"With Prince Andrew, I think we all have to step back a bit. He's seeking to make amends" - the Archbishop of Canterbury tells Tom Bradby
The Archbishop of Canterbury has told ITV News that Prince Andrew is "seeking to make amends" having settled his sexual abuse lawsuit and we must “learn to be a more open and forgiving society”.
The Most Revd Justin Welby was questioned in an interview with News At Ten presenter Tom Bradby about whether the upcoming Jubilee celebrations offer the public the opportunity to unite and forgive the Duke of York, who has always denied any wrong doing.
The Archbishop said he recognised "there’s very deep feelings indeed", with issues of abuse "intensely personal and private" and it wasn’t right to "tell people how they’re to respond about this".
"We have become a very unforgiving society," he said.
"It is really something extraordinary to celebrate" - the Most Revd Justin Welby on her Majesty's 70 years on the throne and what it means to the country
"We all have to step back a bit, he is seeking to make amends and I think that’s a very good thing."
The Archbishop also said the Queen was "fully entitled" to have been accompanied by Andrew at Prince Philip’s memorial service in March, despite public criticism.
Listen to Tom Bradby's full interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury on the What You Need To Know podcast
The monarch has limited the Trooping The Colour balcony appearance to working members of her family, which means the Duke of York along with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family in 2019 and moved to California, will not be there.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will miss a jubilee service of thanksgiving after testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday. He is resting at home and has cancelled all engagements this week.
ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry reports on the fallout from the Archbishop of Canterbury's interview
In the interview with ITV News, he paid tribute to the Queen and her long reign, saying her 70 years on the throne was "something extraordinary to celebrate" and she has provided consistency and stability to the country, and hopes the jubilee spirit will lift the nation through what is a difficult time.
Mr Welby described her as "probably the most trusted person in the country".
"If we go back, 1952 was a pretty rough time for a very large number of people. 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."
The Queen has missed several public appearances recently and is expected to pace herself during the jubilee weekend.
Asked if he believed there should have been more of a transition of powers to her son and heir, Prince Charles, Mr Welby said we should "accept it for how it is".He told Tom Bradby: "She knows herself very well. She is very self-aware. And we're seeing the change slowly being slipped in, quite reasonably, at the age of 96. She will do the right thing in that."