Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has guest-edited British Vogue magazine's September issue, and chosen New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, as one of the faces to feature on her cover: "Forces for Change".

The image was shared on the Sussex Royal Instagram, and reveals Ardern in a prime spot alongside the likes of Salma Hayek, Laverne Cox, Jane Fonda and Christy Turlington.

The PM was styled by Viva magazine's creative and fashion director Dan Ahwa for the feature and shot by Peter Lindbergh.

According to The Telegraph, Ardern showed "real empathy" for Markle when she visited New Zealand last October, shortly after the announcement of her pregnancy.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, during last year's royal tour. Photo / Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, during last year's royal tour. Photo / Getty Images

The post explains that The Duchess "chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness."

The cover also features a mirror panel, positioned next to Ardern, "so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective," explains The Duchess.

Further details from Markle's work on the issue were also shared in the Instagram post.

"We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: "Forces for Change".

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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” - and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” - The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

The Telegraph reports that Markle has been heavily involved in every decision, her involvement reflected on "every single page,".

She said: "These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue's editor-in-chief, to take the year's most read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today.

"Through this lens I hope you'll feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women chosen for the cover as well as the team of support I called upon within the issue to help bring this to light. I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the 'Forces for Change' they'll find within these pages."

While it was the Duchess's idea to feature 15 women on the cover, the 37-year-old eschewed the chance to appear alongside them as she deemed it "boastful" for this particular project.

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Instead, she identified a group of women she personally admired and felt "very strongly" about, some of whom she has met in the last year or two.

They include Adwoa Aboah, a mental health campaigner and model whom the Duchess appeared alongside on a panel marking International Women's Day in March and Jameela Jamil, a body positivity advocate and actor whose Instagram account was one of a small selection recently highlighted by the Sussex's.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, who hosted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their first joint overseas tour last October and said she had "real empathy" for the then-pregnant royal, also features, as does Sinead Burke, an Irish diversity activist who met the Duchess at a garden party in Dublin last July and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the novelist who hosted a talk with Michelle Obama attended by the Duchess in December.

Others she has chosen to celebrate are Adut Akech, a South Sudanese model and former refugee, Ramla Ali, a London-based Somali boxer, Gemma Chan, a Kent-born campaigner and actor and Laverne Cox, the transgender activist and actor who stars in Orange is the New Black.

The inclusion of Jane Fonda, the American actor and political activist, was likely inspired by the 2018 documentary Feminists: What Were They Thinking? which the Duchess referenced earlier this year after watching it on Netflix.

The other women featured are Salma Hayek Pinault, the actor and women's rights advocate, Francesca Hayward, the Kenyan-born Royal Ballet principal dancer who stars in the remake of Cats, Greta Thunberg, the climate change campaigner, Christy Turlington Burns, the model and campaigner against maternal deaths and Yara Shahidi, the American actor and founder of Eighteen x 18, which is focused on engaging young people in politics.

The issue also includes an exclusive interview between Markle and Michelle Obama, and features Prince Harry in conversation with famed primatologist Dr Jane Goodall.

- Additional reporting: The Telegraph