But stories about royal baby leave serve to highlight the fact that the life of a working royal is unique. Harry and Meghan are like any new mum and dad in that they want to—and should be allowed to—spend time with their newborn. However, it is very hard to apply the same logic to any time away from work as you would to the average employee.
For example, Kate made a public appearance five weeks after Prince George was born on July 22, at the start of an ultra marathon in Anglesey on August 30, But to call this her “return to work” date wouldn’t be particularly accurate as she had very few engagements over the months that followed. Similarly, William attended an official engagement just two days after Prince Louis was born—and before his son was even named—but then his public timetable was quieter for a while.
So what information is there about how Harry and Meghan intend to manage things after their son or daughter makes an appearance?
Meghan’s leave, according to a royal source, is “likely to be longer” than three months. But, the source added, “She may make some official appearances during this time.”
It is odds-on that she will be seen at the Queen’s birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, on Saturday, June 8, and may also choose to do behind the scenes work sooner than any public visits. Of course, the couple are also expected to be seen at a christening for their son or daughter but this won’t be classed as an official appearance.
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. His schedule, however, is likely to be lighter over the summer.
The prince has continued to make appearances while they wait for their son or daughter to be born—attending the ANZAC Day service with sister-in-law Kate in London on Thursday. In the same way, he could also also appear at the London Marathon this Sunday in his role as Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust. He released a video thanking supporters who are running for the young royals’ mental health campaign Heads Together.
With the global interest bringing huge potential to effect positive change, Harry and Meghan have a lifetime of exciting projects ahead. But, right now, their focus is very much on baby Sussex.