Meghan Markle makes first postpartum public appearance after skipping Trump’s state visit

June 9, 2019

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, seems to be bringing her maternity leave to an end.

Markle appeared at a major public event for the first time since giving birth to her son Archie, just three days after President Donald Trump was in the United Kingdom for an official state visit with the royal family.

Royal feud

Prior to embarking on his transatlantic diplomatic mission, Trump initiated a media feeding frenzy when he told British tabloid The Sun that he was unaware that Markle made “nasty” comments about him three years earlier. Markle called the future president “divisive” and “misogynistic” during a 2016 Comedy Central appearance, adding that she would move to Canada if he were elected.

Of course, the princess ended up in Britain instead, fueling speculation that her “maternity leave” during Trump’s visit was, in fact, a discreet snub of the U.S. commander in chief.

Appearing in public so soon after Trump’s departure has only succeeded in confirming the suspicions of those who viewed Markle’s absence as a gesture meant to slight the president.   

Trooping the Colour

The duchess appeared with her husband Prince Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex, for the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony honoring the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The royal couple was spotted riding in a horse-drawn buggy together with Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Middleton appeared at the Trooping the Colour ceremony last year despite being on maternity leave as well. She’d given birth to her son Louis just weeks earlier.

At just four weeks old, baby Archie missed the festivities. Although Markle appears to be gradually returning to the public spotlight, sources told Vanity Fair that her appearances will be limited until she officially comes off of leave sometime in October.

“The Duchess is still on maternity leave and will not be returning to full time work until the fall,” a source explained. “It was important to her to be at Trooping today out of respect to the Queen. She’s mirroring what the Duchess of Cambridge [Kate] did on her maternity leave. You’ll probably see her at a few engagements but she won’t be back to work properly until later in the year.”

Diplomatic faux pas or much ado about nothing?

Trump and his re-election campaign have dismissed accusations that he purposefully insulted the duchess. Trump tweeted last Sunday: “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty.’ Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!” 

In fact, Trump was responding to a question from a Sun reporter asking if he was aware that Markle insulted him and said she would flee to Canada if he were ever elected.

“No, I didn’t know that she was nasty,” Trump responded, referring to the princess’s comments.

For the rest of the interview, Trump was highly complimentary of Markle. He said it was “good having an American princess” and predicted “she will do excellently” in her new role.

Still, Trump’s goodwill gesture wasn’t enough for America’s media establishment, who want to see the president fail on the international stage, even if it means compromising America’s “special relationship” with one of its oldest and most loyal allies.


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Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Jewish News Syndicate.