Meghan Markle just gave birth to a baby boy, and Prince Harry reportedly wants to be a “modern dad.”
Also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the couple welcomed their first child on Monday morning. According to earlier reports, Prince Harry is asking for paternity leave, a move that, studies have shown, has proven benefits for new families.
“Harry will likely take at least two weeks paternity leave, and then he’ll enjoy a month off in August which is regular for the royals,” Katie Nicholl, author of the forthcoming royal biography “Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love,” told Business Insider. “He and Meghan are currently looking for a new private secretary and assistant private secretary who will hold the fort while he is off work.”
As for the question of what Prince Harry’s job entails, Leslie Carroll, author of several books about the British monarchy, told Business Insider that all the royals’ responsibilities are directed at the same goal.
“Their first job is to support the queen in her role as monarch, not just for Great Britain but for the Commonwealth nations,” Carroll said.
As Carroll put it, “Senior ranking is by prominence, not by age.”
Carroll added that while Harry has been a full-time senior royal since completing his required military service, he has taken on even more responsibilities since his marriage in 2018.
“Absolutely his duties have increased,” said Carroll. “Now instead of Harry making these visits as a solo bachelor, you have these visits that are made and organized with Harry and Meghan as a couple.”
These appearances, which are known as “engagements” and are documented in the royal family’s Court Circular, include Prince Harry’s charity work with nonprofit organizations, ranging from African wildlife conservation to military programs. Prince Harry is the creator and Royal Patron of the Invictus Games, an organized competition for wounded veterans. Carroll called the games his “brainchild” and said Prince Harry attends every game, along with delivering an opening speech. The next competition will take place in 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands.
Last year, the prince also received two new appointments: Commonwealth Youth Ambassador and Royal Marines Captain General, a position he took over for his grandfather, Prince Philip. Nicholl said Prince Harry is particularly involved with his office, making daily check-ins and sometimes unannounced visits — a side the public doesn’t get to see.
Nicholl added that Prince Harry will likely still make frequent trips to his new office at Buckingham Palace after his child is born, and the new parents — whose combined net worth is estimated at $30 million— are already planning engagements for October.
Studies show millennials are raising their children differently than their parents did, and both Nicholl and Carroll agree that those changes extend to the way Prince Harry will likely approach parenthood.
“I would venture to say, as a parent, Harry will certainly be more hands-on,” said Carroll. “One generation later, much has evolved. Harry will have more to juggle … in terms of juggling the duties of being a full-time senior royal with the duties of parenting. He will be much more of a hands-on parent, like we see William is.”
“These are signs of the royal family modernizing, and that’s a good thing,” added Nicholl. “For William and Harry not to take paternity leave would make them appear out of touch. Part of their appeal is the public’s ability to relate to them.”