The man who married Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has contradicted the Duchess of Sussex’s claim the pair secretly wed in their backyard days before a lavish public ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he would have “committed a crime” had the events unfolded the way Meghan has described.
Meghan told Oprah Winfrey in an interview in March that she married Queen Elizabeth’s grandson in a secret ceremony officiated over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
“You know, three days before our wedding, we got married – no-one knows that,” she said.
“Just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
The Sun newspaper has since published the couple’s wedding certificate, showing the date of the marriage was 19 May 2018 at Windsor Castle.
In an extensive exclusive interview with Italy’s La Repubblicca newspaper, published late on Wednesday, the archbishop briefly addressed the claims about the secret backyard marriage.“
“The legal wedding was on the Saturday,” he said.
“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 it.
“But the legal wedding was on the Saturday. But I won’t say what happened at any other meetings.”
He confirmed he had met the couple for private talks before the wedding at Windsor Castle.
“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,” Archbishop Well said.
“I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the duke and duchess before the wedding.”
The official who drew up the licence has said Meghan was either confused or misinformed and the couple had perhaps exchanged some simple vows before the Archbishop.