Though the world watched Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, the actress told Oprah Winfrey that she and Harry actually married privately in a backyard ceremony three days before their televised nuptials.
Her reveal confused some, which prompted the couple's spokesperson to clarify that their intimate gathering wasn't a legal ceremony, even though there was an archbishop present.
"Three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that, but we called the archbishop and we just said ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us,'" Meghan shared in her interview with Winfrey. "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."
That same bishop was the one who oversaw their May 19 nuptials and also christened their son, 22-month-old Archie.
After her confession, some viewers voiced their disbelief over her claims. "I’ve no idea what they mean. Obviously lacking as a parish priest," Reverend David Green wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "You can’t get married twice. So what was the thing three days before? And if it was a marriage, what on earth are we doing ‘playing’ at prayer/holy matrimony for cameras."
"She clearly thinks something happened with [Archbishop of Canterbury] 3 days prior," he added in another deleted tweet. "So it would be helpful to clarify what it was. Plus this is something she claimed that can be verified by separate testimony (i.e. Lambeth). If it’s BS, that helps assess the rest of the interview too."
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The clergy guidebook on the Church of England’s official website states couples "who are already lawfully married cannot choose to re-marry each other, unless there is some doubt as to the validity of the earlier marriage." It also notes that at least two witness must be present for the vow exchange, which Harry and Meghan didn't have.