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Here's how long Meghan Markle plans to take off for maternity leave

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Meghan Markle hasn't given birth to the royal baby yet, but it seems she's eager to start planning what she'll be getting up to post-maternity leave.

The Duchess is thought to be about four weeks away from having her baby, and has already started winding down her work commitments. Meghan's last planned public event was on Commonwealth Day (March 11), when she attended Canada House with Prince Harry, and then a service at Westminster Abbey with the rest of the royal family.

Following that double-whammy of events, Buckingham Palace confirmed Meghan did not "currently have any more official engagements scheduled" before her due date, signalling that her maternity leave had begun. But in a surprise appearance just days later, the Duchess made a visit along with Prince Harry to London's New Zealand House to pay tribute to the 50 people who lost their lives in the mosque attacks in Christchurch.

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While we likely won't see Meghan again until she appears with a babe-in-arms outside whichever hospital she chooses to give birth in, according to a report from Vanity Fair, the mum-to-be will be back in action by October at the latest.

Royal correspondent Katie Nicholl revealed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be attending the One Young World summit in London, a global forum for young leaders from around the world, which takes place on October 22. If that is the case, and it becomes one of Meghan's first official events post-baby, it means the Duchess is planning to take six months off for maternity leave.

"All being well with the baby, the timing is perfect for her to expand her Commonwealth work through this new One Young World partnership with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust," a palace insider said.

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If Meghan does take six months off, it would be in keeping with the duration of Kate Middleton's maternity leave for Prince Louis. After giving birth on April 23, 2018, Kate's official return to work was on October 2 that same year - just shy of half a year later - when she visited the Sayers Croft Trust Forest School and the Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground.

Kate's third maternity leave was longer than her first two, however, so it may be that Meghan follows suit and opts only to have a short time off work with her first-born. When Prince George was born in July 2013, Kate waited just six weeks before returning to her official duties, although she extended this to five months with Princess Charlotte.

Photo credit: Getty Images

But with speculation that Meghan and Harry don't intend on hiring a nanny for their baby in the early days, it seems more likely that the new mother will want to spend as much time with her newborn as she can.

If that's the case, at least we can pencil October 22 in our diaries for Meghan's return to the spotlight at the very latest 😅.

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