Prince Harry: Koenig says paternity leave ‘not the norm in US’
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed the arrival of their newest addition to the family on June 4. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who named their second child after the Queen and Princess Diana, are set to take five months leave following the birth. Royal expert Marlene Koenig compared this to American mothers and insisted it is “not the norm”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Koenig said: “It’s sort of funny that their foundation has this sort of thing when it’s not the norm in the US because we have no national policy on paternity leave.
“The federal government has for federal workers an X number of weeks of paid leave.”
She added: “There is more of it but there’s no national policy. It’s interesting, five months? Most American mothers are like, ‘excuse me’.
“For the majority of American moms you have to save your sick leave, your vacation pay and cobble it together unless you have a good employer.”
Royal biographer Omid Scobie told Good Morning America: “We’re so used to seeing senior royals going back to work but Harry and Meghan are leading by example.
“They offer up to 20 weeks parental leave at Archewell – it’ll be several months off work for the pair of them.
Meghan and Harry have also been urged to return to the UK with Prince Harry for the Diana statue unveiling as it would be “good for brand”.
The Mail on Sunday’s diary editor Charlotte Griffiths explained that the Princess Diana statue unveiling is a “missed opportunity” for Meghan.
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Asked whether Meghan will ever return to the UK, Ms Griffiths told Speaking to Palace Confidential on Mail+: “When she finally does it will be such a big deal. It’s almost not worth thinking about.
“In another era you can imagine Meghan would have absolutely loved to come over for the unveiling of the Diana statue, her daughter’s middle name is Diana.
“It’s actually quite good for brand Markle that she keeps this association with the Royal Family once and awhile.
“It’s an opportunity missed but how can she possible face up to it.”
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The royal couple have also been encouraged to return to the UK to hold a christening for their new daughter Lilibet Diana.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped down as senior royals in March 2020, have not released any details about a future christening yet.
Royal commentator Ian Lloyd has said it would help repair bridges and give the Royal Family a chance to meet the latest addition.
Speaking to Palace Confidential on Mail+, Mr Lloyd said: “One of the things we have to wait and see is whether little Lilibet is christened in this country given the Sussexes horror of high profile events.”
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