The Archbishop of Canterbury has said Prince Andrew is “seeking to make amends” after his sex abuse trial – and urged the nation to be more “open and forgiving”.
The head of the Church of England said the Queen was “fully entitled” to have Andrew by her side for Prince Philip’s memorial service in March, despite public ire.
Just weeks earlier, Andrew had reached an out-of-court settlement in a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by accuser Virginia Giuffre – reported to be a multi-million dollar settlement.
She had accused the Duke of York of sexually assaulting and abusing her when she was a minor in the early 2000s.
In an interview with ITV News, Justin Welby was asked if the weekend’s Jubilee celebrations offer a chance to forgive Andrew.
He said: “There’s a difference between consequences and forgiveness.
“I think for all of us, one of the ways that we celebrate when we come together is in learning to be a more open and forgiving society.
“Now with Prince Andrew, I think we all have to step back a bit. He’s seeking to make amends and I think that’s a very good thing.
“But you can’t tell people how they’re 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.
“It’s not surprising there’s very deep feelings, indeed.”
Andrew is expected to join the Queen at her Service of Thanksgiving on Friday – but won’t appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the Trooping of the Colour on Thursday.