Duchess of Sussex: After 72 days of royal duties, will we ever see Meghan at an official engagement in the UK again?

Phoebe Southworth
Meghan Markle has worked 72 days as a senior member of the Royal Family since marrying Prince Harry - AP

Meghan Markle has worked 72 days as a senior member of the Royal Family since marrying Prince Harry - and visiting military families in Windsor could be among her last official engagements in the UK.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared baby stories with families from the Welsh Guards, Coldstream Guards and Household Cavalry on an Army housing estate in the Berkshire town on November 6.

Giving a fleeting glimpse behind the scenes of her life a new mother, the Duchess spoke adoringly about her infant son Archie's teething and how he had so far grown two little incisors.

Meghan then cut a sombre figure on Remembrance Sunday as she joined Kate Middleton and the rest of the Royal Family at the traditional wreath-laying service at The Cenotaph.

Her and Harry's bombshell announcement just two months later that they would be stepping back as senior royals, beginning an unprecedented reshaping of their future role in the monarchy, has now thrown into question whether this will be the last time we ever see her at a royal engagement in the UK.

Since the Duchess walked down the aisle in May 2018, she has spent most days of royal duties accompanied by her husband (69 per cent), according to Court Circular records.

While the Duke of Sussex has worked almost double the days of his wife (153), Meghan's maternity leave while pregnant with son Archie takes her total to 122.

She also undertook several private meeting for projects, including with British Vogue when she became the first person to guest edit the magazine's September issue last year.

The couple's first royal tour was their 16-day visit to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. It was there that they announced they were expecting Archie.

The Telegraph revealed in November last year that the Sussexes were so hardworking that close confidantes had been urging them to "slow down" for months.

Meghan in particular had been so keen to get on top of the launch of her and Harry's charitable organisation that she was ringing aides at 8am with questions and ideas.

However, experts are now questioning whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will ever be seen chatting to primary school children or swapping baby stories with the public as they young son grows up.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told The Telegraph: "I always saw them as a dynamic charitable duo following in Diana's footsteps and using their influence with the Sussex Royal brand to further their charitable aims.

"There was also Meghanmania, the enormous enthusiasm which she was greeted with on visits at home and abroad, her influence as a fashion icon, inclusion on various power lists and her and Harry's Instagram account with over 10 million followers. Her global reach was huge.

"But Meghan and Harry's stepping back may well eventually lead to them stepping down as royals. The royal family have lost a meteor - though one who, it has transpired, needed total independence to thrive not just survive."

But royal biographer Penny Junor said she is optimistic about the couple's future and that we only have to look at the Duchess's wardrobe to realise that stepping back from royal duties was the right decision.

"My suspicion is that Meghan will carry on with the sort of work which interests her," she said.

"She is looking so much happier in photos and wearing the sort of clothes she feels comfortable in now.

"When we first saw photos of her with Harry before they got engaged, she was very relaxed in the way she was dressed - torn jeans, open shirts, beanie hats. She just looked an actress, quite chic.

"She then got engaged and suddenly that style changed completely. She was wearing camel coats, high necklines and skirts below the knee. She just looked rather awkward and never like she was enjoying it, like she was putting on a uniform that was suitably tasteful and modest, and what you'd expect a royal to wear.

"Now she looks as if she's been set free."