LONDON – The Archbishop of Canterbury said Prince Andrew is seeking to “make amends” and highlighted the importance of forgiveness after Queen Elizabeth’s son’s fall from grace following accusations of sex abuse that led to a legal settlement.
Andrew, 62, paid an undisclosed sum earlier this year to Virginia Giuffre, who accused him in a U.S. lawsuit of sexually abusing her two decades ago when she was 17. The prince did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.
Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, said Elizabeth was “fully entitled” to have been accompanied by Andrew at the memorial service for her husband Prince Philip in March.
“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,” Welby told ITV.
“Forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society.”
Earlier this year, the royal family removed Andrew’s military links and said he will no longer be known as “His Royal Highness”.
Andrew is not expected to appear when the royal family gather to wave at crowds from the palace balcony on Thursday as part of celebrations to mark the queen’s 70 years on the British throne.
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)