The book, called “The Game Changers,” and the Vogue cover, which has the headline “Forces for Change,” are similar in both the language and the black-and-white photos of the women featured on their fronts (the book also comes in a pink cover, in addition to a black-and-white version). Each cover has 15 women, as well.
Both of the publications highlight women who are working to change the world. The book’s subtitle is “Success Secrets From 40 Women At The Top: How To Become A Fearless, Fabulous Girl Boss.”
One of the authors of the book, bestselling writer and art director Steph Adams, told HuffPost on Monday that she and co-author Samantha Brett were “honestly just very flattered” when they saw the new Vogue UK cover for the issue Meghan guest-edited, saying they “have great admiration for British Vogue and the Duchess of Sussex.”
“When we first put together ‘The Game Changers,’ we had carefully selected different women who we thought were inspirational and that were about making changes in the world, including Meghan Markle,” Adams said in an emailed statement.
“If the Duchess of Sussex now wants to do the same and with British Vogue and she is making a difference in the world by inspiring readers then that’s great. Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.”
Brett is a journalist at Australia’s 7 News. She spoke to 7 News on Monday about the “controversy,” as she put it.
Brett said she was “very, very, surprised” about the similarities, saying that people were writing to her all day to tell her about Meghan’s new Vogue cover and asking her if she’d collaborated on the September issue with her.
“At first I thought, ‘OK, this is a coincidence.’ I know that she has multiple copies of the book ― I’ve sent them to her myself,” Brett said. “But then, I came across ― someone actually sent me the press release for this latest project ― and there were words that were used: ‘trail-blazing,’ ‘change makers’ and ‘fearless women.’”
“Now, if you look at the back of our book, it says ‘trail-blazing,’ ‘game changers,’ ‘fearless women,’” Brett added. “There are too many similarities here.”
Buckingham Palace has not commented on the similarities between the two publications.
“I’m flattered, it was a great book so I always thought someone’s going to copy it and do their own,” she added. “She has amazing women, she’s supporting women, she’s trying to empower other women ― the cause is good.”
But Brett said she and her co-author have thought about contacting the palace and Meghan before the issue comes out on Friday.
“I’ve just seen tonight that it’s now on the front page of every paper in the U.K. so, it’s not us saying this, it’s other people ― it’s readers of this book and readers of these papers that have come out and commented and said, ‘Wow there are so many similarities here, you guys should look into it,’” she said.
In a separate statement to HuffPost on Tuesday, Adams denied that they will be contacting anyone.
Brett, when asked what she would say to the duchess if given the chance, said that the former actress should support their book first and then challenged her to give any proceeds from her magazine job to charity.
Meghan has done so in the past with the launch of the cookbook “Together: Our Community Kitchen,” which she worked on with women affected by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London in which more than 70 people died. All proceeds from that book benefit the Hubb Community Kitchen.
In an introduction to the Vogue issue published Monday, the duchess reminded readers that the magazine is “still a business, after all,” noting that it will include the usual advertising sections.
Meghan spoke about creating the issue with Vogue UK’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, in the same article.
“This issue is about the power of the collective. In identifying our personal strengths, it is anchored in the knowledge that we are even stronger together,” the duchess wrote. “You will find that spirit of inclusivity on the cover: diverse portraiture of women of varying age, colour, creed, nationality and life experience, and of unquestionable inspiration.”
This article has been updated with comment from Steph Adams.