These royal pals go way back, so it’s no surprise that Meghan Markle’s birthday present from Princess Eugenie was so thoughtful. In fact, it’s exactly what the Duchess of Sussex asked for!
Meghan celebrated her 40th birthday on Wednesday, August 4 at home in Montecito, California with her husband Harry, 36, son Archie, 2, and newborn daughter, Lilibet. Meanwhile, back across the pond, members of the royal family spent the day sending their well wishes to the duchess—and that includes her cousin-in-law, Princess Eugenie. The princess, who has spent the last several months living at Meghan and Harry’s former home in the UK with her husband Jack Brooksbank and son, took to Instagram to write a special message for the duchess on her birthday.
“To celebrate dear Meghan’s 40th birthday I’m contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women re-entering the workforce,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories. “In the past two years, tens of millions of women around the world have departed the workforce. If you can, please join me and commit 40 minutes to community, service or mentorship.” Eugenie, who is very close to the Sussexes, went on to mark Meghan’s 40th with stickers on her Instagram Story, including one that spelled out “Happy Birthday” in rainbow lettering.
Princess Eugenie’s message came just hours after the Duchess of Sussex launched “40×40,” a global initiative dedicated to mentoring women who are returning to the workforce. Meghan announced the initiative on her birthday with a video posted to her and Harry’s Archewell Foundation website. In the clip—which featured comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy—Meghan revealed her birthday wish for the project.
“Because I’m turning 40, I’m asking 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman who’s mobilizing into the workforce,” Meghan revealed in the video. “Over two million women in the U.S. alone and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs due to COVID.” Along with Princess Eugenie, stars like Adele, poet Amanda Gorman, fashion designer Stella McCartney, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, have signed on to support the initiative.
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship—from their wedding and how they met, to the birth of their first son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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