Celebrating her fortieth birthday yesterday, Meghan Markle announced an exciting new project to mark the occasion - and she's already got some *huge* celebrities, royals and activists involved.
In a video posted to Meghan and Harry's Archewell foundation website, featuring a chat between Meghan and actress Melissa McCarthy, the Duchess took the opportunity to announce her 40x40 birthday initiative, where she's asking forty of her friends to give forty minutes of their time to help mentor a woman who is "mobilising back into the workforce", in the hopes of creating a ripple effect of good deeds around the world.
Following Meghan's announcement, it's no surprise that she's already received tonnes of support from high-profile people around the world pledging to get involved, including the likes of Prince Harry's cousin Princess Eugenie, as well as Hillary Clinton and actress Sarah Paulson.
Plus, according to Meghan's office, Adele, Amanda Gorman, Gloria Steinem and Stella McCartney are also among the other participants who've committed to the project, PEOPLE have reported.
Wishing Meghan a happy birthday on her Instagram Story, Princess Eugenie wrote, "To celebrate dear Meghan's 40th birthday I'm contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women reentering the workforce."
"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," she added.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton also shared a photo of Meghan in an Instagram post, adding the caption, "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, turns 40 today. To help celebrate, please join me in committing 40 minutes today to community service. When everyone contributes a little, a lot can change for the better. #40x40 #CompassionInAction."
Celebrities including Sarah Paulson, Ciara, Gabrielle Union, Deepak Chopra and Sofia Carson have also made similar posts, and it's great to see so many people getting involved.
Writing on the Archewell website, Meghan shared a personal note about her 40x40 idea, writing that her birthday has been a time of reflection. "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.
"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?"
The Duchess continued on, adding that she hopes others around the world - beyond her own circle - would join in, "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.
"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."
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