Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s guest editorship for British Vogue was a well-kept secret, thanks to tight-lipped collaborators who kept the project under wraps. Take Salma Hayek, for example, who was one of the 15 women and “Forces for Change” selected by the duchess to star on the cover of the September issue. When she first got the call to be involved in the project, she wasn’t even allowed to say the duchess’s name to the people with her at the time.
Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, one of Hayek’s longtime friends, told her on the phone, “You cannot say the name of the person I’m calling,” before he added Duchess Meghan on the line. “Frankly, I thought it was a joke,” Hayek told CNN. She thought Enninful would put their close friend Naomi Campbell on the call instead. But, nope, it was Meghan.
Hayek had to maintain that high level of secrecy throughout the months-long process. “I couldn’t talk about it and I didn’t,” she told CNN. She didn’t tell her husband, daughter, publicist, or even the other women Meghan chose to star on the magazine cover.
“I felt very honored when we did this photo shoot. No one else knew what it was for,” she said. “Only me and the photographer, Peter Lindbergh, knew. And all the girls were getting their picture taken for the cover and they didn’t know that Meghan was how they got there.”
Although she couldn’t talk about the top-secret issue, Hayek was honored to be involved. She said the Duchess of Sussex was “very kind and loving and easy going” when she first introduced herself on the phone.
“I got excited,” Hayek added. “I’m thinking and I’m trying to find the logic to this strange day. She explained her passion for women and what’s happening currently.”
Meghan also revealed that Hayek—an actress, producer, women’s rights activist, and advocate for refugees—was one of her first choices to star in the issue. “I was like completely shocked,” Hayek recalled. “I did not see it coming that way. She started talking about how she’s been watching me and why me.”
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