Most Rev Justin Welby told The Sunday Times: "Every personal action is scrutinised. Every statement is over-interpreted, over-read.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are going to take a couple of months away from royal duties . . . If you look at it as a job, they didn't take the full allowance of leave that you're entitled to; every person is entitled to.
"I don't know why it should be a point of criticism that they take leave to spend time with a new baby in the way that the law provides for every single employee in this country."
Archbishop Justin's comment comes after Prince Harry and Meghan opened up candidly about their struggles in the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
Meghan admitted to feeling vulnerable, and spoke of the pressures of royal life amid intense tabloid interest, saying: "It's not enough to just survive something, that's not the point of life. You have got to thrive."
Prince Harry also told of the pressure he felt trying to protect his family from unwanted media attention.
The archbishop, who is close friends with the royal couple, told The Sunday Times that people should view the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as real people, saying it was "absurd" and "completely unjust" to demand that the royal family set a higher moral example.
"They're not superhuman," he said. "They're a very remarkable group of people, all of them. But you can't lay that kind of extra burden on people."
The duchess is suing the Mail on Sunday over an alleged breach of copyright and privacy after it published a private letter between her and her estranged father.
The Mail On Sunday said it stands by its story and will be "defending this case vigorously".
Harry later filed his own proceedings at the High Court against News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun and the now defunct News of The World, and Reach plc, which owns the Daily Mirror, in relation to the alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages.
Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.