• Kate Middleton hasn't acknowledged Meghan Markle's 40x40 initiative yet
  • Middleton could still show support for the campaign even if she's not on the official list of participants, a royal expert says
  • Princess Eugenie posted about Markle's initiative on her Instagram Story

Kate Middleton could still support her sister-in-law Meghan Markle's newest initiative down the line, even if she has not yet acknowledged it, a royal expert has suggested.

The Duchess of Sussex announced her 40×40 campaign last week when she celebrated her 40th birthday, revealing that she will be asking 40 of her celebrity friends to spare 40 minutes of their time to mentor women who are reentering the workforce. One name missing from the list of participants announced is Middleton's.

According to royal correspondent Mikhaila Friel, there could be several reasons why the Duchess of Cambridge hasn’t publicly spoken out about the initiative, including scheduling conflicts and Kensington Palace’s approval process.

"I don’t think it was an intentional move," Friel told Us Weekly Tuesday of Duchess Kate. "There might be a reason she couldn’t have officially put her name down, but that being said, I don’t think that means that we won’t see her involved in some capacity."

Friel pointed out that Prince Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie, also wasn't on the official roster of participants but showed her support for Markle by posting about the campaign on her Instagram Story. The royal expert suggested that Middleton could also do the same even if she doesn't officially join the initiative.

"Prince Harry‘s cousin Princess Eugenie she actually posted on her Instagram that she was supporting the initiative," Friel continued. "And her name wasn’t mentioned in the original press release, so it could be that Kate turns around and shows support in her own way down the line."

The two duchesses were pitted against each other in the media when Markle was still a working royal. However, an unnamed source told Us Weekly in July that Markle and Middleton have put their differences following the Sussexes' interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

"Tensions have eased between Meghan and Kate," the insider told the outlet, adding that the royal mom of three also sent Markle a gift when she and Prince Harry welcomed baby Lili in June.

"They’re in a better place and have exchanged texts since the birth of Lilibet," the source continued, noting that the two duchesses have "bonded over both having daughters and can’t wait for all the cousins to meet."

Meanwhile, Markle previously revealed on Aug. 4 that she came up with the 40×40 initiative because she believes "mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength."

"For my birthday, I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to help kickoff a global effort by contributing 40 minutes of mentorship to support women re-entering the workforce," she said in a video she released for her birthday. "With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms, and, I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well."

Among the participants of Markle's 40x40 initiative are Adele, Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Gloria Steinem, José Andrés, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Stella McCartney.

Kate Middleton
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace on June 18, 2021 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge has launched her own Centre for Early Childhood, to raise awareness of the importance of early years. Chris Jackson/Getty Images