A big year for the former actress and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle! Markle celebrates 40 years old today (August 4) by announcing her 40×40 initiative, which encourages people to commit 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work.
Comedian Melissa McCarthy helped Markle with the announcement over a video call, and Prince Harry made a special surprise appearance. When McCarthy asked Meghan if she was going to celebrate with an afternoon tea party with her beloved chickens, the actress laughed noticing Harry through the window. Harry was outside rocking a pair of shades and showcasing his casual juggling skills.
Meghan shared more about her initiative on the couple’s Archewell Foundation website.
“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,” Markle expressed. “Amongst the most valuable gifts of time is also time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change. To that last point, and with my 40th lap around the sun in mind, it made me wonder: what would happen if we all committed 40 minutes to helping someone else or to mentoring someone in need? And then what would happen if we asked our friends to do the same?”
Meghan notes that women are returning to the workforce after leaving in large part due to the impending COVID-19 pandemic. She mentioned that, “mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength.”
For Meghan’s special 40th birthday she’s asked her colleagues to ban together for a great cause saying, “For my birthday, I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to help kickoff 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.”
Participants who have committed to the program to mentor a woman in their community include fearless leaders across the world like Adele, Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Gloria Steinem, José Andrés, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Stella McCartney.
To celebrate Meghan Markle and her latest philanthropic venture, we are remembering Meghan Markle moments we adore with a gallery of photos. Happy Birthday, Meghan!