All Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wants for her 40th birthday is 40 minutes of your time

VIDEO | 02:15
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, launches the 40x40 charitable campaign

Leave it to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to celebrate her 40th birthday by launching an entire global charitable initiative, with a little help from Melissa McCarthy and a blooper-ish cameo by Prince Harry.

The former Meghan Markle is asking 40 “friends, activists, athletes, artists and world leaders” to donate 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman returning to the workforce after being displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as 2 million women have been in the United States.

And she wants everyone else in the world — or at least within reach of her influence — to do the same, as tens of millions of women have left the workforce worldwide amid the pandemic.

“I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms,” she said on the Archewell website, “and I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well.”


Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in New Zealand said Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle discussed moving there during a visit in 2018.

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The mother of two said that, as she reflected on her birthday, she was struck by the realization 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.”

The former “Suits” actor enlisted pal Melissa McCarthy in her effort, producing a quietly funny video of the two of them talking via video chat. McCarthy brings most of the comedy in royal fashion, donning a fancy dress, pearls and a fascinator at one point and toasting her friend with a cup of tea.

McCarthy ribs Meghan about celebrating with “another photo shoot under a tree where you’re looking very peaceful.”

“Peaceful under a tree is me every day,” Meghan replies, deadpan.

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McCarthy suggests getting matching BFF-twinsies tattoos, but Meghan wants to save that for her 50th birthday. And no, there won’t be a “Suits” reunion to mark four decades either, no matter what those “Friends” folks did. Nor a yacht party. Definitely no yacht party.

“Zero yachts,” McCarthy says, signaling she understands.

But Meghan is just stuck on the gift-of-time thing, saying in the video that if lots of people commit 40 minutes each to “some sort of act of service, we can create a ripple effect.”

And as for Harry, well, he just can’t help but create a juggling effect, appearing in the background in an outtake, through a window, wearing shades and juggling tennis balls. Because whose husband doesn’t do that when you’re on an important Zoom call, right?