Lily Cole has issued a grovelling apology after posing in a burqa to promote her new book.
The 33-year-old model shared two pictures to Instagram of herself wearing the face covering to drum up publicity for her book 'Who Care Wins: Reasons For Optimism in Our Changing World' and she captioned it "'It's out. Let's embrace diversity on every level: biodiversity; cultural diversity; diversity of thinking; diversity of voices; diversity of ideas."
However, Lily faced immediate backlash, due to the current volatile situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are taking over, causing many Afghan women to desperately flee the country in fear of their own lives.
During Taliban rule in the 1990s, women were forced to wear coverings from head to toe and banned from attending school or working outside the home.
Lily soon deleted the pictures and wrote: "THIS WEEK I POSTED AN OLD PHOTO OF ME WEARING A BURQA LOANED TO ME BY A FRIEND. AS SHE POINTED OUT I WAS UNDERMINING IT'S ORIGINAL PURPOSE BY WEARING IT WITH MY FACE EXPOSED, BUT I UNDERSTAND WHY THE IMAGE HAS UPSET PEOPLE AND WANT TO SINCERELY APOLOGISE FOR ANYS OFFENCE CAUSED.
"I HADN'T READ THE NEWS AT THE TIME I POSTED SO IT WAS INCREDIBLE ILL TIMED (THANK YOU FOR POINTING THAT OUT TO ME).
"MY HEART BREAKS READING ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AFGHANISTAN AT THE MOMENT, AND IN LOOKING FOR ORGANISATIONS HELPING WOMEN ON THE GROUND I CAN SUPPORT, I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE SOME I FOUND/DONATED TO (sic)."
Lily then posted links to some fundraisers for the people of Afghanistan, along with articles on how to help.