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Archbishop of Canterbury says being in Royal Family is like serving 'life without parole'


Archbishop of Canterbury says being in Royal Family is like serving ‘life without parole’ as he warns Prince Harry will never escape ‘celeb’ status

  • Justin Welby: Being a member of the Royal Family is like ‘life without parole’
  • Archbishop of Canterbury suggested public have unrealistic expectations
  • CoE’s top clergman said: ‘We expect them [Royals] to be superhuman’
  • Welby presided over Harry and Meghan’s wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018 

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called being a member of the royal family like serving ‘life without parole’ as he warned that Prince Harry will never escape his ‘celeb’ status in an extraordinary interview.

Justin Welby, the Church of England’s most senior clergyman, suggested the British public have unrealistic expectations when it comes to members of the royal family as he claimed: ‘We expect them to be superhuman’.

The 65-year-old Anglican presided over the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in 2018, having earlier joined them for a secret exchange of vows in Kensington Palace Gardens. 

He later rejected Meghan’s claim in her interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had married them at the secret ceremony, insisting that he signed their wedding certificate on the day millions watched them marry.   

Justin Welby presided over the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in 2018, having earlier joined them for an exchange of vows in Kensington Palace Gardens

Justin Welby presided over the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in 2018, having earlier joined them for an exchange of vows in Kensington Palace Gardens

In a wide-ranging chat with the Financial Times, Mr Welby has now expressed his sympathy for Harry, noting that being a royal is like ‘life without parole’.

He also repeated his warning that the UK is suffering a ‘national case of PTSD’ from the coronavirus pandemic, which may well ‘show itself’ in the future.

Mr Welby said ‘feeling angry at God is absolutely fine’ and that he sometimes says ‘prayers of lament and protest’ during dark times. 

The archbishop also warned that the Church of England cannot take for granted its place at the heart of English society.

‘Remember, we go back, the church in England, to 597,’ he cautioned. ‘There’s a sense that we’ll always be here. Inertia gets built into the whole culture of the thing. And part of that is good… but we need to change.’

Mr Welby, the Church of England's most senior clergyman, suggested the British public have unrealistic expectations when it comes to members of the royal family

Mr Welby, the Church of England’s most senior clergyman, suggested the British public have unrealistic expectations when it comes to members of the royal family

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Welby was also asked whether pets can go to heaven, remarking: ‘I have never been asked that question before.’

After a pause, the Archbishop of Canterbury eventually remarked: ‘Given the fondness we have for our dog, our current dog and the previous one, I am quite prepared to believe that pets go to heaven.’

Mr Welby also condemned banks that force their junior employees to work up to 95 hours per week, declaring them to be unethical and ‘plain wrong’. 

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