Meghan Markle releases 40x40 birthday message on Archewell
The Duchess of Sussex has launched 40x40 on her Archewell website to mark her milestone birthday today. She said it is a global project to encourage people around the world to commit to giving 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work. Meghan also chats US actress Melissa McCarthy in the video, where she laughs at Melissa dressing up smartly and drinking a cup of tea in a reference to her royal links.
But Harry stole the show as he made a surprise appearance at the end of the video.
He left the two women cracking up as he was spotted outside of the window attempting to juggle with three balls.
Meghan appears to be sat at a desk in an office of her house in Montecito, California, that she shares with Harry and their two children, Archie and Lilibet.
In the clip she also looks at a laptop, which is positioned on a pile of her children's book The Bench.
Prince Harry made a brief cameo in Meghan's birthday video
Prince Harry was seen juggling outside the window
As part of her new project, Meghan has also asked 40 activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to participate by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to women re-entering the workforce.
Some of those who have committed 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman in their community are singer Adele, poet Amanda Gorman, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and fashion designer Stella McCartney.
Meghan said added in a statement that she has been reflecting on the many things she is "grateful for" now she is 40.
She also said she was struck that "time" is "among our greatest and most essential gifts", especially "time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change".
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Melissa McCarthy was also part of the hilarious video
The Duchess also claimed globally tens of millions of women had left the workforce during the past two years, mostly due to the pandemic.
But many were still in unpaid roles like carers and she claimed research has shown fewer women than men will return to work as the pandemic recovery begins.
Meghan said: "I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength, and for my birthday I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to help kick off a global effort by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women re-entering the workforce.
"With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms and I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well."
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Meghan Markle celebrated her 40th birthday today
Other members of the Royal Family wished Meghan a happy birthday earlier today.
The Royal Family Instagram account, which is run by the Queen's staff, was the first to post on Instagram and Twitter.
The account shared three photos of Meghan next to the message: "Wishing the Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday today!"
One of the photos showed the Queen and Meghan smiling on a joint engagement in June 2018.
Meghan launched her new 40x40 project for her birthday
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also shared a photo of Meghan from when she went on a royal tour of Australia with Harry in October 2018.
Their message said: "Wishing a happy 40th birthday to the Duchess of Sussex!"
And Prince Charles's Clarence House Instagram account shared a picture of Meghan smiling during a round table discussion on gender equality with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and One Young World at Windsor Castle in October 2019.
Their message said: "Wishing the Duchess of Sussex a very happy 40th birthday!"