Watch Meghan and Melissa McCarthy chat about the royal's 40th birthday plans

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The Duchess of Sussex is today celebrating her 40th birthday – and she is doing so by sharing a new charitable project with her fans and followers.

The royal, who has not been seen publicly since giving birth to her daughter Lilibet Diana two months ago, uploaded a new video onto her charity website this afternoon to share her charitable birthday initiative.

In the video, Meghan appears on a video call with actress Melissa McCarthy, where they chat about all the different ways she may choose to celebrate her milestone birthday, before the royal explains what she really wants to do: she is encouraging 40 of her closest friends (and everyone else) to give up 40 minutes of their time to mentor women who are looking to get back into the workplace, particularly those who have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with hundreds of millions of women around the world affected.

"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," Meghan writes on the website. "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?"

Photo credit: Pool/Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool/Samir Hussein - Getty Images

"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," she adds. "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."

To watch the video in full, find out more information about the project, visit the Archewell website here.

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