Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, married Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle last year. Now, he’s defending the couple as reports have emerged that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to take six weeks off from royal duties.
A recent story in The Sunday Times said Meghan and Harry want to have some “family time” together before the end of the year, which has been a huge one for them since it saw the birth of their first child, Archie Harrison, in May. Just a few weeks ago, the couple drew major headlines when they spoke out about intense media coverage and scrutiny they’ve received this year.
“All members of the Royal Family are under a pressure that none of us outside it can possibly imagine,” the Archbishop of Canterbury said in a different interview with The Sunday Times this week. “Every personal action is scrutinized. Every statement is over-interpreted, over-read.”
Justin said he saw nothing unusual about the couple taking some much-needed leave, saying it made sense for them to do so since if one looks at their roles as jobs, they did not take the full leave to which they were entitled after Archie was born.
“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,” Justin told the newspaper.
“They’re not superhuman. They’re a very remarkable group of people, all of them. But you can’t lay that kind of extra burden on people.”
During their leave, the couple are expected to travel to the United States, where they will likely visit with Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, and possibly spend American Thanksgiving with her. Doria spent an extended period of time in the UK this year before and after Archie’s birth, helping her daughter adjust to becoming a new mother.
Harry, Meghan and their little boy are expected to be back in the UK in time for Christmas, which they will likely spend at Sandringham with the Royal Family.