Duchess Meghan celebrates birthday with launch of '40x40' campaign

The duchess has roped in 40 friends, leaders and activists to help women returning to work amid Covid-19

04 August 2021 - 20:02 By khanyisile ngcobo
Meghan Markle celebrated her birthday by launching a campaign aimed at helping women returning to work. File photo.
Meghan Markle celebrated her birthday by launching a campaign aimed at helping women returning to work. File photo.
Image: Eddie Mulholland/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is ringing in her 40th birthday in true style with the launch of a campaign aimed at helping women affected by Covid-19 return to work.

The duchess launched the “40x40" campaign on Tuesday — on her actual birthday — with a special video shared on her and hubby Prince Harry's Archewell Foundation.

The hilarious video, which is her first since giving birth to daughter Lilibet Diana in June, features an appearance from her friend Melissa McCarthy, who helped the duchess launch the initiative.

The clip kicks off with Meghan calling McCarthy to share her birthday idea but things get a little pear-shaped when the latter suggests outlandish and hilarious ideas — including doing a Suits reunion and getting matching tattoos, for the duchess's birthday.

After several attempts to reign in an excitable McCarthy, Meghan finally shares her plans to celebrate the special day.

“So here's the idea. Because I'm turning 40, I'm asking 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman mobilising to get back into the workforce.

“If we all do it and commit 40 minutes of some sort of active service, we can create a ripple effect,” she said, much to McCarthy's approval.

The short video signs off with the duchess blowing out candles on her birthday cake before showing bloopers from the conversation. Prince Harry also makes a cameo appearance, seen juggling outside the window where the video was shot.

It remains unclear which other friends the duchess has roped in to help with the campaign but in a statement shared beneath the video, she explains that this will include “activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders” too. 

Meanwhile, well-wishers continue sharing their birthday messages with the mother of two after the royal family kicked off tributes with their sweet messages. The queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles as well as the Cambridges all took to social media to wish Meghan a happy birthday.