According to government and religious officials, the secret wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which they claimed had taken place days before their official wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018, was not the legal date of their marriage.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down with TV host Oprah Winfrey for an interview that aired earlier this month and included some claims which shocked the world.
In a scene with Oprah Winfrey outdoors at a mansion in California, Meghan Markle said she and her husband had tied the knot in secret three days before millions of people watched their wedding at Windsor Castle. Meghan shocked fans by saying her massive royal wedding was a spectacle.
She said that nobody knew they had exchanged vows — which are now framed in their bedroom — beforehand and in private along with the Archbishop of Canterbury just days before their publicly televised nuptials.
She confessed: “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.”
Meghan went on to describe the emotional and intimate moment: “I’ve thought about this a lot because it was like having an out-of-body experience I was very present for. That’s the only way I can describe it because the night before, I slept through the night entirely, which in and of itself is a bit of a miracle.”
A spokesperson confirmed this week that they had exchanged personal vows before their official wedding.
The royals’ rep told the media that “the couple exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.”
However, vicars in the UK have said that a service like the one they described would not be sufficient for a formal marriage.
That means they did not officially tie the knot until May 19 — the same date as the one on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s marriage license.
According to one vicar, there would need to be two witnesses present at the ceremony, which must be in a venue that has been certified officially for weddings.
A former government official also addressed the matter. The former chief clerk at the Faculty Office, Stephen Borton, bashed Meghan, by calling her “obviously confused and clearly misinformed.”
He said: “I’m sorry, but Meghan is obviously confused and clearly misinformed.”
He added: “The Special License 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 recognized by the Church of England and the law. What I suspect they did was exchange some simple vows they had perhaps written themselves, and which is fashionable, and said that in front of the Archbishop—or, and more likely, it was a simple rehearsal.”
It is not the first time doubt has been cast over some of the claims made during Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s recent TV interview.
Meghan Markle also told Oprah Winfrey that she did not know much about the royal family, despite her friendship with Princess Eugenie, and a blog post published in 2014 which spoke about the “pomp and circumstance” of Kate Middleton and Prince William‘s lavish 2011 wedding.