MEGHAN Markle is celebrating a landmark birthday today as she turns 40.
But exactly how will the Duchess of Sussex choose to mark the milestone?
Her New York baby shower, ahead of giving birth to two-year-old son Archie in 2019, suggests that the mum-of-two is a fan of marking special occasions in a significant way.
Then again, she was spotted spending her 37th birthday, shortly after her 2018 wedding, at the marriage of Prince Harry's friend Charlie van Straubenzee to Daisy Jenks.
While the details of how the duchess will choose to welcome in her 40s are being kept under wraps, here's how we think the royal birthday girl might spend her special day…
Reaching the big 4 – 0 is a big deal – an occasion certainly fit for a dedicated celebration, Covid-19 restrictions permitting.
So it is very possible that the duchess may choose to dance the night away in Montecito, California.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, believes that there will definitely be a birthday party of some kind.
The royal expert said: "But it will perhaps be at home rather than in a restaurant – as they have wonderful grounds in which to give a party, and as they are intent on their privacy it would be inviting trouble to have it in a public venue."
She added that Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King are likely to be two of the famous guests in attendance, should such a gathering take place.
A discussion between Us Weekly correspondent Joe Drake and royal commentator Molly Mulshine, on the Royally Us podcast, also floated the possibility of a big bash.
The Daily Express reported that Drake said: "I don't know what the protocol is for the royals but in America for someone like Meghan Markle turning 40 is a big deal.
"You have a big bash and now that they live here I can see them having a big, fancy Montecito ball for her 40th."
He added: "I feel like Meghan Markle seems like the type who would want a big celebration for her 40th."
Over the weekend, it was claimed that the Duchess had "hired Kim Kardashian's party planner for a low-key" celebration – and Oprah Winfrey and George and Amal Clooney were reportedly among her A-List guests.
Doing some reflecting
The duchess may also take some time to look back over the past year – something she always does on an annual basis.
Back in 2016, on her now-deleted lifestyle website The Tig, she wrote: “My mom has always said that birthdays are your own personal New Year.
"Your own chance to make resolutions just for yourself and what you prognosticate for your year ahead."
For her 33rd birthday, at the time, she wished for: "More surprises, more adventure, more opportunities to grow, more days filled with giggles and cheeky jokes, more delicious meals, and more inspiration."
It wouldn't be a birthday, let alone a fortieth, without a big cake.
In the past, before she became a royal, Meghan shared pictures on Instagram of herself enjoying celebratory cakes and blowing out candles.
On her birthday back in 2019 she was treated, according to Marie Claire, to a delivery from east London-based Luminary Bakery – who she had praised in her guest-edited issue of Vogue.
However, it's likely the duchess' loved ones will gift her with a sweet, edible creation baked up nearer to her LA home.
Hanging out with the kids
The duchess, who gave birth to her daughter Lilibet in June, has frequently shown that she is a hands-on mum.
It is very likely, therefore, that Meghan will want to spend some quality time with her kids on her birthday.
In fact, in June – along with her husband – she announced that she was taking five months' parental break following the arrival of their little girl.
What's more, being with family will probably feel even more important to her after a year in which she hasn't necessarily seen eye to eye with many relatives.
Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, said: "It’s a special occasion and a milestone birthday but I can’t help feeling it’s tinged with sadness.
"Although I’m sure the royals will wish her well on social media and say happy birthday, we all know that relations are bad between them all and a huge family rift has opened up.
"Meghan is also estranged from her father and half siblings, so birthdays and other anniversaries tend to highlight these situations."
The royal expert added that, coincidentally, the Queen Mum’s birthday was also August 4th.
Enjoying good food
We can be sure Meghan will celebrate with a hearty plate of delicious cuisine.
The duchess is a big fan of cooking – and homemade meals have accompanied big moments in her past.
For instance, she was making a roast chicken at Kensington Palace with the duke when he proposed.
On The Tig, she wrote about her inner-foodie, revealing: "Some days you have a bite of food that makes you go ‘woah.’
"Your eyes widen, you look down at the plate, almost pushing things around with your fork to see what’s making it so special.
"You take another bite, smiling as you do so, almost laughing, because it’s just so damn good."
Who doesn't love receiving a bouquet on their birthday? We're pretty sure Meghan is the same.
The duchess has regularly shared snaps holding flowers on her pre-royal social media, and always looked delighted to receive bunches from the public at official engagements.
Then, in March, her close friend Jessica Mulroney revealed that she had been sent a huge bouquet of pink roses by her famous friend to mark her own 41st birthday.
Harry might choose to hand over blooms inspired by his wife's wedding bouquet, which featured forget-me-nots as well as sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia.
Walk on the beach
In her interview with Oprah earlier this year, the duchess indicated that she is a fan of simple pleasures.
During the programme, viewers were shown footage filmed by Harry of her with their son Archie on the beach.
It is possible that she will head down to the nearby coast with her family for a birthday stroll.
Their home is close to Butterfly Beach, where the duke has been spotted walking their dogs.
Being with friends
Whatever she chooses to do, it would also be a good guess that Meghan will be in company.
Her 2019 baby shower was testament to the fact that she has a large group of female pals – including Serena Williams, Amal Clooney and Suits co-star Abigail Spencer.
All that's left to say is, have a good one Meg!
In other royal news, we told you how Kate Middleton is super relatable.
We also revealed how Princess Diana had a sweet hidden message written on heel of her wedding shoes.
And Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie "sympathise" with Prince Harry over book deal.
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