Meghan Markle offered fans a rare glimpse inside the Californian mansion she shares with Prince Harry today during a ‘special message’ shared on her 40th birthday.
The Duchess of Sussex shared a video featuring Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy on the website of her charitable foundation Archewell to introduce her new 40×40 initiative which encourages people to donate 40 minutes of their time to helping someone else or to mentoring someone in need.
Chatting via Zoom from her dark grey Apple Macbook computer, the glossy clip was filmed in the same room in which she appeared briefly during her husband and Oprah Winfrey’s recent Apple TV mental health series.
This time viewers were given a more substantial view of the study, which boasted a grand oak desk with a pile of strategically placed copies of Meghan’s children’s book The Bench, along with elegant white file in-trays and decorative glass bottles.
The Duchess was also joined by her beloved beagle Guy, who looked perfectly at home on a luxurious grey dog cushion, while a chic £1,240 Hermes throw blanket (perhaps a nod to Harry given it features the letter H) was strewn over one of the two cream cushioned chairs.
Meghan Markle offered fans a rare glimpse inside the Californian mansion she shares with Prince Harry today during a ‘special message’ shared on her 40th birthday
1. Decorative glass bottles
Given one of two-year-old Archie’s first words was ‘hydrate’, it makes sense that the Duchess should have a bottle of water to hand. Perched on the edge of her expansive desk is a tall glass swing top bottle and two his and hers glasses.
During a lighthearted moment in Meghan and Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, the Duchess said their talkative toddler’s new favourite thing to say is ‘hydrate’, a week after his doting dad told James Cordon’s Late Late Show that Archie’s first word had surprisingly been ‘crocodile.’
2. White flowers
Almost taking centre-stage on the desk, between two stylish white in-trays, is an elegant gold vase housing a bunch of white roses.
Almost taking centre-stage on the desk, between two stylish white in-trays, is an elegant gold vase housing a bunch of white roses. There is also a glass bottle with two glasses
3. Stacks of The Bench
Perhaps strategically placed towards the front of the camera frame was a rather large stack of 11 copies of Meghan’s new children’s book The Bench.
They appear to be special edition hardbacks, as they look significantly larger than your average book. The Duchess claimed the book showed ‘another side of masculinity’ in a message to thank readers after it became a New York Times bestseller.
In a statement on the Archewell website, she said: ‘While this poem began as a love letter to my husband and son, I’m encouraged to see that its universal themes of love, representation and inclusivity are resonating with communities everywhere. In many ways, pursuing a more compassionate and equitable world begins with these core values.’
However, the book failed to hit the UK Official Top 50 chart after selling just 3,212 copies in its first week – being beaten by footballer Marcus Rashford’s self-help guide.
Perhaps strategically placed towards the front of the camera frame was a rather large stack of 11 copies of Meghan’s new children’s book The Bench
4: Hermes £1,240 throw blanket
On first glance, the cream cushioned chair beside Meghan looked to feature the letter ‘H’ – a nod to Harry’s initial – as part of its design.
However, on closer inspection it appears the Duchess had intricately placed a decorative Hermes throw blanket, priced at £1,240.
Made in Scotland, the Avalon III jacquard woven wool and cashmere throw is finished with blanket stitch and comes in Coco/Camomille – the shade chosen by Meghan – or Écru/Gris Clair.
The blanket blended perfectly well with her minimalist decor and colour scheme of neutral earth tones, creams and white.
On first glance, the cream cushioned chair beside Meghan looked to feature the letter ‘H’ – a nod to Harry’s initial – as part of its design. However, on closer inspection it appears the Duchess had intricately placed a decorative Hermes throw blanket, priced at £1,240
5. Healing quartz crystal
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already revealed they own a collection of crystals that are scattered around their Montecito mansion.
During a conference call they held earlier this year, eagle-eyed fans spotted a celestine crystal in the background.
Placed beside her stack of copies of the bench is a large white crystal. The Duchess is a long-standing proponent of spiritual practices including meditation and yoga – a hobby also taken up by her husband – and has previously touted crystals for their healing properties.
6. English tea and biscuits
They may have left the UK for America, but there’s one British tradition Meghan appears to have embraced wholeheartedly – that of tea and biscuits.
Perched on an elegant silver tray with gold handles is an intricately patterned monochrome teacup and saucer, beside a matching plate with a chocolately treat.
The crockery set is from English brand Twinings, which is based in Andover, Hampshire, appropriately from its Burleigh Black Regal peacock collection.
It features an oriental bird motif, hand-decorated at Middleport Pottery with a black and white palette. One teacup and saucer is priced at £30 each, however it’s currently out of stock.
They may have left the UK for America, but there’s one British tradition Meghan appears to have embraced wholeheartedly – that of tea and biscuits. The crockery set is from English brand Twinings, which is based in Andover, Hampshire, appropriately from its Burleigh Black Regal peacock collection
7. Stone fireplace
The Sussexes home features several large open fireplaces, with this one possibly being the grandest of the lot.
The opening is concealed by two carved iron doors, suggesting it’s perhaps not in regular use.
8. Luxury dog cushion
The couple’s dog makes a sleepy cameo in the royal’s 40th birthday address – but doesn’t look entirely happy about being woken from his slumber.
The adorable beagle, Guy, is seen snoozing on a sizeable grey-and-white striped pillow behind Meghan, and as the conversation between the royal and the Bridesmaids star becomes more animated, the pet is disturbed from its slumber and glares at the camera filming the action.
Guy, who moved to Kensington Palace with the Duchess of Sussex in 2017, was adopted by Meghan when she lived in Toronto while starring in Suits, and had been just days away from being put down. A Dog’s Dream Rescue, the dog shelter in Toronto that saved Guy, described how he was placed in a ‘kill shelter’ after being found wandering in the woods in Kentucky in 2015.
Guy is not the only family member making an appearance – Prince Harry is also seen juggling in the background.
‘TIME IS AMONG OUR GREATEST AND MOST ESSENTIAL GIFTS’: MEGHAN’S 40TH BIRTHDAY MESSAGE
Meghan has written a statement of intent about her new initiative 40×40 on the website of her charitable foundation Archewell.
She says when reflecting on turning 40, and the many things she is ‘grateful for’, she was struck that ‘time’ is ‘among our greatest and most essential gifts’, especially ‘time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change’.
The duchess, who two months ago gave birth to her second child daughter Lilibet, claimed globally tens of millions of women had left the workforce during the past two years, in a large part due to the pandemic.
But many were still in unpaid roles like carers and she claimed research has shown fewer women than men will return to work as the pandemic recovery begins.
Meghan added: ‘I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength, and for my birthday I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to help kick off 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.’