The Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested Prince Andrew is “seeking to make amends” after settling his sex abuse case as the head of the Church of England urged the nation to be more “open and forgiving”.
Archbishop Justin Welby said the Queen was “fully entitled” to have been accompanied by Andrew at Prince Philip’s memorial service in March, despite public criticism.
A month earlier, the prince reached an out-of-court settlement regarding a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Financial terms were not disclosed but it has been widely reported to be a multi-million dollar settlement.
Giuffre 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 presenter Tom Bradby, he was asked if this week’s Jubilee celebrations offer an opportunity to forgive the Duke of York.
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.”
Amid the fall-out from the civil sex case, the Queen stripped the Duke of York of his honorary military roles and he gave up his “HRH” style.
It represented Andrew’s complete removal from official royal life, and an attempt to distance the monarchy from the Duke, who was once second in line to the throne as the spare to the heir, in the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
But Andrew’s withdrawal from the public eye came to an end when he unexpectedly attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March, with his mother on his arm.
It is expected that Andrew will join the Queen at her Service of Thanksgiving on Friday – but he is not expected to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the Trooping the Color on Thursday.