We have hit peak Royal Baby Watch, and while “Baby Sussex” hasn’t yet arrived (...as far as we know, at least), details of Meghan Markle’s alleged maternity leave plans have leaked. A “royal source” told Page Six that Markle is planning on taking three months of maternity leave — but will likely return to public life after six weeks.
“Meghan has made it very clear she wants to return to work as soon as possible,” the source said. “She has huge amounts of energy, is extremely determined and wants to be as hands-on as possible with her charities."
The source added that Markle has made maternity leave plans, but they’re not set in stone. “Nothing has been written into her diary just yet, as she wants to wait and see how she feels after having the baby. She’s penciled in three months, but she’ll most likely return to public life in six weeks — on the Queen’s official birthday, Trooping the Color, in June.”
Markle’s alleged approach is very American. “Three months’ maternity is standard in the U.S. for American mums — they don’t normally get the six or even 12 months women get here in the U.K. So this is totally normal for Meghan,” the source said.
The source isn’t totally right: many Americans have no legal right to parental leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 says that workers are allowed to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave — but there are a lot of loopholes. Parents have to be working at companies that have over 50 employees living within 75 miles of their workplace, and they have to have been at the same company for at least one year and have worked over 1,250 working hours. According to a 2017 report, only about 59% of Americans are eligible for FMLA maternity leave protections under these conditions, with lower rates among low-income workers. The U.S. is the only country in the developed world without mandated paid maternity leave, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED).
Last month, we heard that Prince Harry is reportedly planning on taking two weeks of paternity leave. "He doesn't need to take paternity leave because he doesn't work in the way most people do, but he thinks it's a very modern dad thing to do,” a source said at the time.
And if the rumors are true and Baby Sussex has already been born, then Harry and Meghan’s parental leaves may have already begun… but do their parental leave plans make exceptions for royal Instagram comments?