Duchess Meghan’s Maternity Leave Starts Now With No ‘Official Engagements’ Before The Birth

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Meghan Markle’s maternity leave starts now, with no official engagements on her calendar between now and the birth of her baby. The Duchess of Sussex will still take private meetings, but won’t attend any scheduled public events for the next few months.

The Daily Mail says that Buckingham Palace confirmed that Duchess Meghan doesn’t have anything on her schedule for the rest of March and the whole months of April and May. Markle appeared at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Day service on Monday along with her husband, Prince Harry, but that will likely be the last time she’s photographed in public for a while.

News.com Australia reports that the Duchess of Sussex is due within weeks, though the couple has not shared an exact due date, likely by design. Until now, Markle has kept a full schedule, even traveling in the last few weeks to Morocco for an official visit. But as her baby bump expands, it’s time to put away the heels for a bit and have some downtime.

Sources say that the determination that maternity leave has begun is telling because Kate Middleton dropped out of the public eye almost a month to the day before Prince Louis was born. The best guess at this point would be a mid-April birthdate for baby Sussex.

In the early months of her pregnancy, Meghan Markle had publicly stated that she didn’t want to have her baby in the private Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital where Kate Middleton and Princess Diana had their babies, but she has reportedly since changed her mind, says Cheat Sheet.

As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in the process of moving to Windsor, it was thought that the baby would be delivered at Surrey’s NHS-run Frimley Park Hospital, which is much closer to their new home. But plans have changed as the staff at the private Lindo Wing in London have reportedly been told to “not take holiday in April,” according to a St. Mary’s source.

“Everyone thinks it’s got something to do with the royal baby, but no one is confirming anything.”

The Lindo Wing’s brochure suggests that the hospital provides a first-class experience. “Our world-class maternity care, combined with a personalized service, will relax and reassure you throughout one of the most emotional and exciting experiences of your life.”

Meghan Markle is still said to be interested in having a doula aid her through the delivery, and has been meeting with her selected birth aid at home for months in preparation for the big day.