasm, her dedication to this project. She understands this is and will be a huge deal for years to come. She knows that. Meghan shot her shot and got to put together an amazing, groundbreaking issue featuring ideas and people who are important to her and the world.

    • Maria says:

      You don’t understand, it’s too flowery and cringey and she sucks as a writer and what was she thinking and how dare she not have an editor and her use of ellipsis is bad and she’s so full of herself and how dare she ask the editor if she could guest edit instead of do a cover and I’m a professional writer so I would know!!!1111!!

      These comments are off the wall, lol.

      • Ader says:

        Nobody is saying “how DARE she not have an editor.” Some of us don’t enjoy her writing. It’s not that deep. I’m a huge Meghan fan. HUGE! But, yeah, I think House Sussex needs an editor and don’t think it’s terrible to gently kibbitz about it on a celebrity gossip website that has her back. We all have faults. It’s fine. We can talk about them.

        And hey, writers and editors need jobs! Hire one House Sussex! :-)

      • Maria says:

        The concept that a woman who has been getting copy published for years and has presented herself professionally speaking would not have an editor is ridiculous. It is a jab at Meghan’s professionalism and it is reductive to say that because her writing for a magazine is evocative and colloquial that it’s flawed.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Maria, If I was asked to guest edit an issue of Vogue you can be damn sure I would have an editor to help me polish whatever I wrote into the best piece of writing possible. I think many people expressing views that Meghan’s writing needed a little help feel as I do.

      • Ader says:

        Egh. I don’t think it’s that deep. It reads like it didn’t have an editor. Meghan is extremely professional. Admirably so. My saying that this piece could have used work isn’t a knock on her professionalism. That’s a reach.

        And I don’t think its flawed because it’s evocative and colloquial, I just think it could have been tighter. It’s a fair assessment.

        But look, I am a House Sussex banner-woman, so I hope she keeps using her huge platform to continue this kind of work! Meghan and Harry are wonderful, positive people.

      • Maria says:

        BayTampaBay—why on earth would you assume that Vogue wouldn’t edit the pieces it publishes, no matter who is writing them?

        Ader–if you feel the piece needed work, that is fine, we can agree to disagree – that is different from what I am talking about, but for others to imply Meghan not only did not use an editor for this piece but NEVER uses one is indeed a jab at her professionalism.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Maria, I thought it was being accepted as fact for purpose of commenting that Meghan did not use an editor. I really have no idea if she did or did not use an editor. If I have made a false assumption then I apologize.

      • MsIam says:

        @Maria, i know right, lol! I think we need some Xanax over here, stat! Some people need to calm down.

  45. Lucylee says:

    I’m sure the writing critics will be lined up asking Vogue to let them edit an issue Of the magazine. Can’t wait to see how much better their letters will be.

    • Maria says:

      Apparently she should only write in the shortest most clinical of takes, or else it means she’s messy and can’t write. (eyeroll)

    • Yami says:

      Right, these people being critical aren’t exactly winning the Booker Man or anything. If they were they wouldn’t be writing blogs, *coughs* Lainey.

      • Ader says:

        “Right, these people being critical aren’t exactly winning the Booker Man or anything.”

        Hey, you never know, Hilary Mantel may be a Celebitcher!

        I’m not a huge Lainey fan, but there’s no denying that she has appeal as a writer. She has also published a book. Millions of excellent writers struggle to make a living with blogs and can’t find an audience. She’s managed to do that.

        Plus, Just like there are millions of amazing singers and actors who will never be discovered, there are excellent editors and writers who will never be published or build an award-winning career.

      • Ader says:

        And, to edit myself, it should be: “…there’s no denying her appeal as a writer.”

      • Yami says:

        Yeah, but I don’t see Hilary Mantel coming for Meghan. She doesn’t need to. Meghan also built an audience and did so prior to being married to Harry and did that without lobbying unnecessary criticisms at others. Writing style is subjective. What you like is what you like, great. I don’t have to use my popular blog to tell the whole world that I find your writing terrible, especially when there’s already an unfair pile on happening. Racism is bad because it doesn’t let me tell you your writing is bad? Who even says stuff like that?

      • Ader says:


        Like I said, you never know, Hilary may be among us! You may be her! :-) (BTW, I’m just teasing.)

        I hear what you’re saying. And like I said, I’m not a huge Lainey fan. As you suggest, she has a little more work to do when it comes to implicit biases and black women. (Just my observation and opinion.)

