How Long Is Prince Harry’s Paternity Leave and When Will It Start?

We still don’t know for sure whether or not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had their baby. Reports — and hints from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — suggest they expected their firstborn sometime in late-April, which means Meghan Markle might have already given birth. However, some also believe Baby Sussex is due in early May, aka any day now!

Some are using Prince Harry’s schedule as an indication of when the royal baby might come, but the Duke of Sussex doesn’t appear to be slowing down — yet. With some engagements scheduled for May, including a trip to the Netherlands on May 8th, it appears Prince Harry’s paternity leave is much less structured compared to Meghan Markle’s maternity leave.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Prince Harry’s paternity leave

Much like Prince William, Prince Harry will take some time off to welcome the new royal baby and help his wife out in the early weeks of parenthood. However, he still plans on working. “Harry will return to public duties sooner than his wife and, depending on when the baby is born, is expected to fulfill some commitments in mid-May,” Town & Country reports.  

Prince Harry’s paternity leave likely starts as soon as Meghan Markle goes into labor. If the baby isn’t yet here (which is highly possible), the Duke of Sussex might have to reschedule some appearances, including his upcoming trip to the Netherlands.

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Today marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth – a family of 53 countries working together to promote democracy, protect human rights, regenerate the environment, and focus not on what makes us different – but rather what we have in ‘common.’ What unites us versus what divides us. Representing nearly one third of the world’s population, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, the Commonwealth also serves as a champion for youth empowerment, which is a key focus of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Her Majesty The Queen serves as patron of the @queens_commonwealth_trust, which Their Royal Highnesses proudly serve as President and Vice-President of. The Duke is also Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Through The Duke and Duchess’ Commonwealth travels, they have worked with and supported young leaders on mobilizing youth engagement, and working towards a more unified future that spearheads progress, sustainability, optimism, and taking action. With that said, Mozambique, a member state of the Commonwealth, is currently enduring Cyclone Kenneth, the most destructive natural disaster the northern coast has ever experienced. On the heels of Cyclone Idai (where over 1000 people lost their lives) this cyclone will leave the people of Mozambique victim to catastrophic flooding, food insecurity, displacement, and obliteration of their homes and villages. If you’d like to help, please visit Photo credit: Chris Jackson & Samir Hussein

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How long is Prince Harry’s paternity leave? According to Time, it’s not as long as you’d expect. “It’s customary for royal fathers to take up to two weeks off from work after their new baby is born,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told Time. The standard paternity leave in the United Kingdom is between one and two weeks. However, as a member of the royal family, Prince Harry can pretty much do whatever he wants. But, the Mountbatten-Windsors are cautious about how they handle certain civilian protocols, as they want to appear as relatable as possible to the public — which is likely why the Duke of Sussex won’t take more time off.

That said, Prince Harry has the luxury of taking on less work and, according to Town & Country, will likely do so. “His schedule … is likely to be lighter over the summer,” they noted.

Meghan Markle’s maternity leave

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Just one week ago, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex asked that you kindly consider supporting various organisations around the world in lieu of sending gifts for the upcoming arrival of their first born. Not only did many of you lend your support, you took action. Their Royal Highnesses wanted you to know the impact of your support – the direct effect your donation, energy, and action made! YOU chose to be part of the collective good, and you have made a real difference. Whether a $5 donation, £1000 contribution, offering to volunteer, or spreading the word – you’ve played your part. And on behalf of The Duke and Duchess (and Baby Sussex), we thank you so much. YOUR IMPACT: @thelunchboxfund will now be able to provide a minimum of 100,000 additional hot nutritionally fortified meals to children in dire need across South Africa @littlevillagehq received donations from all over the world (from UAE to Hong Kong and the US), they’ve increased their monthly donors, had a surge in volunteer applications, and re-energized their hard working team of 200+ staff and volunteers @wellchild can now provide 300+ additional hours of specialist care by a Well Child Nurse for a child with serious health needs, allowing families to stay together at home vs in hospital @Baby2Baby have received over 5,000 products to disperse to children in need, including cribs, books, backpacks, diapers and have received monetary donations from around the globe – from Guadalajara to Italy. You made this happen. Thank you.

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Some believe Meghan Markle has already started her maternity leave, but that just depends on whether or not the duchess has had her baby yet. As far as public engagements go, the new mother is off the hook. However, Her Royal Highness planned to work on other tasks at home while waiting for her baby’s arrival.

How long is Meghan Markle’s maternity leave? Some say the Duchess of Sussex plans to take a three month leave. But, an unnamed source told Town & Country, it is “likely to be longer.” However, we won’t have to wait until late summer to see the Duchess of Sussex again. “She may make some official appearances during this time,” the source noted. Many believe she will likely attend the Trooping the Colour festivities in June.

One of her first big engagements back includes a trip to Africa in the fall with Baby Sussex in tow. “As it stands, the plan is that Harry and Meghan and their newborn baby, in probably about six months, will take a trip to Africa and tour several countries in Africa,’ Royah Nikkhah, a royal correspondent for The Sunday Times told Good Morning America. The two also allegedly have plans to visit some Commonwealth countries in October, too.

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