Will Prince Harry Take Paternity Leave When Baby Sussex Is Born?

Royal baby fever is in full swing with Meghan Markle set to deliver Baby Sussex in early spring aka within a matter of weeks.

She and Prince Harry have been preparing for the baby as any new parents would. That is when they’re not busy performing duties as full-time working royals. When Baby Sussex is born, will Prince Harry take paternity leave? We investigate ahead.

Traditionally, only mothers took a leave of absence from work after giving birth. In recent years, companies and countries have been moving away from the traditional maternity leave and have shifted their policies to include new dads who may also receive time off when a baby is born.

Paternity leave in the U.K.

Here’s what fathers in the U.K. are eligible for as far as paternity leave goes: One or two weeks of paid time off “any time within 56 days of the birth,” according to The Telegraph.  

In 2014, the U.K.’s policy on leave changed to give new parents another option. The option of taking between two and 26 additional weeks off was added. However, with every additional week that’s taken off work, one week is taken from their partner’s remaining time off.

Kensington Royal Instagram

Not many new dads in the U.K. use their time off though. Reportedly, less than 10 percent of dads take more than the requisite two weeks off out of fear of falling behind at work.

Paternity leave around the world

Sweden was the first country to introduce parental leave regardless of gender in 1974, according to The Telegraph.

The country recently changed their parental leave policy to allocate three months of paid leave for dads instead of the previous two months set forth in 2002. On average, Swedish men take three months off after a baby is born.

Germany gives new parents equal time off. Their policy states that a parent can take two to 14 months off and receive 65 percent of their salary.

Here in the U.S., there are no federal policies in place regarding parental leave.

Did Prince William take paternity leave?

Prince William took time off from work when his first child, Prince George was born in 2013, according to Hello! magazine. William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, spent time at Anmer Hall, their country home in Norfolk. Middleton went on to take about six months off from royal duties.

At that time William was taking paternity leave from his job as an air ambulance pilot. Middleton and William did the same thing when their daughter Princess Charlotte was born in 2015.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince George
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 23: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital with their newborn baby son on April 23, 2018 in London, England. The Duchess delivered a boy at 11:01 am, weighing 8lbs 7oz, who will be fifth in line to the throne. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

However, when Prince Louis was born in April 2018 William didn’t take any time off. He was seen at royal engagements two days after his third child’s birth. But given what was going on at the time, it makes sense that William didn’t take much time off.

“William was able to enjoy some family time at Anmer Hall over Easter and with the Prince of Wales already incredibly busy with overseas tours and Harry in full wedding preparation mode, it makes sense for him to carry out engagements […],” Emily Nash, royal correspondent for Hello! said.

Will Prince Harry take paternity leave?

Judging from Prince William’s practices, Harry will likely take time off from royal duties to care for his newborn son. Markle will probably take off more time than Harry as she the one who has to, you know, give birth to a newborn.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex onstage at We Day UK at SSE Arena, Wembley on March 06, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)

Royal reporter Victoria Arbiter said she believes Markle and Harry will share leave, according to Cosmopolitan.

“I would love to see some kind of shared parental leave or acknowledgment of shared parental leave,” she said. “I think there’s so much discussion about equality among this couple. We’re seeing that so much in what they’re doing. [Harry’s] very happy to let [Meghan] lead and he talks about being a feminist and he talks about her wearing the trousers, and joking about that. But, I think for them to set that example as well, I think, could be really quite significant.”