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Archbishop of Canterbury to miss Queen’s Platinum Jubilee service after catching COVID and pneumonia

The Archbishop of Canterbury will miss the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee service because he has coronavirus and mild pneumonia.

He was due to appear at Friday’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral, but tested positive for COVID-19 this morning.

Lambeth Palace said he had cancelled all engagements and was “resting at home and avoiding contact with others”.

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His pneumonia was diagnosed last Thursday, but he took medical advice and continued to work with a reduced schedule before developing COVID symptoms at the weekend.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, will preach the St Paul’s sermon instead.

“I am deeply saddened to be missing the historic celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” said the Archbishop.

“However, I will be praying for The Queen and giving thanks for her extraordinary seventy years of service to us all.

“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.”

His statement added that he was praying for people “still suffering” with coronavirus and “everyone who continues to mourn loved ones they have lost during the pandemic”.

The service at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the big events of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday.

Trooping the Colour will take place on Thursday, there’s a concert featuring stars such as Alicia Keys outside Buckingham Palace on Saturday, and the Platinum Pageant carnival is on Sunday.

Millions are also expected to celebrate around the UK, and there are an estimated 16,000 street parties planned.

Find out more by reading our day-to-day guide.

Sky’s Kay Burley and royal expert Alistair Bruce will bring all the events live as they happen, with Joanna Lumley as special guest.

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