Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, turned 41 on August 4, with well wishes coming from senior members of the royal family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Long before she became one of the most recognised faces in the world after embarking on a relationship with Prince Harry, Meghan wrote herself a candid letter in 2014 as she marked her 33rd birthday.

In the letter, which she posted to her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig, Meghan described her 20s as "brutal" and gave herself, and her followers, some well-meaning pieces of advice.

At the time Meghan, who is now a mum of two, wrote: "I am 33 years old today. And I am happy. And I say that so plainly because, well…it takes time. To be happy. To figure out how to be kind to yourself. To not just choose that happiness, but to feel it."

Talking about her earlier years navigating "cliquey" high school and then Hollywood as an aspiring actress, Meghan was candid as she spoke about her struggles to fit in.

She wrote: “My 20s were brutal – a constant battle with myself, judging my weight, my style, my desire to be as cool/as hip/as smart/as ‘whatever’ as everyone else. My teens were even worse – grappling with how to fit in, and what that even meant. My high school had cliques: the black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina girls. Being biracial, I fell somewhere in between.”

She then described the moment her self-narrative was ever-changed by a casting director when she was 24, who told her to be "more Meghan".

Meghan wrote: “I must have been about 24 when a casting director looked at me during an audition and said, ‘You need to know that you’re enough. Less makeup, more Meghan.’ ”

The former Suits actress then went on to depart her wisdom to her fans, telling them that they "need to know you're enough".

She wrote: “You need to know that you’re enough. A mantra that has now engrained itself so deeply within me that not a day goes by without hearing it chime in my head. That five pounds lost won’t make you happier, that more makeup won’t make you prettier, that the now iconic saying from Jerry Maguire – ‘You complete me’ – frankly, isn’t true. You are complete with or without a partner. You are enough just as you are.”

Ending the letter on a positive, she implored her fans to "find their happiness", writing: “I want you to be kind to yourself. I want you to challenge yourself. I want you to stop gossiping, to try a food that scares you, to buy a coffee for someone just because, to tell someone you love them…and then to tell yourself right back. I want you to find your happiness.”

As Meghan turns 41, she has been married to Prince Harry for four years, and the pair are parents to three year old Archie and one year old Lilibet.

The family all live in a sprawling mansion in Montecito, California, after Harry and Meghan officially stepped away from royal duties in March 2020.


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