As an avid fan of Maya Angelou, the Duchess of Sussex will probably be familiar with the American poet and civil rights activist's thoughts on turning 40.
"When I passed 40 I dropped [the] pretence," Angelou wrote, "Cause men like women who got some sense."
As she marks her big 4-0 this week, those words will surely resonate with Meghan, a woman very much in command of her own future. On the verge of entering what could prove to be her most powerful decade to date, the next 10 years will no doubt be pivotal for the mother of two as she continues to build on her career outside The Firm.
Having successfully distanced herself from all the things that could have held her back, from her estranged father Thomas Markle Snr to the stuffy institution of monarchy, the American former actress has got everything she ever dreamed of. Yet there remains a sense there is still a lot more to come from the woman who once recommended left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky's book Who Rules the World? on her Instagram account.
When she turned 30 in 2011, the duchess had progressed from being a briefcase model on the US version of game show Deal or No Deal to having just landed her first major TV role in the legal drama Suits. She was also about to be married to her first husband Trevor Engelson, a union that lasted two years until 2013.
What a difference a decade makes.
Now one of the most famous women on the planet with a prince at her side, two children, and a Californian mansion not far from her mother, Doria – not to mention a burgeoning multi-million dollar portfolio of work – Meghan is entering the second act of her life with her world at her feet.
At 40, women generally either find themselves in survival mode or thriving. And it seems Meghan, the first of the so-called "Fab Four" to mark the milestone, one that her husband won't celebrate until 2024, is determined to do the latter. So how might she capitalise on the extraordinary successes of her thirties?
It is perhaps first worth reflecting on how a younger Meghan viewed growing older.
In a previous birthday blog on her now defunct website, The Tig, she wrote in 2014: "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."
Admitting that her 20s had been "brutal", she reflected on a conversation, which seems to have set the tone for how she would go on to live the remainder of that decade.
"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 make-up, more Meghan'."
Addressing her fans, she added: "You need to know that you're enough," as she urged them to "find your happiness".
Little did she know that just four years later, she would find her own by marrying one of the world's most eligible bachelors in a ceremony watched by millions at Windsor Castle, before the couple's 'Megxit' withdrawal from Royal duties in 2020.
Indeed, some might argue that the next 10 years could be "Less Meghan, more making up".
Speak to friends of the duke and duchess, and the first thing they are likely to say is just how "happy" they are together in their £11 million Montecito mansion. But as they settle into life in the US and continue to make plans for their new Archewell Foundation, the world is waiting to see what Meghan might do next. Not least when, since their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, it has been Harry who has been doing most of the talking - in podcasts with the likes of Dax Shepard and now through the medium of his own memoirs, due to be published next autumn.
While she may be on maternity leave following the birth of Lilibet in June, a sister for the couple's two-year-old son Archie, Meghan will be acutely aware that she should not waste too much time before forging ahead. After all, it was post-40 that the women she admires so much - Michelle Obama, Oprah, Hillary Clinton - began to truly make their mark on the world.
La-La Land can be a fickle place at the best of times. But when you are a woman in midlife there is arguably only a finite period in which to bask in the limelight. The great news about turning 40 is that it's now considered the new 30; the time when most women can go full guns on their careers, with the wisdom to make it count.
Though, at the back of Meghan's mind may be the worry that, by the time she hits 50, she will have been enveloped in a cloak of perimenopausal invisibility, with the likes of Netflix and Spotify more interested in the new kids on the block.
Having been forced to put their Stateside relaunch on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, pressure is now mounting on the self-exiled royal couple to "power up" in the vein of their heroes, the Clintons, Obamas and Clooneys.
As former newspaper editor turned PR guru Martin Townsend puts it: "If they are going to do something, they need to put their mouth where their money is. So far we've had a load of word salad: 'let's all live in peace in harmony' while on the other hand waging war on the royal family, which has struck many as contradictory.
"It's time for them to put all that behind them and work on content rather than conjecture. Their 40 to 50 era has to be one of substance rather than gloss. If there's a definitive Harry and Meghan guide to how to live your life, they better start writing it, and fast."
It is certainly telling that while the couple's LA-based PR people are often at pains to point out inconsistencies in press coverage, there has been little push back against the much-repeated notion of Meghan pursuing a political career further down the track. The duchess reportedly held an hour-long meeting last October with California's Democratic governor Gavin Newsom.
According to Prince Charles' biographer Tom Bower, who is currently writing a book about the duchess, she could make a run for the US presidency within a decade. Pointing out that California has a strong tradition of Hollywood actors winning elections, with Arnold Schwarzenegger as state governor and Ronald Reagan US President, he wrote last month: "With the support of Democrat godfathers the Clintons and the Obamas, Meghan should have little difficulty getting nominated as one of the state's 40 Congressmen sent to Washington.
"After that, fate would take over. If one of the state's two Senate seats comes free and she's mastered the trade, a mixed-race woman should be a strong runner." Suggesting she could also run for the state's governorship, one of America's most prestigious offices, he added: "At the end of 10 years, the prime of a politician's life, her record could well justify a bid for the Democrat nomination for the presidency.
"Meghan certainly has the guts and self-belief to fight to the top of the greasy pole. The question is whether she has the stamina."
There is also a question mark over whether she has the public support. On Sunday, one newspaper survey found that 80 per cent of Americans believe Meghan should not go into politics, while 75 per cent of people in the UK also oppose a switch to a political career.
Not that it would put off the yoga-loving self-styled mistress of rejuvenation. In another post on her Tig website, Meghan wrote in 2016: "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."
As Meghan turns 40, there is no doubt she is a woman with a plan about her life's new beginnings.