While we don’t know the exact due date for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s first child, can we deduce anything from the previous pregnancy and birth plans of William and Kate?
When Prince William and Duchess Kate were expecting their first child, Kate apparently headed off on maternity leave on 13 June 2013.
Prince George arrived 39 days later – on 22 July.
That’s around 5-and-a-half weeks after Kate’s maternity leave started. You might think this suggests that they’d allowed six weeks lead time ahead of George’s birth.
Except that’s not the case, because William let slip that George was ‘overdue’ – apparently by around a week. So they’d factored Kate in a tick over four weeks of pre-birth maternity leave. Following?!
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“I’ll remind him of his tardiness when he’s a bit older,” William quipped as he stood on those famous steps at St Mary’s Hospital, the very same hospital he’d stand on twice more as Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis arrived.
We figure this indicates that William and Kate had allowed four weeks downtime before George’s official due date.
Should we assume that Meghan’s clocking-off her official duties around four weeks before her due date – give or take a day? Honestly, it’s hard to know … but we suspect NOT.
According to Vanity Fair, the Commonwealth Day events Meghan attended on Monday were her final engagements before she headed off on maternity leave. If this is true then that would point to a due date sometime around 9 April – which is four weeks from those engagements.
We’ve certainly been seeing a lot of Duchess Kate out and about this week, which may point to her stepping up her duties as Meghan steps back.
23 April due date?
So how does this reconcile with what we already know? The Palace announced that this new royal bub would arrive in the UK’s Spring. And Meghan herself told fans that her baby was due late April/early May. So that points to more than 4 weeks off prior to the birth for Meg.
In fact, it looks more like she’s allowed six weeks of breathing space. This would make her due date more like 23 April – perhaps stretching into the first days of May if she’s overdue. This lines up with what she’s told royal watchers herself and would make a lot of sense for a few other reasons.
For one, she’s been working exceptionally hard putting in lots of appearances over the last few months. This may have been a way of justifying an extra couple of pre-birth weeks off – not that she needs to do that but she’s constantly under fire so it may have been a consideration.
Also? The fact that Meghan and Harry are about to move house must also be affecting their scheduling. It’s likely that the couple are factoring in a couple of extra weeks to allow for their shuffle from Kensington Palace to their new digs at Frogmore Cottage, if that is indeed going to happen before the baby is born. (And it may not be, because renovations rarely go according to plan!)
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???? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are marking #CommonwealthDay by celebrating the diverse community of Canadians living around the UK. Le duc et la duchesse de Sussex marquent la #JournéeduCommonwealth en célébrant les diverses communautés de Canadiens habitant le R.-U. ? PA/Kensington Palace
Meghan’s also proven that she intends to do pregnancy, birth and motherhood in her own way, so determining her own maternity leave needs – rather than mimicking Kate’s – would make sense.
It’s even possible that Kate wished she’d had more time off before George’s birth, which set a precedent for her subsequent two pregnancies. Perhaps she’s even told Meg that she should take a little more time than she did.
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FAB FOUR! ?? Some pictures from inside the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. . The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke & Duchess of Sussex and The Duke of York attend the annual Commonwealth Day Service ? at Westminster Abbey. . Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth ?. . . . This celebration is observed by 2.4 billion people worldwide from the 53 nations belonging to the Commonwealth (30% of the world's population), and it is marked each year with a multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey, with a different theme each year. The theme for Commonwealth Day 2019 is “A Connected Commonwealth”. . The Commonwealth has played an important role throughout The Queen’s reign, and she takes a special interest in the family of nations ?. On Saturday The Queen released a message to praise how the family of nations inspires its member states to find ways of protecting the planet and its citizens. She also said in her message: “We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of co-operation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw." . Prime Minister Theresa May was in the 2,000-strong congregation, as well as Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, faith leaders, plus more than 800 schoolchildren and young people. . Earlier, Prince Harry and Meghan kicked off the celebrations at an event at Canada House, to showcase Canadian talent in the UK. The couple were welcomed to the embassy by Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette. . ? Press Association
So, to sum up, we’d be guessing that Kate’s maternity leave habits tell us a little bit about Meghan’s approach: Meg’s probably taking 2 extra weeks away from work for moving house and birth prep.
And that despite constant comparisons and stupid rumours of feuds, these women are approaching royal life in their own way – and learning from each other.