THE Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed Prince Andrew is “seeking to make amends” for his actions as he urged society to be “more open and forgiving”.

With the Duke of York having settled his sexual abuse lawsuit, the Most Revd Justin Welby urged the public to “step back a bit” on the issue.

The Church of England bishop added that there was “a difference between consequences and forgiveness”.

Speaking to ITV News, he admitted there were “deep feelings” about the Duke of York’s conduct.

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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.”

Welby said the UK had become a “very unforgiving society”.

He said the Queen was “fully entitled” to have been accompanied by Andrew at Prince Philip’s memorial service.

Speaking about the Jubilee, he said the Queen’s 70 years on the throne was "something extraordinary to celebrate", adding that she is "probably the most trusted person in the country".

He said: “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.

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"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 Duke of York and his accuser Virginia Giuffre reached a £12 million out-of-court settlement in the civil sex claim filed in the US back in February.

Andrew pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein” by supporting the “fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims”.

Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, made the claim against Andrew for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew’s friend, to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law.