The Queen, Prince William and Kate have wished Meghan Markle a happy birthday as the Duchess of Sussex turns 39 a world away from her former royal life.
Meghan and her husband Prince Harry stepped down from their senior royal duties at the end of March, following the shock announcement in January.
They are living in Los Angeles, the duchess’s hometown, and planning out how to launch their non-profit organisation Archewell in the next year.
Meghan may have to keep her birthday celebration plans low key, as California has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the US.
To mark the occasion, the Royal Family Instagram account, which typically represents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, shared a picture of Meghan and the Queen at a joint engagement in Chester in 2018.
At the time, the visit was seen as a mark of support from the Queen for Meghan. The Queen took the Duchess of Sussex on a joint engagement much sooner after her marriage than she did for the Duchess of Cambridge.
On the Kensington Royal account, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a picture of Meghan at a school visit, and wished her a happy birthday.
While the Cambridges and the Sussexes were once dubbed the ‘fab four’ the couples have been reported to have drifted apart, and a new book about Harry and Meghan indicated she felt upset that Kate didn’t “check in with her” when things were difficult.
The same book also revealed that Meghan had been reluctant to end royal duties as she felt she had given up her life for the Royal Family.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Meghan’s in-laws, also shared a picture of Meghan to wish her happy birthday on their Clarence house Instagram account.
The pictures the royal family have shared this year are a bit different to the ones they chose to celebrate Meghan’s last birthday.
Last year, Prince William and Kate chose a picture of all four of them at Sandringham.
And Charles and Camilla shared two pictures, one of Charles and Meghan speaking at the Commonwealth Day Service from that year and another of her on her own.
They also used the HRH styling, which the couple no longer use.
The couple have been speaking out on issues including racial injustice and discrimination from the LA home they are borrowing from a friend, a concern expected to be a big part of Archewell’s aims.
A source has said: “As we’ve been developing Archewell, one of the areas the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been keen to address is online hate speech, and we’ve been working with civil rights and racial justice groups on it.”
Meghan’s ongoing court battle with the Mail on Sunday and the MailOnline had another hearing last week, as she fought to ensure her friends’ names were not revealed during the case.
Harry and Meghan also filed court documents in the US, seeking to stop intrusive photos of their son Archie, who turned one in May, being taken through the fence surrounding their garden.
They also said they have had to deal with drones taking pictures overhead.
While Harry and Meghan have agreed to stop using their HRH stylings, they are still the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.