Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has called on 40 friends to join her mentorship programme.

Duchess Meghan

Duchess Meghan

To celebrate her 40th birthday on Wednesday (04.08.21), the duchess was joined by actress Melissa McCarthy in a new video launching the 40x40 initiative to "help women re-entering the workforce".

Writing on the Archewell website, she said: "In reflecting on my 40th birthday and the many things I am grateful for, I’m struck that time is among our 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.

"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?"

During the video with Melissa, the 'Bridesmaids' actress joked about a yacht party, a 'Suits' reunion and even matching tattoos before Meghan opened up about her idea, with the likes of singer Adele and fashion designer Stella McCartney asked to donate their time.

She said in the clip: "Over two million women in the US and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs due to Covid.

"I think if we all do it and see all commit to some sort of act of service, we can have some type of ripple effect."

She's asked 40 activities, artists, athletes and world leaders to participate, with Stella and Adele joined by the likes of poet Amanda Gorman and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.