The Duchess of Sussex celebrated her milestone birthday on Wednesday by announcing her 40x40 initiative, encouraging people to commit 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work. The announcement came with the help of comedian Melissa McCarthy over a video call — and toward the end of the clip, Prince Harry made a surprise appearance.
After McCarthy asked Meghan if she was going to mark her birthday by throwing an afternoon tea party with her beloved chickens, the actress laughed as she noticed Harry outside through the window. Meghan turned to catch her husband, sporting sunglasses, showing off his juggling skills — prompting laughter from McCarthy.
Archewell.com Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Usually, Prince Harry is doing a different kind of "juggle" as a new father of two. Daughter Lilibet Diana was born on June 4, making 2-year-old Archie a big brother. In the video, a brief glimpse of Lili can be seen in the center of a tri-fold picture frame on Meghan's desk, along with a photo of Archie behind.
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Archewell.com Meghan Markle
"Congratulations, a girl right?" the singer asked Harry. "We just had a little girl 10 months ago now. You're still in the trenches now! How do you manage with two?"
"Two is definitely a juggle," responded the prince.
The playful new video also included McCarthy dressing up in a fascinator and suggesting a Suits reunion, all while Meghan's rescue beagle Guy snoozed on his dog bed behind her desk.
Meghan opened up more about her initiative on the couple's Archewell Foundation website.
"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," the mom of two wrote. "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?"
Noting that women are returning to the workforce after leaving in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meghan noted that "mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength."
Archewell.com Meghan Markle
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"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."
A snapshot of participants who have committed to giving 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman in their community include Adele, Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Gloria Steinem, José Andrés, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Stella McCartney.