        I guess I just don’t see the criticism of this piece as that bad. And I’m a huge Sussex fan. Gigantic. But my first reaction to it was “cringe.”

  46. NeoCleo says:

    I don’t see what’s so bad about her writing. Okay, she’s not Joan Didion, so? I found her writing style to be relaxed.

    • HK9 says:

      I know. I was coming here to ask ‘What did they want, Shakespeare??’ Her writing style is just fine and I hope she continues to do this. I for one am buying this issue.

  47. Rivkah says:

    She’s not a good writer, but Vogue should have provided for an editor to review her piece.

    • Becks says:

      Exactly! I’m still in disbelief that this got past the Vogue editors. Its amateur hour I tell you.

  48. Jenna says:

    Criticizing her writing seems completely valid (esp. relative to criticism of Kate’s public speaking on this site). Her prose is cloying at best, but isn’t that how blogs work? She probably hasn’t written anything with more depth in a long time. She should know better (or be told better) but whatever. Doesn’t entitle her to the horrendous racist attacks that are her new normal.

    The real issue is the use of “pow wow.” Pow wows are cultural/spiritual gatherings, not tête-a-têtes. Weird and sad that nobody cares that we’re being blatantly culturally offensive to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. But then, what else is new?

    • OriginalLala says:

      its odd that basically only three of us have commented on the use of “pow-wow”

      • Maria says:

        That is the only criticism of this piece I find fair.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Nah, that stood out to me too.

      • Redgrl says:

        Yes, having commented on this up thread , I am surprised – and sad – that more people have not caught the problematic use of “pow wow”.

      • Erinn says:

        That’s a very good point. It is concerning.

        When I read it earlier I thought maybe I was being sensitive for getting a twinge of annoyance at it, so I kept my mouth shut. Meghan threads can be pretty brutal when you’re pointing out things like that. I’m glad others mentioned it.

  49. Purplehazeforever says:

    You can criticize her writing style & still defend her against racist attacks. No one deserves this onslaught that Meghan has endured from the British press.

  50. M.A.F. says:

    It’s wordy, or flowery as some of you are saying. Comparing it to a blog post is spot on. However, I have read way worse editorial letters than hers.

  51. Ader says:

    I’m kinda shocked at how upset people are getting about the light constructive criticism. But, at the same time, I understand. So many of us have lived our lives surrounded by double standards, where we find ourselves the constant target of criticism on account of societal ills and implicit biases, not because it was fair or warranted. And people LOVE to tell black women when we’re wrong or mess up. It sucks, and sometimes you just need it to stop for sanity’s sake! And defending Meghan is, in a way, defending ourselves. I get that.

    AND I still think she needs an editor. :-)

  52. severine says:

    “What evolved over the next hour was a promising pow wow of two like-minded thinkers, who have much in common, including our love of writing.”

    No comma should be placed after the word “thinkers”. Other than that, she writes well.

    • Ader says:

      “like-minded thinkers, who have much in common” is redundant. If you wanted to keep her style and voice, maybe:

      “What evolved over the next hour was a promising [talk / palaver / meeting / anything but pow-wow] between two [people / like minds / choose your own noun] with a lot in common.”

      If she went with like minds, “with a lot in common” probably isn’t necessary either, but it’s not a deal breaker.

    • Redgrl says:

      @severine – Well, no, the bigger problem is her culturally insensitive misappropriation of the term pow wow.

  53. Vinot says:

    I work especially hard to examine and measure my criticism of both Royals and Kardashians, and in this case, meaning Meghan’s writing, I have to say, it’s fair game to cringe more than a little.

    Her ig captions are the same level of overwrought, saccharine, and unnecessarily cluttered language that we see here; whereas Kate’s rare speech or written remark need more of her personality (what’s left of it, anyway), Meghan’s writing needs restraint. Too much flowery writing spoils the whole bunch.

    When she speaks, her natural flow and affect work well with the writing, but on plain paper (screen), it’s just too sweet and too long. This is one instance where she needs someone to be real with her and tell her to accept editorial guidance.

    • Nic919 says:

      Kate doesn’t write her letters or her speeches so it’s hardly fair to compare Meghan’s writing to that of Catherine Quinn or which ever KP aide has been assigned the task. Someone writing something in their own voice is always different from an employee drafting something for their employer.

  54. Red Weather Tiger says:

    One mention of the tea would have been enough, but I can’t hate on her. Her ideas are great; her impact is powerful. If I have to endure “philosophizing,” well, so be it.

