Celebrities including Adele, Amanda Gorman, Stella McCartney and Deepak Chopra have helped Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, launch a global intiative to celebrate her 40th birthday.
The Duchess asked 40 activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to participate by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to women reentering the workforce.
Those who have put their hands up to help include Adele, US poet laureate Amanda Gorman, Nobel peace prize nominee Amanda Nguyen, author Deepak Chopra, US author and activist Dr Ibram X Kendi, and Stella McCartney.
Meghan created a jokey video with American actor and comedian Melissa McCarthy to launch the initiative.
The pair joked about a Suits reunion, a party on a yacht and an afternoon tea with the chickens before Meghan launched into describing her project.
“We can create a ripple effect,” she said.
In a personal message on her and Prince Harry’s Archewell site, the Duchess said her 40th birthday had given her pause to reflect on the “many things I am grateful for”.
“I’m struck that time is among our greatest and most essential gifts,” the Duchess wrote.
“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. 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 said the Covid pandemic had seen tens of millions of women around the world leave the workforce.
“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 kickoff a global effort by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women re-entering the workforce.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess Cambridge led a number of well wishes for Meghan.
Meghan was reported to be celebrating the milestone birthday with Harry and the couple’s two children Archie, two, and Lilibet, who was born in June, at their Montecito mansion in Santa Barbara, California.