The Archbishop of Canterbury has denied he secretly married Meghan Markle and Prince Harry three days before their royal wedding.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby revealed he had numerous meetings with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ahead of their extravagant nuptials at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, but confirmed the legal wedding was on May 19 2018. Meghan claimed during her and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired earlier this month, that they secretly tied the knot in their “backyard” before their big day.
Mr Welby told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “If any of you ever talk to a priest, you expect them to keep that talk confidential.
“It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to.
“I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the Duke and Duchess before the wedding.
“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 offence if I signed it knowing it was false.
“So you can make what you like about.
“But the legal wedding was on the Saturday.
“But I won’t say what happened at any other meetings.”
During the Sussexes’ bombshell TV interview, which aired earlier this month, Meghan claimed they had a secret ceremony ahead of their royal wedding.
The former actress told Winfrey: “You know, three days before our wedding, we got married.
“No one knows that.
“We called the Archbishop and we just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us’.
“So, like, the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
Harry added: “Just the three of us.”
A spokesperson for the Sussexes was later forced to clarify this was in fact an informal exchange of vows.
Meghan’s claim to Winfrey had raised questions as a legal ceremony requires witnesses and a registered venue.
It was just one revelation in the controversial interview, which plunged the Royal Family into crisis.
Meghan and Harry are living in America after quitting royal duties less than two years after their wedding.
The couple, who are expecting their second child, are living in a mansion in California with their young son Archie.