Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take parental leave for several months

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take “several months” of parental leave to spend time with their newborn daughter, The Telegraph, London understands.

Their decision was made “in alignment” with Archewell’s parental leave policy that allows staff 20 weeks of paid leave, a significantly more generous package than is normal in the US.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex pose with son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, earlier this year announcing they were expecting a girl.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex pose with son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, earlier this year announcing they were expecting a girl.Credit:Misan Harriman/Getty

The couple’s daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, was born at a hospital in Santa Barbara, California, on Friday. Her brother Archie, two, was “excited” to welcome the new addition and “very happy” to have a little sister.

The choice of name is said to reflect how close the Sussexes have remained to the Queen, who coined the pet name as a little girl when she was unable to say Elizabeth, despite a wider family rift. Buckingham Palace aides confirmed that Her Majesty was “aware” the couple had chosen to replicate the name for their daughter before it was announced although refused to be drawn on the nature of such conversations.

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While members of the Royal family were told the happy news shortly after Lilibet’s birth, palace aides were kept in the dark, meaning they were caught on the hop when the announcement was made from Los Angeles on Sunday evening. The same happened when the couple announced that the Duchess was pregnant in February, perhaps reflecting the Sussexes’ distrust of the institution. The couple have made clear in recent months their disdain for “the men in grey suits” and palace courtiers.

As the Sussexes settled into life as a family of four at home in Montecito, California, royal aides also remained tight-lipped about whether the monarch or senior members of the family had been introduced to the new arrival by video link.

The Duchess’s children’s book, The Bench, is published on Tuesday night and features an illustration that appears to show Prince Harry and Archie feeding their rescue chickens, while Meghan cradles her newborn daughter in a nearby vegetable patch.

A page from the Duchess’s book, The Bench.

A page from the Duchess’s book, The Bench.Credit:The Duchess of Sussex


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