Meghan Markle 'humiliated' after birthday plea to fans flops

Meghan Markle has been left "humiliated" after her birthday plea to fans flopped.

The Duchess of Sussex, the wife of Prince Harry, celebrated her 40th birthday this week and launched her 40x40 initiative, where she asked 40 activists, celebrities and world leaders to contribute 40 minutes of mentorship to women re-entering the workforce post-COVID. Meghan's also asking others around the world to volunteer their time.

"A mentorship relationship can take on many forms, but ultimately works to motivate, inspire, and support a mentee; helping her with the confidence and practical tools she needs to achieve a professional goal," Meghan and Harry's Archewell website says.

As part of the initiative, she asked her followers to "spread the word".

"Share how you'll devote your 40 minutes, and encourage your friends to do the same."

Followers could do this by sharing a message on their social media feeds. 

"For women who give everything, we give our time. Are you in?" it says.

The post was easily downloadable in different formats and a caption was even suggested with the #40x40 and #CompassionInAction hashtags.

"To celebrate The Duchess of Sussex's 40th birthday, I am devoting 40 minutes of mentorship or service to a cause I care about. Please join me in donating your time. Together, we can contribute to a global wave of compassion and positive change."

But according to analysis by The Sun, in the 24 hours after Meghan made the plea, the post was shared just 217 times with the 40x40 hashtag. 

The Sun says the analysis was just of public posts on Instagram - the social media platform the Sussexes' primarily used before they stepped down from their senior royal roles - including the hashtag. 

Despite that, the Express media outlet writes that the "dismal figure will likely leave Meghan humiliated".

When announcing the 40x40 mentorship scheme, Meghan released a comedy sketch video featuring actress Melissa McCarthy. During the video, the Bridesmaids star 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."