The US publication released a glossy and heavily-airbrushed cover on Harry’s 37th birthday showing the Duke of Sussex stood behind his wife with his arms on her right shoulder in the ‘icons’ section of the annual line-up alongside Naomi Osaka, Dolly Parton, Britney Spears and Alexei Navalny.
The glossy photos are accompanied by a profile, branded sycophantic by critics, written by their friend and chef José Andrés, whose charity World Central Kitchen is loved by the Sussexes and supported financially by their Archewell foundation in India and the Caribbean.
He wrote: ‘In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the duke and duchess have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don’t just opine.
They run toward the struggle.’ On the cover, Harry is dressed in all black and Meghan in all white on a terrace at their $14.65million mansion and then in green (centre) walking through their estate in Montecito, California, as Mr Andres said they couple are ‘blessed through birth and talent, and burned by fame’, adding: ‘It would be much safer to enjoy their good fortune and stay silent.
That’s not what Harry and Meghan do, or who they are’. In another image they are in matching grey office-style clothes next to a window (right) in outfits chosen by celebrity stylists Clare and Nina Hallwroth, who have recently dressed Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, in pictures taken by Serbian Pari Dukovic.
But one critic, a fellow photographer, tweeted: ‘Terrible retouching job. They look CGI’. Another claimed the cover photo (inset) reflected the power dynamic in the relationship, because Meghan is in front of her husband, tweeting: ‘Wow, this photo speaks volumes. There is no hiding who’s in control’.