The price Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could pay for parental leave

The pair are taking some time off

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England.
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be at risk of coming under fire for taking parental leave following the birth of Lilibet, after providing just 35 minutes of content since signing their $25million (£18million) deal with Spotify.

Soon after announcing the birth of their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed via their Archewell foundation that they'd be taking some time out to enjoy their family.

Alongside a joint statement that described their daughter as "more than we could have ever imagined," the couple confirmed they'd be taking "parental leave".

Harry is taking a break from his executive position at a Silicone Valley start-up and the couple are stepping back from all public engagements for the next few months, leaving their charity, Archewell, in the safe hands of the rest of the team.

Prince Harry has made it clear he wants to "break the cycle" of his upbringing and spend quality time with his two children, it's something he sees as a non-negotiable.

But, their five-month hiatus has caused a few raised eyebrows over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's ongoing work commitments.

Soon after stepping back at senior members of the royal family last year, Harry and Meghan signed a huge $25million (£18million) deal with Spotify and launched their podcast, Archewell Audio.

Yet, nine months on and the couple have only put out 35 minutes of content on the streaming platform, leaving royal watchers wondering what Spotify bosses must be thinking.

While it's thought Archewell Audio had planned for a "full-scale launch of shows in 2021," the couple have released just one episode and a trailer.

And royal author, Phil Dampier, thinks they may have bitten off more than they can chew—having also signed a lucrative deal with Netflix.

Phil told The Sun, "We're being told they're having up to five months off and people who are paying them a lot of money will expect something in return."

"They seem to be using up a lot of ammunition very early and putting a lot of stuff out there in terms of deals and agreements with lots of firms."

“The question might be asked whether they have too much on their plate.”

However, PR expert Mark Borowski disagreed and said Spotify will still be on cloud nine over the dream collaboration, despite the delays. 

He revealed, "Even if the shows haven’t materialised yet, it’s a win-win for Spotify to have two of the most famous people in the world connected to them."

“But Harry and Meghan will be under scrutiny to deliver. What are these guys going to produce? What do they stand for?"

“Having just had a baby and dealing with covid too might explain the delay."

He's got a point! 

Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."