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The British tabloids' scandalizing of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's early wedding claim got an official ending this week, as the man who married them, the Archbishop of Canterbury, clarified what actually happened in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica. His claim echoed what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's spokesperson told press earlier.
For context, Meghan said during her interview with Oprah that she and Harry had a personal vow exchange days before their royal wedding. It was an early wedding for them—but, as their spokesperson would clarify one day after the interview, not a legal one. Some British tabloids, despite this statement and the existence of symbolic vow exchanges, tried to portray Meghan as a liar because their wedding certificate said they were married on the date of their royal wedding.
Meghan told Oprah in the interview, “I was thinking about it, you know our wedding—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 the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry clarified to outlets that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “privately exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.” At the royal wedding, they had to recite set, traditional vows.
The Archbishop, Justin Welby, explained to La Repubblica that yes, Meghan and Harry were technically legally married on May 19. But he had private meetings with them and what they did during them he would not disclose as no priest would share what happens between them and congregants.
“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,” Welby started. “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 offense 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.”
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