Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has denied Meghan Markle’s claim that she and Harry privately exchanged marriage vows days before their televised wedding at Windsor Castle.
According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, were not legally married before their wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
“The legal wedding was on the Saturday. I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offense if I had signed it knowing it was false,” the Archbishop told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, according to CNN.
But the Archbishop acknowledged that he had multiple private and pastoral meetings with the royal couple before their wedding day.
Markle claimed that she and Harry got married ‘three days before our wedding’
During the Sussexes’ March 7 interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS, Markle claimed she and Harry exchanged marriage vows in a private ceremony officiated by the Archbishop.
She claimed that they invited the Archbishop to Kensington Palace to preside over the private ceremony.
“You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that,” the Duchess of Sussex said. “The vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
Markle’s statement left many royal fans and watchers puzzled because it was the first time that the claim had been made.
Markle and Harry later denied they had a private wedding
Markle and Prince Harry later reportedly admitted that they did not get married before their public wedding.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes released a statement that the ceremony the couple attended at Kensington Palace with the Archbishop of Canterbury was not a legal marriage ceremony.
According to the statement, the couple only “privately exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.”
Meghan and Harry’s official wedding certificate showed they married at Windsor Castle
The Sussexes retracted Markle’s claim after the General Register Office released their official wedding certificate.
According to The Sun, the document, which bore Prince Charles and Doria Ragland’s signatures as witnesses, confirmed that the royal wedding took place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Meghan was ‘obviously confused’ and ‘misinformed,’ an official said
Stephen Borton, a registry official, said that Markle was “obviously confused” and “clearly misinformed” about the ceremony she and Harry attended with the Archbishop at Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
He said that ceremony could not have been a legal wedding ceremony because there were not enough witnesses and Nottingham Cottage was not an authorized venue for conducting weddings.