Meghan Markle and Prince Harry apparently didn't secretly get married three days before their royal wedding took place at Windsor, according to claims made by friends. The revelations come just a day after the couple's claims in their bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The couple had claimed in their interview that the secret wedding was a "private reunion" and was done only in the presence of Archbishop of Canterbury. However, the Church of England requires at least two witnesses and be solemnized by a member of the clergy in a church or licensed place for a valid marriage. This means the marriage wasn't a legal wedding.
Not a Legal Marriage
Sources close to Meghan and Harry have told the Town and Country magazine that the private wedding was instead a private exchanging of vows as it was not legally valid. Meghan during the interview claimed that she and Harry secretly got married in the backyard of Kensington Palace in the presence of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, just three days before to their spectacular wedding. However, given the Church of England's laws, the wedding wasn't valid as there was only one witness instead of the mandatory two according to the church laws.
"No one knows that. But we called the archbishop [of Canterbury], and we just said, 'Look, this thing, this spectacle, is for the world, but we want our union between us,'" said Markle, who wed the prince in May 19, 2018. "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," she said.
The new revelations have now raised doubts if the other claims made by the couple are true. A priest for the Church of England, referring to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tweeted after the interview, "I've no idea what they mean.
Doubts had already been expressed over whether such a ceremony would have even been legal with one clergy pointing that the Archbishop of Canterbury should explain. A spokesman for the Archbishop today said he would not comment on personal or pastoral matters.
Are Two Marriages Possible
Also, according to Church laws, it's not possible to have two marriages that too one without any witnesses. "You can't get married twice. So what was the thing three days before [their public ceremony]? And if it was a marriage, what on earth are we doing 'playing' at prayer/holy matrimony for cameras," the Rev. David Green, Vicar of St Mary's, West Malling and the Rector of St Michael's, Offham, wrote, according to Fox News, in a tweet that appeared to have been taken down by Monday afternoon.
He also said that the Archbishop needs to clarify what did or did not happen three days before. However, a spokesman for the Archbishop said he would not comment on personal or pastoral matters. Green says that according to Meghan's claims something definitely happened in the backyard of the palace and the archbishop should clarify what it was since it was a private affair.
Meghan during the interview had said "no one knew" about the secret ceremony, in which the pair shared personal vows for "just the two of us." However, according to the church's rulebook, public must have "unrestricted access" to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for "valid objections against the marriage", which automatically nullifies the marriage if anything of that sort happened.
At the same time, a legally married couple cannot choose to re-marry each other, unless there is some doubt as to the validity of the earlier marriage.