Will Meghan Markle Start Maternity Leave Soon?

With her exact due date still a mystery, fans are wondering when Meghan Markle will go on maternity leave. The answer, it turns out, might be found in her calendar of royal engagements.

Meghan Markle at International Women's Day panel before taking maternity leave.
Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting a baby in the spring

Remember when the official announcement about Markle’s pregnancy came out from Kensington Palace? It was all so very cryptic, with a mention of baby’s arrival being in the “spring.”

That tiny clue got royal fans excited to try and crack the code to see if they could predict when Baby Sussex will be born. It hasn’t been easy, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have stayed pretty mum about any details, but most guesses have ranged from April to May.

Markle dropped a recent clue about when Baby Sussex will be born

When the Duchess of Sussex was asked about her pregnancy during a recent Buckingham Palace event honoring Prince Charles, it seemed she might have given away a bit of information about the baby’s arrival.

When Welsh Secretary of State Alun Cairns asked Markle: “All in good order? I’m sure everyone is asking,” Markle shared: “No, it’s actually very sweet. It’s a very nurturing sweet thing to ask. We’re nearly there!”

Many believed that “nearly there” could be a major hint that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might be having the baby sooner than later.

Then again, when Markle was asked during a visit to Birkenhead when she was having the baby, she noted, “end of April, early May.”

Markle hasn’t slowed down with her many royal duties

Throughout her pregnancy, Markle has been very busy, kicking off with a 16-day royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand with Prince Harry right after her pregnancy was announced.

What followed was a steady calendar of appearances, with a short bit of time off for her lavish New York City baby shower, before she returned to London and the couple left for a quick three-day visit to Morocco.

When will Markle start her pregnancy leave and how long will it last?

Markle will reportedly start to slow down her public appearances as she approaches her due date and is expected to begin maternity leave in late March. It’s unclear how much time Markle will take off to be with baby Sussex, though Prince Harry is expected to take a few weeks off after the baby is born, PEOPLE reports.

Some royal fans are looking to Kate Middleton’s maternity leave times as a guide for how long Markle might take. Middleton returned to public appearances less than six weeks after Prince George was born in 2013 and took a four-month break when Princess Charlotte was born in 2015. Middleton’s leave for Prince Louis started about a month prior to his arrival and then she took about six months of time off, with a few public outings during her leave, including attending Meghan and Harry’s wedding.

Markle took part in a panel discussion for International Women’s Day recently and will be at the upcoming Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey followed by a Commonwealth Day at Canada House. Fans on royal baby watch should definitely look for the Duchess of Sussex’s appearances to slow down and end for a time when she gets nearer to the baby’s due date.