The Archbishop of Canterbury moves away from controversial Prince Andrew comments with new statement

The Archbishop of Canterbury has moved away from his comments telling the public that Prince Andrew is 'seeking to make amends'

Archbishop of Canterbury moves away from controversial Prince Andrew comments
(Image credit: Future: Getty / Canva)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has moved away from his controversial comments about the Duke of York, Prince Andrew as a new statement is released by a spokesperson.

In an interview with ITV News, the Archbishop of Canterbury faced criticism from viewers after he appeared to encourage forgiveness and highlighted Prince Andrew as a person who was trying to 'make amends' for his actions.

When discussing the fact that Prince Andrew escorted the Queen to Prince Philip's memorial service, the Archbishop said, "Someone of 96 [The Queen], at a big public occasion is fully entitled to have one of her children supporting her. That seems a very reasonable thing."

He then added that forgiveness is an important part of life. "Secondly, forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society. There’s a difference between consequences and forgiveness," said the Archbishop.

He then spoke directly about the Duke of York and added that he understood why this has become a controversial issue. “Now with Prince Andrew, that is a particular case and I think we all have to step back a bit and see what happens. 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, it's not surprising there’s very deep feelings indeed."

He then reiterated that he thought as 'human beings' the public should be pleased that one of the Queen's children was there to 'steady' Her Majesty as she remembered her late husband of more than 70 years. 

Following this interview, a spokesperson for the Archbishop of Canterbury clarified his points in the interview and moved away from the suggestion that perhaps the Archbishop was encouraging the public to forgive the Prince.

The statement read, "In tonight’s ITV News 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."

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Since this controversial interview was filmed, Archbishop Justin Welby has contracted Covid-19 and pneumonia and will no longer be delivering one of the key services at the Queen's jubilee.

A statement read, "The Archbishop of Canterbury has today tested positive for Covid-19 and has also been suffering with mild pneumonia since last week. He will therefore not be preaching at the Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday this week."

It has been confirmed that Buckingham Palace is aware and a replacement for this service has been arranged. "Lambeth Palace has informed Buckingham Palace of this news and conveyed the Archbishop’s regret that he will not be able to participate in the service. The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will instead preach the sermon in his place," said the statement.

Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen

(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

As the Queen's Platinum Jubilee nears, it is unclear how much of a role Prince Andrew will play in the festivities. The Queen has confirmed Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew WON'T join her on Jubilee balcony 'after careful consideration,' but it is unclear if these royals will be present for other events.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.