  55. stacey says:

    This sounds like her old blog – which I always gave her a stink eye for because it was Goopy snobby and pretentious for the C lister that Megan was at the time. Maybe Meg is pretentious and kinda obnoxious in real life?? I’m okay with that. She married into the royal family for crying out loud, I don’t expect her to be a regular down to earth person in her mind or IRL.

    At least she is actually working unlike Kate. This is different and new, I’ll give her credit for that!

  56. paddingtonjr says:

    It is a bit cheesy, but so are most fashion/entertainment magazine letters from the editor. Her writing comes across as genuine for her: in her speeches, she seems to be very flowery and verbose when she is enthusiastic about the cause. She is obviously passionate about this project and put a lot of time and effort into it. She seems very thoughtful and hands-on with the projects she takes on, which can come across as a bit controlling, but I think it is just that she is driven and a perfectionist. In time, she will find a more succinct writing style, perhaps with the help of an editor but hopefully will not lose too much of her passion.

    I can’t wait to buy the issue. I like that she has some lesser-known women mixed in with the “usual suspects” and that Harry has an article on Jane Goodall. With this and the cookbook, she seems to be off to a good start in her “Duchess” career. I just wish the RR would give her room to breathe!

  57. Ina says:

    DailyBeast today released a nasty write up on Meg’s guest editorial. Poor woman can’t catch a break. This was her first try at a magazine. She had the best of intentions. She is WORKING!

    • Susan says:

      She asked to be the editor of this magazine which has a global reach. If she wasn’t qualified or ready, she shouldn’t have inserted herself there. This is Vogue, not a vanity personal blog, and people are paying money to purchase it and advertisers are spending money to advertise in it. It is not wrong to expect a high standard in such a publication.

  58. DS9 says:

    If she had an editor, people would be crying that it wasn’t real work.

    I just…. ugh. She’s a duchess and she’s working and making a difference. This is a guest editor deal. She did what she was supposed to. Goop’s style makes me nauseous because there’s so little behind it or worse, bad science.

    This isn’t my writing style at all (and I fancy myself a historical romance writer lol) but it’s not an embarrassment.

    • Rogue says:

      Always felt Meghan is quite corny and earnest but generally in a sweet Type A way. To massively generalise Brits tend to be bit more cynical/reserved so another reason some Brits won’t really take to her. Eg above her asking to co edit rather than just do the cover seems pushy but I imagine that direct/ask for what you want go getter attitude goes down better in US. Always felt Americans were better at networking than Brits for that reason.

      She won’t always get it right but admire she is putting herself out there and that she really wants to work. I was talking about engagement counts and how Royals work is measured the other day and this Vogue issue is an example of BTS work that I’m not sure will count to the totals.

      Just seen that Meghan is working with John Lewis, M&S, Jigsaw and her friend Nisha to launch capsule collection to benefit her patronage Smartworks. Happy to see her working with these British brands 😊

  59. Harryg says:

    No I’m sorry it’s cheesy and I kept hearing Rene Zellweger’s voice reading it!

  60. Vv says:

    Saying that her writing style is cringey,and that she probably thinks she’s a skilled writer,is not completely dismissing what she does or mocking her. I would have gone in another direction with the choice of testimonials,but the concept behind the cover is good,IMO.
    Having said that,her style is very verbose,and she tends to overuse the same catchphrases and (buzz) words (kind,quietly get the top billing).
    Acknowledging that it may look cringey is fine. Personally speaking, I find some of the content pretentious too. And this is for me a even more valid critique.
    A person who is in an extremely privileged (and taxpayer-funded) position announcing that she’s joining the director of an elitist fashion magazine to “shine a light in our world filled with seemingly daily darkness”,and to show us,peasants,that we shouldn’t “fear the depths but a shallow living”.. *is* pretentious and cringey.
    Tom Sykes has a more balanced piece about this,and IMO he makes some good points,even referencing some valid ones made by people like Sarah Vine.
    The problem is that these valid points get lost when the tone becomes so aggressive and vicious,so yes,in the end the impression is just that of a nasty pile-on.

    • CynicalCeleste says:

      Good point. if Gwyneth had said these things, along with “pow-wow” there would be hella outrage.

  61. Bea says:

    Thank you for saying this. Her writing is so amateur and cheesy like a junior high diary. Doesn’t make me hate or like her – just makes me cringe.
    Omg – she reminds me of Anne Hathaway’s Oscar grab “it came true”. People hated Anne and it’s the exact same style.

