The Duchess of Sussex today celebrated her 40th birthday by announcing a new initiative to help women back into work in a film featuring Hollywood star Melissa McCarthy and a comedy cameo by Prince Harry.
Speaking in a video shared on the Archewell website, Meghan couldn’t stop giggling as the Bridesmaids actress, believed to be a new friend made since moving to Los Angeles, helped her launch her ’40×40′ campaign.
In between fits of giggles, the Duchess launched 40×40, a global effort encouraging people around the world to commit to giving 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work.
At the start of a Zoom-style call in her spotless LA mansion, Meghan told: ‘It’s my 40th birthday and I’ve got an idea. Because I’m turning 40, I’m asking 40 friends to give 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman who is remobilising back into the workforce.
‘Over 2million women in the US alone and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs due to Covid. And I think if we all do it, and all commit 40 minutes to an act of service, it can have a ripple effect.’
Speaking in a video shared on the Archewell website, Meghan launched 40×40, a global effort encouraging people around the world to commit to giving 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work
Today Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have all shared well-wishes to Meghan Markle on her 40th birthday.
The Royal Family Instagram account, run by the Queen’s Buckingham Palace staff, was the first to post on Instagram and Twitter, sharing three photos of Meghan along with the message: ‘Wishing the Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday today!’
One of the photos shows the Queen, 95, and Meghan smiling on their first and only joint engagement in June 2018.
Within minutes, Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall added their own birthday messages.
Royal fans praised the ‘gracious’ and ‘dignified’ decision to share the social media posts despite Harry and Meghan’s recent public criticism of the Royal Family in a string of high-profile TV and podcast interviews.
Meanwhile members of the self-declared ‘Sussex Squad’ – fans who support Harry and Meghan – have made donations to charities and organisations supported by the Duchess as part of a fundraising drive they’ve dubbed the #Meghans40celebration.
The Royal Family Instagram account, run by the Queen’s Buckingham Palace staff, was the first to post on Instagram and Twitter. One of the photos (bottom) shows the Queen, 95, and Meghan smiling on their first and only joint engagement in June 2018
Within minutes, Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall added their own birthday messages. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose a photo of Meghan from her and Harry’s royal tour of Australia in October 2018
The Clarence House Instagram account, run by Prince Charles and Camilla’s staff, shared a snap of Meghan smiling as she attended a round table discussion on gender equality with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and One Young World at Windsor Castle in October 2019
Among them is One25, a Bristol charity supporting sex workers that was visited by the Sussexes in 2019.
It comes just weeks after the bombshell announcement that Prince Harry is penning a tell-all memoir to be released next year. The book is described as a ‘definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him’.
The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are said to have been completely blindsided by the news.
Prince Harry didn’t feel he needed permission from Buckingham Palace to write the memoir, a spokesman said at the time. The representative told the BBC that Harry would not be expected to obtain permission for the project from Buckingham Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s ‘truth bombing’ began in March with their extraordinary 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey where they accused the Royal Family of racism towards Archie and ignoring cries for help from a depressed Meghan when she was suicidal and pregnant.
In the chaotic aftermath of the show, watched by almost 100million people worldwide, the couple claimed this would be their ‘final word’ on Megxit, only to continue talking about it in more damaging detail over the coming months.
And now the royals are awaiting the release of Prince Harry’s book, which coincides with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.
There is reportedly concern among courtiers that it could overshadow celebrations to mark her 70 years as Monarch.
However today’s birthday posts suggest the Firm is keen to present a united front despite the reported tension.
Today’s birthday posts suggest the Firm is keen to present a united front that is inclusive of Prince Harry, Meghan and their children Archie, two, and two-month-old Lilibet. Pictured, William, Harry, Kate and William at one of the Sussexes’ final royal engagements
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked today’s milestone with a photo of Meghan from her and Harry’s royal tour of Australia in October 2018.
It shows the Duchess in a flowing striped maxi dress and a faux lei necklace on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. She was pregnant with Archie at the time.
The message says: ‘Wishing a happy 40th birthday to the Duchess of Sussex!’
The Clarence House Instagram account, run by Prince Charles and Camilla’s staff, shared a snap of Meghan smiling as she attended a round table discussion on gender equality with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and One Young World at Windsor Castle in October 2019.
The simple message reads: ‘Wishing the Duchess of Sussex a very happy 40th birthday!’
There had been speculation that Meghan, who welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana in June, was planning to celebrate her milestone birthday with a lavish party for 65 guests.
However yesterday Page Six dismissed the plan and suggested Prince Harry will instead whisk his wife off on an ‘intimate getaway’.
Royal experts have also speculated that the Sussexes may choose to release an eagerly-anticipated family photo to mark the special occasion. Fans are still waiting to catch a glimpse of Lilibet.
Royal experts have also speculated that the Sussexes may choose to release an eagerly-anticipated family photo to mark the special occasion. Fans are still waiting to catch a glimpse of Lilibet. Pictured: Harry and Meghan with Archie in a photo announcing her pregnancy
Royal commentator Phil Dampier told The Sun Online: ‘I think it’s likely we will see a picture of the family. It wouldn’t surprise me, if Meghan does release a pic of her with Lilibet to mark her 40th birthday, as they’ll will want to emphasise what a happy family unit they are.
