The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, was forced to miss out on attending the Platinum Jubilee thanksgiving service due to testing positive for COVID-19. He also appears to have been blocked from attending public events at the Order of the Garter ceremony in Windsor on Monday.
Andrew stepped back from public duties over two years ago following his association with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender.
Last year, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, brought a civil lawsuit against Andrew, accusing him of sexual assault.
Andrew paid a multi-million-pound settlement fee — which, his lawyers say, was not an admission of guilt — to Ms Giuffre to prevent the case from going to court.
Andrew has repeatedly and vehemently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
His titles and patronages were returned to the Queen and the Palace said he would not perform any official royal duties.
Ahead of the Jubilee the Archbishop of Canterbury said Andrew was “seeking to make amends” after settling his civil sexual assault lawsuit.
Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, highlighted the importance of forgiveness in an interview with ITV News At Ten presenter Tom Bradby on Tuesday, May 31.
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.”
The Duke of York’s last public appearance was to escort his mother to the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March.
Mr Welby said that the Queen was “fully entitled” to have been accompanied by Andrew at Prince Philip’s memorial service, 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”.
One reader, username Finn121 commented: “A definite NO.”
And username Hello, again wrote: “I find Welby’s comment that we should ‘forgive’ Andrew an affront.”
However, others agreed with Mr Welby and thought that Britain should move on with username Will-l am Not writing: “Yes. Forgive but never forget.”
While username I N COGNITO said: “Seeing as how he has never been charged or tried for any offence. Why shouldn’t he move on.”