The short answer is: it’s up to her.
Even though the Duchess of Cambridge just gave birth to her third child, as a member of the British royal family, Catherine Middleton doesn’t get a proper “maternity leave,” in part because she doesn’t hold a job like a regular working stiff. In the U.K., eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks.
However, Kate and her husband Prince William, along with the rest of the royals, make numerous public appearances throughout the year. (And for those of you who hate public speaking and/or networking, you know how much “work” that can be.) By way of compensation, they are paid out of Prince Charles’s surplus taxable assets from the Duchy of Cornwall.
The Duchess has taken time off after giving birth to her previous two children. Both times she made public appearances until her eighth month of pregnancy. She resumed royal duties just five weeks after giving birth to Prince George, but took four months to appear in public just after the birth of second child, Princess Charlotte.
This time, at least, she’ll have to come back sooner. The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle is taking place on May 19.