Archbishop of Canterbury pulls out of Queen's Jubilee service due to Covid and pneumonia

30 May 2022, 13:38 | Updated: 30 May 2022, 14:28

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has dropped out of the Queen's Jubilee service.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has dropped out of the Queen's Jubilee service. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has pulled out of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul's Cathedral due to having Covid-19 and pneumonia.

Lambeth Palace said the Archbishop of Canterbury tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday and has been suffering with mild pneumonia since last week.

The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will now deliver the sermon at Friday’s Service of Thanksgiving.

Lambeth Palace said the Archbishop was continuing to work after being struck down with pneumonia, but after developing symptoms over the weekend he tested for coronavirus.

He was also due to light a beacon at Lambeth Palace on Thursday evening as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacons events.

The Lambeth Palace beacon will be lit on the Archbishop's behalf.

Read more: Jubilee killjoys threaten street parties in red tape row over 'unauthorised' bunting

Read more: Queen can finally meet Lilibet as Harry and Meghan fly in for Platinum Jubilee

Jubilee Queen on ‘sparkling’ form as she celebrates Platinum milestone

In a statement, the Most Revd Justin Welby said: "I am deeply saddened to be missing the historic celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, I will be praying for The Queen and giving thanks for her extraordinary seventy years of service to us all. I will also be praying for our nation at this time of celebration and thanksgiving. May The Queen’s example bring us together in unity and care for one another.

"For those attending Friday’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral, and the millions watching on television, I hope this joyful occasion will inspire us with The Queen’s profound commitment to fostering unity and peace among all people – and to promoting care for the natural world that God has given us. Led by the love of Jesus Christ, The Queen has lived her life for the benefit of others: l pray we find inspiration from Her Majesty over the Jubilee weekend and long into the future.

"Meanwhile as we continue to live with coronavirus, I pray too for all those who are still suffering and everyone who continues to mourn loved ones they have lost during the pandemic. May you each know the love and comfort of God.

Read more: Andrew, Harry and Meghan snubbed from Queen's Jubilee balcony appearance

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations programme

"As we prepare to celebrate the first Platinum Jubilee in our nation’s history, may God save The Queen, and bless her with the knowledge of our profound love and gratitude for her service to us all."

The Archbishop was diagnosed with mild pneumonia on Thursday last week and, under medical advice, was continuing to work but with a reduced schedule to allow for rest and recovery.

He is resting at home and avoiding contact with others, and has cancelled all engagements this week since his positive test result.

It is unclear if the Queen will attend the thanksgiving service at St Paul's, but if she does there will be no ceremonial journey to the cathedral and she will use a different entrance from the steep main steps.

Wider members of the royal family are expected to be present including possibly the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York, and the service will be followed by a Guildhall reception for them.

Queen tours Chelsea Flower Show from comfort of electric buggy

A special four-day bank holiday will commence from Thursday allowing Brits to celebrate the Queen's 70-year reign and the royals have revealed how they plan to mark the occasion.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will meet guests at a feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex will join members of the local community in Windsor.

The get-togethers are part of the Big Jubilee Lunches, which includes events ranging from world record attempts for the longest street party to back garden BBQs and "everything in between", organisers say.

More than 85,000 people have signed up to host Big Jubilee Lunches, the official community celebration for the Platinum Jubilee.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

New Zealand Volcano Trial

Tour operators told to pay £6.27m over volcanic eruption

Ex-Labour MP George Galloway has stormed to victory in the Rochdale by-election

Former Labour MP George Galloway storms to victory in Rochdale by-election after chaotic campaign

Israel Palestinians Rafah Photo Gallery

Israeli troops ‘fire on people waiting for aid’ as Gaza death tolls hits 30,000

The vote-counting got underway on Thursday evening.

George Galloway claims he’s on track for ‘comfortable’ victory in Rochdale by-election following divisive campaign

The scheme could cost more than £500m, a watchdog report has found.

Rwanda scheme could cost taxpayer more than £500m, watchdog report finds

The trust where Valdo Calocane was treated has been rated inadequate

Staff at mental health trust that treated Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane 'falsified records and assaulted patients'

Bangladesh Fire

Dozens killed in fire at shopping centre in Bangladesh capital

Former Ambassador Arrested

Former career US diplomat admits spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Kensington Palace issued a statement addressing well-wishers' concerns.

Kensington Palace issues fresh statement on Kate’s health following concerns amid speculation

On Thursday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a big supporter of the arts and he believes that the arts should be inclusive and open to everyone.

'Wrong and divisive': No. 10 condemns theatre 'Black Outs' after West End show announces exclusive performances

Rishi Sunak has spoken out after the report into Wayne Couzens

Rishi Sunak says police must make 'urgent changes' after Couzens report, following 'chilling, abominable' murder

Donald Trump

Trump appeals against decision to remove his name from Illinois primary ballot

Staff said the increase relates to a greater number of Albanian children entering asylum hotels since the 2022 inspection.

UK border control is 'neither effective nor efficient', sacked watchdog says, with 147 child migrants still missing

Jess Phillips has said the person who allowed Couzens' employment should be 'for the chopping block'.

Person who allowed Wayne Couzens to be employed ‘has to be for the chopping block’, Jess Phillips tells LBC

Christian Horner

Christian Horner breaks silence after 'texts leaked', as Red Bull F1 boss cleared of inappropriate behaviour claims

The man was found at his home in Herne, Germany.

Horror as man found with ‘penis bitten off and eaten by pet dog’ after neighbours reported relentless barking