meghan-markle-tour-close-up

Meghan Markle's exciting maternity leave plans with royal baby revealed

Not long now!

Ainhoa Barcelona

The nation doesn't have to wait too much longer until the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome their first child. Meghan is due in the spring – around mid to late April – and while fans are hoping she and Harry will present their newborn to the world in a photocall, or by releasing an official portrait, it's likely that Meghan will keep a very low-profile after the birth.

The royals are imminently moving into their new home in Windsor, Frogmore Cottage, and are expected to have their house completely done up by the time the baby arrives. But the finer details, like decorating and furnishing their property, which boasts ten bedrooms, a gym, a yoga studio and a nursery, will take time. Meghan may choose to spend the latter half of her maternity leave doing up her house and making sure it's to her wishes.

Works continue on Harry and Meghan's new home, Frogmore Cottage

As a first-time mother, everything will be brand new to Meghan and she'll have to adjust to life with a baby. It's likely that her mum Doria Ragland will fly to the UK to help her settle into her new role, especially in the first few weeks after the birth. Harry will also be on hand to care for his little Prince or Princess, but he'll be travelling back and forth to London where his office is still based.

MORE: When royals are spotted off-duty, from Kate to Meghan

But Meghan, 37, has a close-knit circle of friends she can rely on, some of whom celebrated her baby shower with her earlier this week. During her pregnancy, she's had visits at Kensington Palace from her close pal and unofficial stylist, Jessica Mulroney, and her longtime friend and royal wedding makeup artist, Daniel Martin. There's no doubt that mum-of-three Jessica will jet to the UK to show the Duchess the ropes.

Meghan's friends arrive for her baby shower in New York:

Loading the player...

The royal mum will also settle into her new life in the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Harry and Meghan will have plenty of privacy as Frogmore Cottage is located in the Home Park, which is off limits to the public. This means they can enjoy country walks, with Meghan able to push her buggy around the park without being snapped by photographers or members of the public.

MORE: Loose Women's Stacey Solomon expecting baby with Joe Swash!

Former royal chef Darren McGrady, who used to live next door at Frogmore Stables, has previously told HELLO!: "Harry and Meghan can walk their dogs, go anywhere in the park freely." Listing the activities on offer, he added: "There's a nine-hole golf course in the grounds of the Home Park, ten minutes away from Frogmore Cottage. There's the Mulberry Walk with the mulberry trees; the chefs used to go and pick mulberries to make mulberry gin for Prince Philip. There's also a small farm there, the Prince Consort Farm, where I think they still keep a herd of Jersey cows, which were a gift to the Queen."

A view of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor

Darren added: "From the front lawn of Frogmore Cottage, you can sit and look across at the Royal Household Cricket Club and listen to the wood on willow on a Sunday. Then you can sit in the back garden and look out onto Frogmore Gardens which is where Harry and Meghan had their evening wedding reception. And then Sunday afternoon is perfect. You just walk five minutes up the hill for afternoon tea with Granny, with the Queen, at Windsor Castle."

As for when she'll return to the royal circuit, fans can expect to see Meghan back at work in the autumn. When her sister-in-law Kate gave birth to Louis in April 2018, she took the summer off and returned to royal duties at the end of September.

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.