The Archbishop of Canterbury has addressed for the first time the allegation by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that he conducted a private wedding for them at a secret ceremony before their Windsor Castle officials royal wedding.
Breaking his silence on what the couple told Oprah Winfrey in an interview, Justin Welby maintained that he signed Harry and Meghan’s wedding certificate on the day millions watched them marry.
The legal wedding was on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at St George’s Chapel, he said.
In her interview, Meghan told Oprah Winfrey that she and Harry were married “just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
Harry chipped in, adding, “Just the three of us.”
But the 65-year-old told an Italian newspaper yesterday, March 30: “The legal wedding was on the Saturday.”
He was asked “what happened with Meghan and Harry? Did you really marry them three days before the official wedding?”
He said: “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.
“So you can make what you like about it. But the legal wedding was on the Saturday. But I won’t say what happened at any other meetings.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury declined to provide further details on his discussions with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prior to their nuptials.
“If any of you ever talk to a priest, you expect them to keep that talk confidential. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to.” he said
“I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the duke and duchess before the wedding… But I won’t say what happened at any other meetings.” He added
Archbishop of Canterbury breaks silence on Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan, who have now been completely relieved of their royal duties, backtracked on their private ceremony claim in a statement last week.
It had drawn heavy suspicion, partly because a legal marriage in the UK requires two witnesses.
A spokesman for the couple told US website the Daily Beast: “The couple exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.”