With Kate Middleton ohsoclose to having the royal baby, rumors are flying about what we'll see in the final countdown. But, if the an anonymous source who spoke to The Mirror on Sunday is right, an appearance scheduled 10 days from now (to christen a cruise ship) may be the last time we get a glimpse of the Duchess. That's because, reportedly, her "maternity leave" is going to officially begin June 13.
"Maternity leave," you ask? Why the formal, official, workplace-style term? Isn't she the Duchess of Cambridge? The wife of Prince William? Can't she just fill up her calendar whenever she's feeling like it and then back off of responsibilities when she's not and needs to chill more in preparation for the arrival of her baby? Uh, guess not!
From the sound of it, being a Duchess really is a full-time job ... with employment parameters like "maternity leave!"
The source explains:
Kate has really enjoyed her job and wanted to work as close to the birth date as possible. ... She takes her royal role very seriously and is looking forward to taking up her duties when her maternity leave has finished.
And how does is finishing of it decided? Obviously, most women with full-time jobs are given a certain, definitive number of weeks of maternity leave. It seems like the lines are a bit more blurred when you're married to a prince.
As far as we know, royal aides said it would be “unusual” for her to be asked to travel within a few months of the birth. However, a royal source told The Telegraph:
If you take Princess Diana as an example, she took Prince William with her when she and the Prince of Wales went abroad a few months afterwards, so that would be one possibility.
So I guess we can expect that she may not return to "work" until early 2014 at the earliest. And thank goodness! It seems crazy to think about the alternative -- that she would be expected to hop on planes and cut ribbons and attend charity balls and whatnot whenever, however soon after the birth.
It's a comfort to hear that she does get a maternity leave and is able to shelve certain responsibilities for a set period of time to focus on her growing family and recovery. Just another reminder that being a Duchess may not be the toughest job in the world, but it's clearly still a job.
How long do you think it will be before we see Kate get back to "business as usual"?
Image via Tom Soper Photography/Wikimedia