- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been forced to pull out of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee service after testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday. The head of the Church of England is resting at home and has cancelled all his prior engagements for this week.
Justin Welby was due to preach at the Service of Thanksgiving held at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday. The 66-year-old has been battling pneumonia since Thursday and started to develop Covid-like symptoms over the weekend.
WATCH: Her Majesty is marking 70 years on the throne
Speaking of his illness, Justin said: “I am deeply saddened to be missing the historic celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“However, I will be praying for the Queen and giving thanks for her extraordinary 70 years of service to us all."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been forced to pull out of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee service
He added: “I will also be praying for our nation at this time of celebration and thanksgiving. May the Queen’s example bring us together in unity and care for one another.”
The Archbishop moreover prayed for anyone currently ill with the virus. He said: "As we continue to live with coronavirus, I pray too for all those who are still suffering and everyone who continues to mourn loved ones they have lost during the pandemic. May you each know the love and comfort of God.”
In his absence, the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will step in to preach the sermon.
Whilst the palace has not confirmed if the Queen will attend the service, wider members of the royal family are expected to be present including the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Justin Welby signed Harry and Meghan's wedding certificate
The royal couple are flying over from the US with their two children specifically for the Jubilee celebrations. On 4 June, Lili – as she is known to close family members– will mark her milestone birthday alongside her parents and older brother.
Lilibet's birthday will be a particularly momentous occasion seeing as this week will be her first time meeting her great-grandmother and namesake the Queen.
Like this story? Sign up to our special Queen’s Platinum Jubilee newsletter to get latest news, photos and videos related to Her Majesty's special milestone.