Saturday 20 July 2019

A guide to Meghan Markle’s maternity leave: what's expected, what she's up to and when we'll see her next

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave Buckingham Palace in a carriage during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave Buckingham Palace in a carriage during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with the Duchess of Cambridge make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday
Meghan and Harry at Trooping the Colour
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is joined by members of the royal family, including the Wiilaim and Kate (Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) with their children Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte; Camilla (Duchess of Cornwall) and Charles (Prince of Wales); Anne (Princess Royal); Andrew (Duke of York); Meghan and Harry (Duke and Duchess of Sussex); and Peter and Autumn Phillips and their children Savannah and Isla, on the balcony of Buckingham Place to watch the flypast after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as she celebrates her official birthday. All photos: Victoria Jones
New arrival: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son to the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on Wednesday
Rival fans of Kate and Meghan are attacking each other online (Nic Bothma/PA)
Meghan and Harry shared a picture of their conservation efforts on Instagram
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle in the royal box at Wimbledon 2016
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Despite her purposely low profile, there has been much ado about Meghan Markle of late.

Now that she's on maternity leave, there are countless questions and think-pieces about what she's been up to and what's next for the Duchess of Sussex. Here's everything you need to know.

Royal maternity leave protocol

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall make their way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, in London, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as The Queen celebrates her official birthday
 

Due to the changing nature of maternity leave in the British royal family, there are no hard and fast rules. The number of 'working' royals has been heavily reduced by Prince Charles and so, Kate Middleton has really been the only high-ranking female to take time off in this way and thus set the agenda for those to folow. As such, Meghan will be following the same xxx as her sister-in-law, with a clear distinction between what are considered public and family events.

For example, the Trooping the Colour celebrations last Sunday counted as a private family affair because it was celebration Queen Elizabeth's birthday, despite the fact it was an extraordinarily public affair. Kate was also expected to attend so soon after giving birth to her children in the same way she attended Meghan and Harry's wedding when Prince Louis was just three weeks old. When you're one of the most famous families in the world, a birthday, christening and wedding dominates the global news agenda.

There was nothing show-stopping about her navy Givenchy cape (although it was a beauty in itself), but her choice of a solid palette and her and Harry's decision to move towards the back when it came to the scheduled balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace screamed, 'I'm here because I have to be'.

How she's been spending her time

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New arrival: Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son to the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on Wednesday
 

She has, first and foremost, been spending as much time as possible with baby Archie. While Harry has been busy back at work since a few days after his son's birth, Meghan is bonding at their home Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, reportedly searching for a nanny. Her mother Doria Ragland was helping them for a number of weeks following the birth, but has returned to her home in Los Angeles and the couple are now seeking someone to help them at home, so that they will be settled by the time Meghan returns to work.

When we'll see her again

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Meghan Markle in the royal box at Wimbledon 2016
 

There is still one major event to take place in the Sussexes lives: Archie's christening. It's unclear how public Meghan and Harry will choose to make this event, but it's expected they will hold a service at St George's Chapel.

She is also expected to attend Wimbledon as she did for years before ever marrying into the royal family and is one of Serena Williams' closest friends.

Plans for the future

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Meghan and Harry shared a picture of their conservation efforts on Instagram
 

Meghan will officially be back to work in October and will be back to the spotlight with a bang. She's reportedly agreed to guest edit British Vogue's September Issue, their most important publication of the year and agreed to a spread insider her home on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The British royals have a long-established relationship with Vogue's international titles: Kate Middleton appeared on their centenary issue in 2016 and the late Princess Diana appeared on the cover three times.

They are also said to be planning a high-profile visit to Angola, Malawi and Botswana, at the request of the British government. They have a long-standing love affair with Africa, having spent a significant amount of time there in the early days of their relationship. It was initially reported that the couple were planning a long-term move to the continent, but

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