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The Queen leads birthday wishes to Meghan Markle as she turns 40
4 August 2021, 15:05
The Queen has led members of the royal family in sending their birthday wishes to the Duchess of Sussex of her 40th birthday.
The official Twitter account for the royal family posted three pictures to mark the occasion, including a photo of Meghan, the Duke of Sussex and son Archie on their 2019 royal tour to South Africa.
The post said: "Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very Happy Birthday today!"
The official account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also tweeted a message, writing "Wishing a happy 40th birthday to The Duchess of Sussex!" alongside a birthday cake emoji.
🎈 Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very Happy Birthday today! pic.twitter.com/xvrRH4sEwX— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) August 4, 2021
The official account for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall tweeted a picture of Meghan smiling, writing: "Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy 40th birthday."
To mark her 40th birthday, the Duchess of Sussex has launched 40x40, a global project to encourage people around the world to commit to giving 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work.
Wishing a happy 40th birthday to The Duchess of Sussex! 🎂 pic.twitter.com/qekFyLPmiD— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) August 4, 2021
Meghan has asked 40 activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to participate by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to women re-entering the workforce.
Among those who have committed 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman in their community are singer Adele, poet Amanda Gorman, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and fashion designer Stella McCartney.
Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy 40th birthday. 🎈 pic.twitter.com/dCncyhMLrQ— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) August 4, 2021
Meghan has written a statement of intent about her new initiative 40x40 on the website of her charitable foundation Archewell.
She says when reflecting on turning 40, and the many things she is "grateful for", she was struck that "time" is "among our greatest and most essential gifts", especially "time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change".
The duchess, who two months ago gave birth to her second child daughter Lilibet, claimed globally tens of millions of women had left the workforce during the past two years, in a large part due to the pandemic.
But many were still in unpaid roles like carers and she claimed research has shown fewer women than men will return to work as the pandemic recovery begins.
Meghan added: "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."