  62. Mego says:

    Big writing style critic here who cringes at overly wordy and flowery writing styles and Meghan has a wordy and flowery writing style in spades. I give her a pass on it because she worked in the later stages of her first (geriatric) pregnancy when we all assumed she was not. She could have done an easy photoshoot gig and landed on the cover but chose the much more labour intensive work of guest editor to hold up and celebrate other women. Well done Meghan. 👏🏼

  63. Sam says:

    I am no expert but i find her writing engaging.I could imagine the scenes she was describing,how she felt etc
    She writes the way she speak,can be a bit cringe or wordy but i personally dont mind.

  64. Edgarine says:

    All the women marrying into this mess of a family/ situation/ visibility: My condolences. No woman should be treated like this. Think Diana as well as everything that followed.

  65. Lana234 says:

    It’s makes you cringe a little bit you know what I don’t hate what she wrote. This is writing style. We like in times where ppl are super cynical and anything that is earnest we side-eye the shit out of it. I can’t wait for this British Vogue September issue I hope it breaks records with the amount it sells just to piss off the old dusty ass bitches like piers morgan and his kind.

  66. Julia says:

    Piers Morgan is not someone who I admire and I’ve never agreed with on an important issue.

    I am a woman of dual heritage and initially, I admired her. I thought she was interesting and interested in important issues.

    Now, I’m just exhausted. We get it you’re too enlightened to pose for a cover- that would be sexist, but generating interest in your physical self was an element of your previous career.

    We get it you’re so woke that you “discover” people long famous and heralded. Yet, your social life is dominated by private jets and monstrous baby showers for a child who will never suffer from want.

    We get that you’re now iconic and drink mint tea and text with “important” people. How ironic- that the process of editing was so insular and isolating. And, publicized for months.

    I’m sorry I just cannot. I know I will be hammered by many who disagree. Maybe, best to not come back… for a bit.

    • Ader says:

      I actually understand where you’re coming from, but recognize that my understanding is a result of internalized racism.

      Black and Black-biracial women are constantly told — trained — throughout our lives (in both direct and subconscious ways) to hide our light. People will like us better if we do, we’re told. We’ll get on better in life if we tow the inherently problematic status quo. From day one, we’re immediately cut down the second someone thinks we’re being too selfish or boastful or loud or arrogant, or, or… And it’s super frustrating because our White counterparts aren’t reprimanded in the same way for behaving the same way. We’re rarely, if ever, given the benefit of the doubt and people automatically ascribe the worst possible motives to our actions.

      So, when we see a Black-biracial woman who isn’t a shrinking violet, or holding back — a woman with unapologetic confidence in a role that’s always been filled by White women, we see someone who is behaving in a way that we’ve been trained not to, which may make us uncomfortable. But it’s terrible training (and, like I said, often subconscious). It’s the noxious effects of being socialized into a racist, sexist society.

      Plenty of wealthy White folks are involved in charity work. You rarely see people wringing hands skyward about their efforts. Take Taylor Swift. People fall over themselves with praise when she gives a check or pens a statement.

      I’m not yelling at you. Please don’t think I am. There’s absolutely no point in that. But maybe try to think about it from a this perspective?

      (All that said, this piece did need editing!! :-) )

      • Julia says:

        I appreciate the respectful approach.

        I also appreciate the fundamental question you’re raising: Do we view the behavior of a biracial person differently and, therefore, ascribe different motivations that yield a difference in perception?

        I would have thought as a woman of dual heritage that I would be less likely to proceed negatively into that cluster of pernicious behaviors. I’ve experienced the challenges personally, so you’ve given me something to
        explore and consider.

        Mwah for the profound comment shared on what some people consider a “light, gossip website”.

      • Ader says:

        Hey Julia. No Problem! However, I would gently remind, just in case, about the problematic nature of “respectability” talk, and, by extension “respectability politics.” It’s, as they say, a slippery slope, which includes elements of tone-policing.

        One of the things we have to wrap our heads around, as a society, is that talking about racism is agonizing because we’ve been ardently trained not to. So, any conversation about it has the potential to feel “disrespectful” or “mean” or like you’re being “attacked.”

        But, in reality, those are emotions born of, and support, the problem…if that makes any sense. Since we don’t have the vocabulary and wherewithal to have these difficult conversations, racism and implicit bias have been dangerously reduced to a good-bad binary, and the problem is so much more complicated on political, psychological, and practical levels.

