In what seems like a curious time for a business trip, Prince Harry is headed to the Netherlands next week according to a Buckingham Palace spokesman. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are still awaiting the birth of their first child, and while Meghan Markle stays close to home, and plans to be officially on leave until October, it seems the prince is still on the job.
Town & Country says that Prince Harry’s trip to the Netherlands has a personal angle, as he is speaking at The Hague to start the countdown to the next Invictus Games which will take place in 2020 in the country. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the Invictus Games in 2017 in Toronto and Sydney, Australia, last fall.
It is being suggested that Duchess Meghan is currently past her due date, and reporter Chris Ship from ITV clarified that the prince obviously won’t leave town if the baby is born right before he is scheduled to depart.
“Harry WILL go to the Netherlands IF he can go. So if Meghan is in labor he won’t. Safe also to assume if [Meghan] gave birth a day or two earlier… he won’t. But because this is the @InvictusGamesNL and it means so much to Harry, he wants to go IF HE CAN.”
Surprise trips to the Netherlands! Insta-reshuffles! And a diary clash with Prince Charles' tour to Germany.
It's all going on today. https://t.co/yddN9ZcREa
— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) May 1, 2019
Royal watcher Victoria Murphy says that obviously, if the baby is born in the next few days, Prince Harry will demur, and stay home with his wife and baby.
“My understanding on this trip is that plans will be reviewed if they need to be. This one year countdown to the Invictus Games is a fixed date which has been in the diary for many months.”
But all of this flies in the face of comments Prince Harry made back in March when he talked about taking paternity leave for two weeks to bond with the new baby, says The Inquisitr. The prince said he thought that he should make an effort to set a precedent for all dads, and that “it’s a very modern dad thing to do.”
Olga Fitzroy, the founder of Parental Pay Equality, says that Prince Harry making a statement about paternity leave is putting it out there in the mainstream, giving all new fathers something to think about. But she adds that many people get no paid leave at all.
“We are pleased that Prince Harry is taking paternity leave, but would remind readers that 100,000 dads every year get no paternity or parental leave whatsoever as they are self-employed.”