Queen leads birthday wishes to Meghan Markle as duchess turns 40

Watch: Duchess of Sussex turns 40: a look at her style transformation

The Queen has led birthday messages from the Royal Family as her granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle turns 40.

Meghan is celebrating her birthday on Wednesday in Montecito, California, where she lives with Prince Harry and their two children Archie and Lilibet.

The Queen's official Twitter account shared pictures of Meghan and wished her a happy birthday. One featured her with the Queen on their first joint engagement to Chester in 2018.

Another featured Harry and Archie with Meghan in South Africa, while the third was from one of the couple's engagements as senior royals in March 2020.

Read more: Diana and Sarah Ferguson would have 'thrown granny parties' with bouncy castles

Prince William and Kate shared a message from their Twitter account, including an image of the Duchess of Sussex on Bondi Beach on a royal tour in Australia.

Both the Cambridges' account and Prince Charles and Camilla's account included her age in their messages.

The picture from the Cornwalls shows Meghan after a gender-equality roundtable event in 2019.

Neither Charles nor William chose images of Meghan with anyone else from the Royal Family.

Read more: Sarah Ferguson defends Eugenie's husband over boat trip with topless models

The relationship between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the Royal Family has been strained since January 2020 when the couple announced their plans to step back from their roles as senior royals.

They have subsequently carried out bombshell interviews with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Dax Shepherd, which have not helped repair any rifts.

Harry has been back to the UK twice since they moved to the US in March 2020 – once for his grandfather's funeral and once to unveil a statue of his mother Diana at Kensington Palace.

Meghan was not able to travel on either of those occasions, first because she was pregnant, and then had only recently given birth to Lilibet.

Reports that she was arranging a party for her 40th with 65 guests planned by Winfrey's events organiser were said to be untrue by Page Six, but the couple have not stated what they intend to do to mark her birthday.

Watch: Royal photographer says he didn't think Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage would last