        To put it another way: People of color don’t have to be “nice” or center the feelings of White people when trying to point out / discuss the symptoms of the societal rot known as implicit bias and racism. And sometimes, it feels like the only conversation White people want to have about the topic is “But not me, right!?” I hope I’m making sense. :-) And again, I am not shouting, just laying out a perspective.

        Here are a couple of articles you may find helpful, regarding this topic. Cheers!


    • A says:

      Honestly, a lot of this criticism seems more like a projection from you personally rather than anything that Meghan seems to be doing wrong. “Generating an element of interest in her physical self” I mean, she is now a massively famous individual, and she is constantly in the public eye and consciousness. She is a part of the royal family–her whole job description is to use her physical presence to generate interest in the monarchy and justify it’s continued existence (“I have to be seen to be believed,” as other royals have said), and she does this all of the time as it is. So no, the fact that she’s opting not to be photographed for the cover in this instance probably isn’t a bad thing. She’ll get at least a few more covers with British Vogue going forward, I’ll bet.

      As for the rest of it, I don’t think she’s ever claimed to be “woke” or “iconic.” As I’ve already said, this seems to be an awful lot of projection happening on your own part. The fact that people are willing to read so negatively, or are just outright getting exhausted because this woman dares to exist and fulfill the demands of her public role to the best of her ability, is mystifying, truly.

  67. A says:

    Meh. I’m not interested in criticizing. There are people who are professional writers, who write in a far more grating and nauseating tone than here. I don’t care very much for the mint tea motif, let alone the detail that she texted Edward Enninful asking him if she could guest edit (I feel like she could have kept that quiet, it reveals too much of the process behind the scenes tbh), but she hits a stride when she gets to discussing the actual issue.

    However, it’s hard for me to explain this, but I’ll try–she does come off as a type A in a very American sense of the word. There’s more than a little bit of wide-eyed optimism and earnestness in the editor’s letter. From the point of view of a British person, I imagine this comes off as rather try hard in a way. For a lot of the cynics who don’t like Meghan, they’d be quick to point to this as proof that she’s obviously a fake because she grew up in LA or whatever (because obviously, being earnest and excited and hopeful are not real emotions anyone is capable of having). I’m not saying this to imply that British people don’t have the capacity to be any of those things, but they certainly do express them differently. I still feel like I haven’t explained what I’m getting at very well, but I’ll stop here before I get more confusing and make it worse.

    Anyway. It’s not bad. It’s certainly not cringeworthy. Cringeworthy for me is TSwifty’s Vogue poetry and Tom Hiddleston’s Emmy speech, lol. This is neither of those things.

  68. Lucy says:

    I hope Meghan doesn’t pay any mind to the British tabloids. All those people who lined the streets for to see a glimpse of her and Harry on their wedding day surely don’t hate her. Harry loves her and the Queen seems to like her so to hell with those who like to bash her all the time.

  69. Syed says:

    This is Meghan. Her thoughts and her words. I love it!

  70. Syed says:

    What we have learned about the British people. The two that are working are vilified and the two that are on vacation are praised….

  71. birdonce says:

    Cringey. And a good revision would have eliminated the multiple descriptions of her tea.
    I like her! I also think she is not the greatest writer and chooses clothes which have unflattering fit.

  72. one of the Marys says:

    I thought Tom Sykes article was brutal, he’s already declared the issue a failure. I’ve seen a couple of comments along the lines of “they don’t want her to succeed” and that seems the crux of it to me. For whatever reasons, racism, classism, American, celebrity, jealousy, they do not want her to succeed. I don’t know how she copes.

  73. ejodee says:

    Pretty sure, I would not have done better.
    Probably would have done worse.
    If I tanked, my friends and family
    Would still have me
    It’s OK Duchess, it’s good

  74. vespernite says:

    For someone so socially conscious, I would think she would know better than to use the term “pow wow”. Ugh!

    • Stephb says:

      I think that just shows you she is a fake. She is pretentious and people like that always slip up somewhere .

      • Svetlana says:

        Careful. Criticism of black or bi-racial people isn’t allowed, because they’re black or bi-racial.

        If someone is black or bi-racial, any criticism is discarded as racist.

        It would be funny if it wasn’t pathetic. Oh, the irony.

  75. Syed says:

    Those of us that “get” Meghan also “get” what she’s written. Those of you that think a butt log is a good idea (I stole that from someone else)….well there’s the difference isn’t it!

