How Kate Middleton's Return from Maternity Leave Has Evolved Through the Years

The Duchess is officially back to work, six months after giving birth to Prince Louis.

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(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

Kate Middleton has officially returned from maternity leave today (opens in new tab), and royal fans have expressed how much they've missed the Duchess since she gave birth to Prince Louis (opens in new tab) six months ago. For her first official event back, Kate is visiting the Sayers Croft Trust Forest School and Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground in London. The charity was "established in 1996 with the aim of involving the local community, especially young people, in the enjoyment and care of the environment," according to its website (opens in new tab).

Since Prince Louis was born in April, Kate hasn't been completely MIA—just not exactly working. She attended her brother-in-law's wedding (opens in new tab) less than a month after giving birth, had Prince Louis' christening (opens in new tab), went to Trooping the Colour (opens in new tab)took George and Charlotte to the park (opens in new tab)attended Wimbledon with Meghan  (opens in new tab)and Prince William, and even took a family vacation during the summer (opens in new tab). She hasn't attended an official royal duty involving the public, which is why she barely made an appearance in the Queen's new documentary, Queen of the World (opens in new tab). Let's be honest though, she deserves to spend as much time as she can with her newborn—as all mothers do.

The Sayers Croft Trust marks a fitting choice for the Duchess' first official royal event back. (It focuses on young children's interest in the environment, after all.) However, it's very different from the first events she attended after she gave birth to Prince George, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 3.

As reported by Hello! (opens in new tab), Kate went back to work six weeks (!) after Prince George's birth in 2013, and four months after Princess Charlotte's in 2015. In August 2013, Kate went to the Ring O'Fire marathon (opens in new tab) in North Wales for her first royal duty after George was born. Four months after Charlotte's birth, she attended an event at the Anna Freud Centre (opens in new tab) with a new look (spoiler alert: she got bangs!). Now, six months after Louis entered the world, Kate looks refreshed and relaxed (opens in new tab) wearing a Fjallraven jacket (you can shop it here (opens in new tab)), Zara biker trousers (opens in new tab), and Penelope Chilvers boots (opens in new tab) while visiting the environmental charity.

Prince George, 2013:

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Start The Ring O'Fire Anglesey Coastal Ultra Marathon

(Image credit: WPA Pool)

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Start The Ring O'Fire Anglesey Coastal Ultra Marathon

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Start The Ring O'Fire Anglesey Coastal Ultra Marathon

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

Princess Charlotte, 2015:

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits The Anna Freud Centre

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits The Anna Freud Centre

(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits The Anna Freud Centre

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

Prince Louis, 2018:

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Sayers Croft Forest School

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Sayers Croft Forest School

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

The Duchess of Cambridge

(Image credit: Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images)

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Sayers Croft Forest School

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Sayers Croft Forest School

(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Sayers Croft Forest School

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)
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Everyone has different maternity leave experiences, and Kate proves this with her own three children. Fun fact: The U.K. requires all women to take at least two weeks of maternity leave (opens in new tab) after they give birth, and four weeks if you work in a factory. @TheUnitedStatesofAmerica, please take note.

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Rachel Epstein is an editor at Marie Claire, where she writes and edits culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also manages the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game, finding a new coffee shop, or analyzing your cousin's birth chart—in no particular order.