Here's the Deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Maternity and Paternity Leave

By | February 16, 2019

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are gearing up for the April arrival of their royal baby, and yup: they’ll be taking a well-deserved break from the spotlight. Meaning, we’ll get fewer moments like this….



And more moments like this!


Getty ImagesPeter Byrne

So, how long will Meghan and Harry be on parental leave? We won’t know for sure until it actually happens, but we did do some ~sleuthing~.

First of All, Here’s How Prince William and Kate Middleton Did Things

If you want intel on how the royals do maternity leave, the best source is definitely this casual Duchess:



Kate has had three kids, and she handled maternity leave pretty differently for each child. For example, Kate barely took any time off after Prince George was born (she made her first appearance just one month later), but she took about five months off for Princess Charlotte and about six months off for Prince Louis. Meanwhile, Prince William took two weeks off for both George and Charlotte, but didn’t take paternity leave at all for Louis. You can see how well that went, based on this very sleepy photo:


Getty Images

Wait, there’s also a truly iconic video:

The Thing Is, England’s “Rules” Are Complicated

Yeah, the royals do their own thing, but they typically follow the norm for “private citizens” (re: mere mortals). And while William and Kate (for the most part) went with the standard six-ish months for moms and two weeks for dads, there’s also this thing called “shared parental leave,” where new mothers and fathers can share up to 50 weeks of leave. This means they can either stagger their time off (as in, Meghan would work a week, and then Harry would work a week), or they can take it together.

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So, How Long Will Meghan and Harry Take?

It’s kinda up to them! Meghan might be missing from the spotlight for a full six months, or she could show up to the occasional event post-baby like Kate did before her. Meanwhile, the verdict is 100 percent still out on whether Harry will take advantage of shared leave, or whether he’ll pull a William and continue going to/taking naps at events. Again, LOOK AT THIS POOR TIRED SOUL:

That said, royal reporter Victoria Arbiter seems to think there’s a chance Megs and Harry will share leave: “I would love to see some kind of shared parental leave or acknowledgment of shared parental leave,” she recently told Yahoo News. “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.”

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