  76. Vicsy says:

    It definitely feels earnest and personal. :) But it’s cool, feels like a friend is writing to you as opposed to a stuffy detached royal.

    Btw, I was just looking through Kate’s speech work videos vs. those of Diana’s. What a difference. It is crazy how impersonal Kate’s speeches and causes feel. You could copy paste the content to any of her charities and projects. There’s just no spark / emotional connection there. So hollow.

    So I am all for Meghan actually using her stage and having a voice so quickly, even if it’s flowery and Tig-y.

  77. BeGoneOrangeCheeto says:

    My only real issue is with the use of the word “pow wow.” That might seem nit picky but it’s not an appropriate usage, when pow wow refers to an actual indigenous ceremony. And I’m saying this as a fan of Meghan’s. There needs to be some more cultural sensitivity shown here – not hard to substitute another phrase.

  78. Justlainey says:

    It is cringe, but that’s allowed on a Duchess Vanity Project. What isn’t being talked about it the fact that she gives zero credit to the women who literally wrote the book on this (and included her) and is pretending it’s her creative work. This is what I have a problem with.

  79. Karmak says:

    Good job Meghan ….

    Everyone has the right to criticize Meghans’ writing. I think what she wrote was genuine and all her. There is nothing wrong with Meghan expressing herself in her own words.
    I do not feel she meant to offend a race of people on purpose… by using the word pow wow. It is not who she is. It was a mistake. She is not perfect.
    I hope Meghan isn’t to isolated form her American friends. Maybe one of them would have suggested another phrase to use. ( Pow Wow an American term used in old cowboy movies).
    I doubt she will ever be guest editor for a magazine again. Even some her fans are hating on her writing. I hope this Vogue does well, If not Meghan is going to get blamed.

    Vogue asked Meghan to be featured on there September cover.
    She was brave enough to ask could she be a guest editor instead. You don’t have to like every single person she has chossen. But the exposure these women and their causes /issues are getting is great. If this issue of Vogue enlightens people. I say job well done.

  80. Alex says:

    You do expect a certain style and sophistication in a magazine like Vogue especially for that price. Vogue is not some private little blog or social media website. Meghan didn’t meet those standards.

  81. sunny says:

    The Duchess has many strengths but writing is not one of them. I use to follow her pre-Royal blog and even there her writing was overly descriptive and twee.

    This is a fantastic project and I will support it by buying the issue but I think we can admit that Meghan isn’t the best writer without empowering the hordes of racists wanting her to fail. No one is good at everything.

  82. MsIam says:

    I think its fine. I think she was going for a cute, fun, lighthearted tone. And this is not her full time job folks so it doesn’t need to be perfect. I’m sure she did have someone working with her because they need to check for grammar and spelling errors, length and make sure its in on time. So go be great Meghan and forget the hate!

  83. TheMummy says:

    I’m a literature and writing professor, and author of several books of poetry and two novels. I actually think it was perfectly fine, especially that first bit you posted. The second part is questionable more in just whether or not it was a topic best included at all. I see why she did include it, though. She is having to try to appeal to the general public, come across as genuine and as herself (which seems important to her), navigate the negativity and still be positive and gracious, but she also knows every word and idea will be scrutinized a hundred different ways by people who want to tear her down and those who are unsure of her. It’s a tough task, honestly.

    One of the most important concepts in writing theory is that of audience. You must know your audience for writing to be purposeful, efficient, and accomplish what it is meant to do. Usually that’s not such a tall order. Usually it’s quite specific. I’m writing a cookbook and my audience is cooks and people interested in becoming cooks. I write a travel brochure and my audience is people interested in travel. I write an article for a scholarly journal and so my audience is likely my academic peers such as teachers and professors, and also undergrad and grad students.

    Who is Meghan’s audience? It’s the whole world and can be seen as groupings of very different audiences: the racists, the people who love her, etc. She’s having to strike a certain tone that appeals to all of them at the same time and that can be tough. But she’s trying her best. She’s actually not a bad writer at all. Maybe trying too hard a teeny bit and feeling a wee bit defensive…?

    Anyway, sorry, that was super long. I got a little carried away. ;) (Excuse the typos…I didn’t proofread.)

  84. Here In My Jammies says:

    I’m with you on the cringe and the cheese. Reminds me of the little messages Meghan wrote in friends’ high school yearbooks that we’re reported in the press. Also the letter and the card messages she wrote while she still spoke to her father. There are plenty of examples out there of Meghan’s overly flowery self-referential writing style.