Meghan Markle has released a video to mark her 40th birthday.
The video, starring the actress Melissa McCarthy, was uploaded to the Archewell website.
It features the pair speaking on a video call from their respective homes about doing something special to mark Meghan’s birthday.
Meghan, seen for the first time since the birth of her daughter two months ago, explains that, for her birthday, she’s asking 40 women to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman who is going back into the work force after the pandemic.
The project, titled 40×40, involves 40 activists, athletes, artists and world leaders who Meghan has asked to participate by contributing 40 minutes of their time.
Among those who have offered to take part are singer Adele, poet Amanda Gorman, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and fashion designer Stella McCartney.
The initiative also received Royal support when Princess Eugenie pledged in an Instagram post to take part in the initiative.
Eugenie, who is still close to Harry and Meghan, wrote: “To celebrate dear Meghan’s 40th birthday I’m contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women reentering the workforce.”
Meghan and Melissa McCarthy engaged in friendly banter in the video as Melissa pretends to guess what Meghan is planning for her 40th birthday.
At the end of the video, the camera gets a view of Harry juggling in the background.
In a written statement to accompany the video, Meghan explains the 40×40 initiative in more detail.
She wrote: “In reflecting on my 40th birthday and the many things I am grateful for, I’m struck that TIME IS AMONG OUR GREATEST AND MOST ESSENTIAL GIFTS: Time with our loved ones, time doing the things we love, time spent learning, laughing, growing, and the sacred time we have on this earth.
“Amongst the most valuable gifts of time is also time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change.
“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.”
At the end of the statement, Meghan calls on readers to also devote 40 minutes to some sort of “act of service”, whether it’s through mentorship or through giving back to another cause or person.
Watch the video below.