When will Meghan Markle start her maternity leave?

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Harry and Meghan in Morocco in February [Photo: PA]

The Duchess of Sussex is set to welcome her first child in the coming weeks. While her due date has not been revealed by Kensington Palace, Meghan told well-wishers in Birkenhead earlier this year that she is set to give birth at the end of April or beginning of May.

The mum-to-be, 37, may be in her third trimester of pregnancy, but she’s shown no sign of slowing down with a couple of engagements scheduled in March, including the Commonwealth Day service.

So when will Meghan start her maternity leave? While it has not been confirmed by palace aides when her last public duty will be, if we look back at the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancies, Kate typically started her maternity leave around a month before her children were due.

In the case of her youngest child Prince Louis, Kate’s last public engagement was on March 22, 2018, when she visited the Olympic Park as part of celebrations for the Commonwealth. Louis was born just over four weeks later on April 23, 2018.

Kate at her last public engagement in March 2018, before giving birth to Prince Louis in the April [Photo: Getty]

The duchess took six months off to spend time with her newborn, returning to work in October 2018 for a visit to the Sayers Croft Forest School and the Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground. 

READ MORE: How much maternity leave royal women take

In comparison, Kate took only five and a half weeks off after having her eldest child Prince George in July 2013. She surprised the crowd in Anglesey, when she joined husband William on a joint engagement.

After the birth of her daughter Princess Charlotte in May 2015, the duchess took four months off royal duties. Her first post-baby engagement was a visit to the Anna Freud Centre in London, in the September.

In the UK, as stated by the NHS, all employed pregnant women are entitled to 52 weeks (one year) of maternity leave. 

This is made up of 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks of additional maternity leave.