Meghan Markle’s Maternity Leave Will Likely Begin In Late March, Per ‘People’

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Meghan Markle has shown no signs of slowing down despite being in the third trimester of her pregnancy. Since announcing in January that she would be due to give birth some time in late April, the Duchess of Sussex has worked with her four new patronages among several other royal engagements and traveled to New York and Morocco. Amidst all of her hard work, royal watchers are beginning to wonder when she will take a break.

Meghan’s maternity leave is actually very near, according to People. The duchess will likely appear in public less toward the end of March, one month before the baby arrives. Following the baby’s birth, Meghan’s husband Prince Harry will also likely take a step back from his royal engagements for a few weeks.

Although there does not appear to be an official royal protocol for maternity leave, U.K. law states that eligible employees may take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, but are required to take at least two weeks off after giving birth. In addition, new fathers may take one to two weeks of paternity leave.

Meghan has reportedly been experiencing a series of false alarms, leading her doctors to believe that the baby may come sooner than expected, a Kensington Palace insider told Express.

The duchess will likely follow the pattern set by Kate Middleton, who is a mother to three children: Prince Louis, 10 months, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince George, 5. Kate’s maternity leave varied for each of her children with Prince William, but she typically began her leave a month before her due date.

Before Louis’ birth in April 2018, Kate stepped out on her final engagement, a SportsAid event in London’s Olympic Park, on March 22, Hello! reported. She remained on leave until October, keeping out of the public eye for the most part except for Meghan and Harry’s wedding ceremony in May and Trooping the Color in June.

Kate returned to work less than six weeks after giving birth to Prince George in 2013, but stayed away for four months following Princess Charlotte’s birth in 2015.

There is no telling for certain how Meghan will handle her maternity leave, but Hello! suggested that she and the baby will likely keep a low profile for some time as the family settles into their new home at Frogmore Cottage.

“Meghan may choose to spend the latter half of her maternity leave doing up her house and making sure it’s to her wishes,” the publication reported in February.