The Duchess of Sussex has hired Oprah Winfrey's party planner for her 40th birthday celebrations.

Duchess of Sussex

Duchess of Sussex

The former actress - who was known as Meghan Markle before her marriage to Prince Harry - reaches the milestone age on Wednesday (04.08.21) and has enlisted the services of Colin Cowie to organise a bash at her home in Santa Barbara, California.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Megan wants a small gathering. About 65 people are invited, her closest friends and family. Colin was recommended to her by Oprah who always puts on fabulous parties.”

Harry is said to have ordered a cake from local baker Posies & Sugar and on the day, guests will dine from "grazing tables" featuring locally-sourced delicacies and wine from neighbouring vineyards.

Colin counts Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Kim Kardashian West, and Jennifer Lopez among his clients and in 2018, he was voted number one wedding planner and caterer in the north east US by Vogue magazine.

Meanwhile, Meghan - who has children Archie, two, and Lili, two months, with Harry - recently reflected on how 2020 involved an "overwhelming process of grief, growth and gratitude".

Writing in the foreword for animal charity Mayhew's annual review, she shared: "Over the last year, each of us have felt the profound effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Be it the loss of a loved one, the health challenges far too many faced, or the disproportionate life changes everyone has experienced, it has been an overwhelming process of grief, growth and also of gratitude ...

"When I reflect on 2020, I always come back to the importance of community and connection. We may have been forced apart, but we found new ways to be close and to support each other through this shared crisis. For many of us, this was made all the easier with our pets by our side."