Meghan Markle “must be confused” as certificate ‘proves’ couple didn’t wed early
Meghan Markle ‘must be confused’ about her claim she married Prince Harry early, the man who says he drew up the couple’s wedding licence has said.
In the explosive interview that aired earlier this month, the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey: “You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that.”
Later in the televised sit-down Harry said it had been just them and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby present.
This would pre-date the couple’s very public wedding, which took place in May 2018 in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Since the Oprah interview questions have been raised about whether Meghan’s claims about a prior ceremony were accurate, with a number of vicars taking issue with the statement.
And there now are further doubts over the claim, according to an official who reportedly dealt with their marriage licence at the time.
Stephen Borton, ex-chief clerk at the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who drew up the wedding licence, told The Sun: “I’m sorry, but Meghan is obviously confused and clearly misinformed.
“They did not marry three days earlier in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
“The Special Licence I helped draw up enabled them to marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and what happened there on 19 May 2018 and was seen by millions around the world was the official wedding as recognised by the Church of England and the law.”
He added he suspected the pair had exchanged ‘some simple vows’ which they had written themselves and was said before the Archbishop.
Mr Borton was also reported to have said they could not have got married on the grounds of Nottingham Cottage as it isn’t an authorised venue and three people isn’t enough witnesses for a valid ceremony.
The Sun also published an image of what it says is the couple’s wedding license, which is said to confirm the official date of the marriage was May 19.
A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury previously said he would not comment on personal or pastoral matters.
During the Oprah interview Meghan said: “Three days before our wedding, we got married.
“No-one knows that but we called the Archbishop (of Canterbury) and we just said ‘this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us’.”
But in the aftermath of the programme vicars cast doubt on Meghan’s claims, as rules on Church of England weddings require at least two witnesses, and the public must have ‘unrestricted access’ to the ceremony so objections can be lodged.
And a couple who are already married cannot do so again, unless something was wrong with the first marriage.
Last week, Rev Mark Edwards revealed he contacted the Archbishop’s office after the claims to “get some clarity” on the issue.
The vicar at St Matthew’s Church, in Dinnington, and St Cuthbert’s Church, in Brunswick, said he was told by a Lambeth Palace staff member that, “Justin [Welby] does not do private weddings. Meghan is an American, she does not understand.”
Rev Edwards said the person he spoke to then told him: “Justin had a private conversation with the couple in the garden about the wedding, but I can assure you, no wedding took place until the televised national event.”