Prince Andrew is 'making amends' after sex abuse scandal, says Archbishop of Canterbury

31 May 2022, 17:22 | Updated: 31 May 2022, 19:31

The Archbishop suggested Prince Andrew should be forgiven.
The Archbishop suggested Prince Andrew should be forgiven. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Prince Andrew is "seeking to make amends" after his sex abuse scandal, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

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The Archbishop added that society must learn to be "more open and forgiving" moving forward.

"We all have to step back a bit, he is seeking to make amends and I think that's a very good thing," he told ITV News.

He went on to say: "You can't tell people how they are to respond about this and the issues of the past in the area of abuse are so intensely personal and private for so many people that it's not surprising there's very deep feelings indeed."

It came as the Most Revd Justin Welby was being asked about whether the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations would help the public unite and forgive the royal following the scandal.

He added: "We have become a very unforgiving society."

Lambeth Palace later tweeted: "In tonight's interview, Archbishop @JustinWelby was not referring specifically to Prince Andrew when he said we must become a more forgiving society.

"He was making a broader point about the kind of society that he hopes the Platinum Jubilee inspires us to be."

Read more: Prince Andrew civil sex assault case closed after paying multi-million pound settlement

Read more: Harry, Meghan and Andrew to join the Queen's Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul's

The Archbishop made the remarks while discussing the Queen's jubilee.
The Archbishop made the remarks while discussing the Queen's jubilee. Picture: Alamy

Also discussing Prince Philip's memorial service in March, the Archbishop said the Queen was "fully entitled" to have been joined by Andrew, despite receiving a large backlash for the move.

Andrew settled his sexual abuse lawsuit earlier in the year, which was brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Giuffre was suing Andrew for sexual abuse, saying the duke had sex with her when she was 17 and had been trafficked by his friend, Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew always strenuously denied the allegations and went on to avert a looming trial by agreeing to the settlement last month.

He has since faced several calls to confirm how he funded the substantial out-of-court settlement - reported to be as much as £12 million - and whether the Queen or even the Prince of Wales contributed to the sum.

Prince Andrew settled the lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew settled the lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre. Picture: Alamy

Speaking more generally about upcoming celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee, the Archbishop said her 70 year reign was "something extraordinary to celebrate".

"If we go back, 1952 was a pretty rough time for a very large number of people," he said.

"We were in the middle of the Korean War, the cold war was reaching its most intense period, people were very anxious about nuclear warfare.

"The Queen has gone from that moment to this moment as the one point of absolute consistency in the life of the nation and that is, I think, it's a golden thread that runs through 70 years. And to celebrate that is a great thing.

"I think it will lift people's spirits."

Prince Andrew will not be allowed to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
Prince Andrew will not be allowed to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. Picture: Alamy

It comes despite the Most Revd Justin Welby being forced to pull out of the Queen's Jubilee service over the bank holiday due to having Covid-19 and pneumonia.

Read more: Archbishop of Canterbury pulls out of Queen's Jubilee service due to Covid 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.

The Most Revd Justin Welby 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.

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