The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has released a video to mark her 40th birthday starring the actor Melissa McCarthy.
The video, which was uploaded to the Archewell website, features the pair speaking on a video call from their respective homes about doing something special to mark the occasion.
Meghan explains how, 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 video also sees Meghan and McCarthy teasing one another, with the actor initially responding to Meghan’s suggestion of an idea by asking if it’s “another photoshoot underneath a tree where you’re looking very peaceful” in reference to the photograph the Sussexes released to announce they were expecting a second child.
Meghan responded that “peaceful under a tree is me every day”. McCarthy’s next suggestion is that the two get matching tattoos of their faces. She then asks if Meghan is planning a Suits reunion.
Meghan doesn’t entirely dismiss the idea of a reunion, insisting she “loves Suits” but is unsure why she’d do a reunion for her birthday.
At the end of the video, a few bloopers show McCarthy and Meghan teasing one another further, while one shot shows the Duke of Sussex juggling in the background while Meghan speaks.
In a written statement to accompany the video, Meghan explains the 40×40 initiative in more detail.
“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,” she began.
“Amongst the most valuable gifts of time is also time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change.”
Meghan went on to point out that the pandemic had robbed millions of women of their employment and cited research that found women were less likely to return to work after the pandemic.
“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,” she said.
“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.
Happy birthday Meghan! Wishing you the very best in life.