With the arrival of Harry and Meghan’s baby now just around the corner, it’s no surprise that there is a keen interest in how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan their lives when their son or daughter arrives.
And while we don’t yet know many details (that’s by design), we can look back at Meghan’s royal predecessors. Traditionally, it’s been royal mothers who have stayed at home with their newborns for longer, while fathers often went back to duties within days or weeks of the birth. However, with many dads in the U.K. now choosing to take off more than the traditional two weeks, Harry and Meghan could choose to follow something closer to this model.
While royals don’t have jobs quite like the rest of us and can create their own “maternity” and “paternity” schedules, they do still face the same juggle if they want to continue with their duties and spend time with their family.
Here’s a look at how recent royal mothers have managed their “maternity” leave:
When Prince Charles was born on November 14, 1948, Princess Elizabeth was not yet queen, and therefore did not have the full working schedule of a monarch. She enjoyed several weeks with her young son, although she did carry out a handful of royal duties including meeting ballerina Moira Shearer at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on March 1, 1949, four and a half months after Charles’s birth. She also visited Liverpool and Manchester the same month. Additionally, Elizabeth flew to Malta in November that year to spend time with Philip, who was stationed in the country with the Royal Navy. During that trip, she left Charles with his nannies.
A month after Anne was born on August 15, 1950, Elizabeth was photographed with her children taking a train to Balmoral, Scotland. She had her first official engagement following Anne’s birth, a visit to the Royal College of Music, on October 19, 1950. In November of that year, Elizabeth returned to Malta.
She became Queen on February 6 1952, when Charles was three and Anne was just one. In a sign that duty had to come first, Elizabeth and Philip left their children from November 1953 to May 1954 when they took a tour of the Commonwealth.
Once her two younger sons, Princes Andrew and Edward, arrived a decade later, on February 19, 1960 and March 10, 1964 respectively, the Queen was well-established in her role as head of state. She hosted French President Charles de Gaulle on a State Visit in April of 1960, just two months after Andrew was born. A similar time frame applied after Edward’s birth, in which she hosted the State Visit of president of Sudan General Ibrahim Abboud starting on May 26, 1964.
After Peter Phillips was born on November 15 1977, Princess Anne scaled back her public duties for a few months. A keen equestrian who had competed in the 1976 Olympics, Anne was photographed at the Amberley Horse Trials in March of 1978, four months after her son’s birth. She was also photographed visiting Nailsworth in Gloucestershire just a few weeks later on April 20. Later on that year, she took part in the State Visit of the President of Botswana in May 1978 and attended Royal Ascot in June.
Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Phillips was born on May 15, 1981, and she was next seen in public at Charles and Diana’s wedding that July, although this is not classed as an engagement. In March of 1982, 10 months after Zara’s birth, Anne attended a ceremony to mark her being elected as Chancellor of the University of London.