07/30/2019 16:11 EDT

Here's Why Meghan Markle's Vogue Cover Has A Blank Space On It

The Duchess of Sussex's guest-edited cover features 15 women and one empty tile.

Meghan Markle’s guest-edited September issue of British Vogue hits newsstands this Friday and on the cover are 15 “Forces of Change.” 

The cover, shot by Peter Lindbergh, shows 15 black-and-white portraits of women ― all trailblazing change makers in their own right ― and include names like model Adwoa Aboah, activist Greta Thunberg, actresses Laverne Cox and Jameela Jamil and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 

But alongside the portraits, there’s a very noticeable blank space on the cover. It’s intentional, of course. 

As the Duchess of Sussex wrote in a letter introducing the September issue, the space is supposed to represent a mirror.

“Among all of these strong women on the cover, a mirror — a space for you, the reader, to see yourself. Because you, too, are part of this collective,” she said. 

Handout via Getty Images
The Duchess of Sussex was very intentional about a blank space left on the cover of the September issue of Vogue UK. 

Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of Vogue UK, elaborated on the idea of the mirror in his own account of putting the September issue together.  

“The 16th spot on the magazine’s cover represents a mirror, at the request of the Duchess, to include the reader in this unique moment and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change,” he wrote.

In the magazine, Prince Harry interviewed Dr. Jane Goodall for the issue, while the Duchess of Sussex spoke with former first lady Michelle Obama, whom she says she now calls a friend. 

Meghan and the former first lady spoke to each other about motherhood in an interview that the “Suits” actress said left her “speechless.” 

“Being a mother has been a masterclass in letting go,” Obama told the Duchess of Sussex in an interview published Monday.

“Motherhood has taught me that, most of the time, my job is to give them the space to explore and develop into the people they want to be. Not who I want them to be or who I wish I was at that age, but who they are, deep inside.”

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