‘And it will be interesting to see what messages she gets from the royals – I suspect they will post messages, even though in private they are very upset about was has happened,’ – presumably a nod to their explosive Oprah Winfrey interview.’
According to The Mirror, Prince Harry has reportedly ordered a cake for his wife from a local bakery, Posies & Sugar, which creates cakes in a simple semi-naked icing look and decorated with flowers.
The couple are not planning to attend the grand birthday party of former President Obama – who turns 60 on the same day – which is believed to be taking place at his Martha’s Vineyard home over the weekend.
Last year Meghan enjoyed a quiet birthday at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic, five months after she and Harry sensationally quit the Royal Family and moved to the US.
Her 40th is five months before her sister-in-law Kate Middleton’s, while Prince William also hits the milestone in June next year.
Since they got together, Harry and Meghan have enjoyed intimate birthday celebrations. For the Duchess’ 36th, the prince took her away to Botswana where they carried out conservation work with the charity Elephants Without Borders.
She marked her 37th – her first birthday as an official member of the Royal Family – at the wedding of Harry’s friend Charlie van Straubenzee and Daisy Jenks in Surrey.
On her 38th, which was Meghan’s first as a mother, having given birth to son Archie in May 2019, the couple held a private celebration at their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor before flying to Ibiza.
Last month it was reported Prince Harry has clinched a lucrative four-book deal – with the second due out only after the Queen has died.
What can Meghan Markle expect at 40? As the Duchess celebrates her birthday, astrologists predict her year ahead – from a reconciliation with William and Kate to writing about motherhood
As Meghan Markle celebrates her 40th birthday today, two astrologers have shared their predictions for how her star sign and birth chart might influence her year ahead.
UK-based astrologer Francesca Oddie said Meghan will spend time thinking about the sort of mother she wants to be – and might even write about the experience of raising her daughter Lilibet.
Meanwhile Nicolas Aujula, a psychic who claims to have predicted Covid-19, said the Duchess of Sussex might repair her relationship with Prince William and Kate this year but believes she will always have a strained bond with Prince Charles.
Nicolas Aujula, a psychic who claims to have predicted Covid-19, said the Duchess of Sussex might repair her relationship with Prince William and Kate this year. Pictured, in 2018
‘Born in the sign of Leo, Meghan is warm hearted, commanding and uber confident who definitely wears the trousers in her marriage. She is very good at making things happen and will take no for an answer.
‘She needs to learn to slow down more as she approaches 40, to not feel like she has to always be in the driving seat. She has a lot of orange hues around her aura, its a very creative and fertile colour.
Time to heal the rift?
Nicolas said: ‘Meghan’s relationship with Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will repair but there will always be frosty relationship with Prince Charles.
‘It’s the sign of independence and not being bound by restriction, she doesn’t follow rules and will always command her own life.
‘She leads, she does not follow. It’s also makes her a warm mother and carer to others, there is warmth in her heart and she wants to make a difference in the world.’
Francesca Oddie said: ‘The healing power of motherhood is what strikes me when looking at Megan Markle’s horoscope.
‘A deep internal transformation that underlies her whole personality has been in process for the past two years and although many people think Megan’s is being dramatic and over the top, I would suggest that the way she has been feeling has been deeply unsettled.
‘The transformation she has been experiencing is galvanised in the birth of her daughter. I often hear clients talk about how their perspective changes when they look at their child and it really puts things into perspective as they see their childhood with fresh eyes.
‘With Saturn in Aquarius opposite Megan’s Sun in her Solar Return chart (AKA birthday chart) this is her year to make it, whatever “it” is.
‘Transiting Chiron, the wounded healer, is on her MC and this makes me think that she is reflecting deeply on how she interfaces with the world, her childhood but also how she wants to mother. How does she want her daughter to see her? Fresh love is incredibly motivating and can be a catalyst to live a different life.’
More business ventures? Francesca predicts Meghan and Harry’s relationship will become even more professional this year
FOOD AND LIFESTYLE
Francesca said: ‘Transiting Mars is on her Natal Ceres in Virgo, this also repeats the idea that the style of parenting, nurturing and healthcare that Megan focusses on will be something that she is considering deeply at the moment.
Small things on the horizon for Meghan?
Nicolas added Meghan will go on a ‘memorable trip to a tropical island’ and will ‘lose a valuable piece of jewellery’ this year.
‘The food, products and lifestyle choices she makes for herself and her baby will be of great interest. Virgo is very focused on diet, health and daily routines.
‘It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Megan spoke, wrote or shared some ideas on what mothering her daughter means for her.’
Francesca continued: ‘With Saturn still transiting her 7th house, her relationship with Harry may take on an even more professional role. There could be some challenges, but Saturn confers work in every sense of the word.
‘There are more shocks, changes and turnarounds coming for Megan this year, but I think the professional capacity of Megan was a woman and mother is about to be monetised, perhaps also with a philanthropic element to whatever she creates.’
Nicolas added: ‘Meghan will create awareness on growing hunger in the world, hunger will become a global problem. She will champion women’s rights, especially education for young girls.
‘She will continue grow into popularity in US, she will eclipse Hollywood royalty to make her own place in history… The world of politics will open up for her in coming years.’