The Duchess of Sussex announced her new 40×40 project in a video released on Wednesday, August 4, with help from Melissa McCarthy. In the clip, the Suits alum explained that she asked 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman reentering the workforce after the coronavirus pandemic.
The Spy star, 50, bounces other birthday party ideas off of Meghan, joking that they should have a yacht gala or host a Suits reunion. As the Emmy winner suggests that the duchess offer afternoon tea with her chickens as an option, Harry, 36, appears in a window in the background — juggling.
McCarthy, seemingly not realizing that the Duke of Sussex would make an appearance, starts laughing. “What?” Meghan asks, grinning as her husband disappears out of sight.
Juggling princes aside, the California native is serious about helping people with her new initiative.
“In the past two years, and in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, TENS OF MILLIONS OF women around the world have left the workforce, including over two million women in the U.S.,” she wrote in a statement on the couple’s Archewell website. “So many of these women are also SHOULDERING THE BRUNT OF THE CRISIS when it comes to unpaid labor, including schooling and caring for family members. And the latest research shows that FEWER WOMEN THAN MEN WILL REGAIN WORK as we recover from the pandemic.”
In addition to asking “friends, activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders” to help her kick off the project, the duchess concluded her message with a request for everyone to participate if they can.
“If you are able, please JOIN US and pledge 40 minutes today in service of others in the way that feels right to you,” she wrote. “The time that you donate can contribute to a GLOBAL WAVE OF SERVICE and set in motion meaningful impact in our own communities, and across the world.”
The video also featured a possible cameo from the couple’s daughter Lili, 2 months, who seemed to appear in a photo of Harry visible on Meghan’s desk. The duchess honored her children with her jewelry choices as well, wearing necklaces featuring their zodiac signs: Gemini for Lili and Taurus for son Archie, 2.
Though Harry and Meghan announced last year that they were stepping down as working royals, the pair have said they will remain committed to a life of service outside the bounds of the palace.
“We can all live a life of service,” the duo said in a statement in February, after Queen Elizabeth II confirmed that the Sussexes wouldn’t return as working royals. “Service is universal.”