Who needs trumpets and royal fanfare? Meghan Markle marked her milestone 40th birthday on August 4 with a decidedly unflashy celebration at home in Montecito, Calif.
Yet her husband, Prince Harry, still managed to pull out all the stops. “Meghan was woken up with breakfast in bed,” spills a source. “Then Harry led her to the family room, where he’d put lots of lovely little gifts in fancy bags.”
(The source says the 36-year-old even sweetly attributed some of the presents — including books, personalized stationery and plants for the garden — to their children, Archie, 2, and 3-month-old Lilibet, as well as the family’s dogs, Pula and Guy!)
“Harry doted on her. She got to relax without any pressure or outside interference,” continues the source. “Meghan had insisted on keeping things low-key, so this was perfect.”
“They had a blast making the clip,” says the source, adding that Harry — who juggled balls through the window during a cheeky cameo — “helped Meghan with cool ideas about lighting, and with the video’s overall celebratory tone."
"Harry will do anything to make Meghan laugh," the source adds.
As OK! previously reported, the couple announced they would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family in January 2020. That same year — and amid rumors of a rift within the royal family — Markle and Harry relocated from the U.K. to California.
Tensions came to a head when the pair sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year. During their chat with the talk show titan, Markle claimed there had been "concerns or conversations about how dark" their son's skin would be when he was born.
"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning," Buckingham Palace said in a statement following the interview. "Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously by the family privately."
However, things seem to be better now between Markle and her in-laws. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, shared sweet birthday tributes for the former actress' 40th trip around the sun.
But as she enters a new decade, she’s relishing her post-palace life. “Meghan’s very much at peace right now,” says the source, “and not at all melancholy about turning 40. She’s excited about everything that lays ahead.”