07 October 2021

Archbishop Tutu turns 90 amid week-long celebration

Celebratory messages of love and appreciation for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu poured in from across the world for his 90th birthday on 7 October 2021.

Archbishop Tutu’s enduring message of love, impact on justice and peace, sense of fun, spirit of forgiveness and optimism, and joyfulness, generosity and wisdom – all these qualities and more were celebrated at the special 90th-birthday service at Kings College London in his honour on 5 October 2021.

A celebratory church service was held at St George’s Cathedral and attended by the Arch, Mrs Tutu, friends and family on the morning of his milestone birthday. A week’s worth of events marking Archbishop Tutu’s milestone culminated, on the eve of his birthday, with the 11th Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture, delivered this year by four global leaders. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s highest spiritual leader; women’s and children’s rights activist Graça Machel; chair of The Elders and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson; and South Africa’s former public protector, Thuli Madonsela have each previously delivered the lecture. They explored the topic Speaking Truth to Power: No future without justice from each of their personal vantage points.