What actually happened with Meghan and Harry's 'secret wedding'?

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
·3-min read
Photo credit: OWEN HUMPHREYS - Getty Images
Photo credit: OWEN HUMPHREYS - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Earlier this month, in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, former working royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed they had secretly got married three days before their May 19, 2018 royal wedding.

Speaking in the highly anticipated interview, Meghan shared the previously unknown information that she and Harry had exchanged private vows in the garden of their home.

"You know our wedding - three days before our wedding, we got married," the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah. "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."

Prince Harry added: "Yeah, just the three of us."

Since then, there's been a lot of back and forth over whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did, in fact, get married before their big day in Windsor, and now the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has cleared it all up.

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the Archbishop confirmed that he'd had numerous "informal" meetings with Meghan and Harry before their ceremony, but that the legal wedding was the one broadcast to the world on Saturday 19 May, 2018.

Photo credit: OWEN HUMPHREYS - Getty Images
Photo credit: OWEN HUMPHREYS - Getty Images

"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," said the Archbishop.

It's believed that what Justin Welby attended was a private exchange of vows for the Sussexes, and not a formal wedding, which is pretty much in line with what Meghan told Oprah. However, the Archbishop would not share any details from the intimate meeting three days before the wedding."If any of you ever talk to a priest, you expect them to keep that talk confidential", he said.

Photo credit: BEN STANSALL - Getty Images
Photo credit: BEN STANSALL - Getty Images

It's also been suggested that the Duke and Duchess got engaged earlier than they initially let on, although that wasn't addressed in the Oprah interview. News of the couple's engagement formally broke on November 27, 2017, when a beaming Prince Harry and his wife-to-be posed for photographs in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace, before heading inside for an in-depth interview about how it all happened.

The official statement announcing Harry and Meghan's engagement said the Prince proposed "in London earlier this month [November 2017]," but according to a book written about the royals, Finding Freedom, the couple had actually agreed to marry a few months before. According to royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, who wrote the unauthorised biography, the Sussexes got engaged in August of 2017, but kept their news a secret until they could formally announce it.

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

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