Archbishop of Canterbury says being in the royal family 'is a life sentence'

The Archbishop has previously defended Meghan Markle from abuse. [Image: Getty Images]
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said it is wrong to expect the royal family to behave like 'superhuman saints'.

The Most Rev Justin Welby shared his Christmas message with The Big Issue yesterday, in which he reflected on the state of vulnerable people in the country, which he said has become worse over the last nine years.

The archbishop was also asked about the Duke of York scandal, and his thoughts on whether the royal family have to adhere to a higher moral code than the rest of society.

"I think generally speaking they do serve in a way that is extraordinary in what is literally, for them, a life sentence," he said.

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"I think to ask that they be superhuman saints is not what we should do because nobody is like that.

"Everybody makes mistakes, everybody is human. I am not commenting on any member of the royal family except to say that I am astonished at what a gift they are to this country."

Asked what his Christmas message for the country was, the archbishop said: "Don't fear. Deal with fear. In the New Testament, among the letters from John, it says 'perfect love casts out fear'. So love, don't fear.

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"Because the kind of love that God shows is a love that doesn't expect a return. That forgives failure. That loves people despite their ups and downs.

"That kind of love changes the world in a dramatic and wonderful way."

The Archbishop previously described Meghan Markle as 'a remarkable person' and spoke out about the abuse she had received.

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Archbishop of CanterburyRoyal FamilyDuke of York scandal