Archbishop of Canterbury discusses 'forgiving' Prince Andrew
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The Duke of York paid a multi-million-pound settlement fee earlier this year, with no admission of liability, to close his civil sexual assault case brought by his accuser, Virginia Giuffre. The settlement prevented the case from going to court in New York but did not save Andrew’s reputation.
Ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, gave an interview highlighting the importance of forgiveness.
Mr Welby told ITV News At Ten presenter Tom Bradby on Tuesday, May 31, “we have become a very unforgiving society” and “we all have to step back a bit”.
The Archbishop 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.”
Mr Welby also said: “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.
“Forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society.”
He added that the Queen was “fully entitled” to have been accompanied by Andrew at Prince Philip’s memorial service in March, recognising that “forgiveness matters”.
A spokesperson for Mr Welby later clarified that he was not specifically referring to the Duke of York but that he “was making a broader point about the kind of society that he hopes the Platinum Jubilee inspires us to be”.
Andrew stepped back from his royal duties in November 2019 after his Newsnight interview on his association with Jeffrey Epstein.
His military titles and royal patronages were returned to the Queen in January in the face of the legal battle brought by Ms Giuffre.
Andrew has repeatedly and vehemently rejected any allegations of wrongdoing.
The Queen attended a memorial service for her late husband at Westminster Abbey in March and was escorted by her second son Andrew.
Her decision was regarded as a show of support but had mixed reactions from the public.
As he is no longer a working royal he will not join members of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the RAF flypast after Trooping of the Colour on Thursday, June 2.
However, Andrew is expected to attend the Jubilee service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, June 3.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to miss the service of thanksgiving.
So what do YOU think? Should Britain move on from the Prince Andrew scandal? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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