How Long Will Meghan Markle Take For Maternity Leave?

In the UK, employed pregnant women are entitled to an entire year of maternity leave. This stands true no matter how long they may have been working with their employer. The leave is split into two categories, 26 weeks of standard maternity leave and 26 additional weeks for those who need more time. Luckily for the royal family, these rules extend to them too.

With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expecting their first in a few months, how long will Markle be taking off to care for the newest member of the British royal family?

How long was Kate Middleton’s maternity leave?

The Duchess of Cambridge is the mother of three beautiful children, Prince George Alexander Louis, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, and Prince Louis Arthur Charles. Middleton’s maternity leave differed for each of them.

When she had Prince George, her first child in 2013, Middleton returned to her Duchess duties just six weeks after his birth.  With her second, Princess Charlotte whom she had in 2015, she returned to work four months after. The darling duchess took the longest leave after the birth of her youngest, Prince Louis. Middleton temporarily retired for five months to revel in the family life with all three of her children. The Duchess even helped her sister, Pippa, out with her birth as it aligned perfectly with her own maternity leave.

While she was off the radar since the birth of Louis, she did still attend several engagements: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, Trooping the Colour, the RAF Centenary, and even joined tennis fans at Wimbledon.  It shows that even during maternity leave, the Royals can attend events to remain present.

How long will Meghan Markle take for maternity leave?

Markle will be welcoming her first child into the world in late April. How long will Markle take to lavish her firstborn with love? According to royal expert Russell Myers, the Duchess of Sussex could take up to a year off. Myers speculates that the new Duchess will continue her royal duties right up until the Earl of Dumbarton or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor is born. Working right up until the delivery will make the time she takes off to spend time with Prince Harry and her first born all the sweeter.

Outside of enjoying the private family time there are a few reasons Markle may opt for a more extended leave. Considering she’s had a rough entry into the royal life, taking a long break would be an excellent way to fight the stress. It would also provide the new family with time to acclimate to their new home.

How does Markle’s maternity leave compare to other royals?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

With Markle’s maternity leave looking to be longer than that of her sister in arms, Middleton, some may think she might be taking a little too much time off. How does her potential “vacation” look when compared to other royals.

  • Princess Anne took around six months of maternity leave after the birth of her son, Peter Phillips. After the birth of her second child, Zara Tindall, she took about ten months off.
  • The beloved Princess Diana, who gave birth to Prince William in June 1982, took eight months off after his birth. When Prince Harry was born, she took about six months off.
  • Countess Sophie of Wessex took eight months off after her eldest; Lady Louise Windsor was born.
  • Zara Tindall gave birth to her first child, Mia Tindall, on January 17, 2014. She returned to her royal duties in just three months. Her second daughter, Lena Tindall, was born last June. The royal took at least four months off to care for the newest member of her family.

Which royal lady had the longest maternity leave?

Historian Robert Lacy shed some light on the longest maternity leave on record. The queen herself, Queen Elizabeth II, took quite the vacation when Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were born. In the 1960s, her majesty took off more than a year, eighteen months to be exact, to enjoy time with her growing family.