Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s secret wedding (a legal one, that is) didn’t take place before their public nuptials. An expert weighed in to explain the misunderstanding.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry admitted that their secret wedding never actually happened — well, sort of. Just like Meghan told Oprah Winfrey in the royal couple’s infamous interview, “the couple exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19,” a spokesperson for the Duchess and Duke of Sussex told The Daily Beast on March 22. The early exchange of vows didn’t make their marriage official, however, the outlet clarified.
Regardless, Meghan never said she and Harry were legally married before they officially tied the knot at Windsor Castle in England on May 19, 2018. “You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that. The vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury,” Meghan had told Oprah during the Suit star and Harry’s tell-all interview that aired on March 7. Meghan explained that she and Harry called the Archbishop, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, to help them marry on the grounds of their former Nottingham Cottage estate. “Just the three of us,” Harry added during the interview.
However, Stephen Borton — who helped draft the license that allowed Meghan and Harry to legally marry — explained what could’ve possibly caused the secret wedding misunderstanding. “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,” the former chief clerk at the United Kingdom’s Faculty Office told The Sun on March 22 (the outlet also obtained an official copy of Harry and Meghan’s marriage certificate).
“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,” he continued, and added, “You cannot be married with just three people. It’s not a valid ceremony.”
The secret wedding was not the only claim made during the special telecast, which was the couple’s first major interview since unexpectedly stepping down from their royal duties in Jan. 2020. For instance, Meghan broke her silence on a tabloid story that accused the actress of making her sister-in-law Kate Middleton cry. Meghan flipped the script by claiming it was actually Kate who made her cry in the days leading up to Meghan and Harry’s nuptials.
The couple got even more serious in other parts of the interview. Meghan revealed that she had suffered suicidal thoughts while she was pregnant with her and Harry’s now two-year-old son, Archie. “I went to the institution. And I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. And I said that I’d never felt this way before. I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, because it wouldn’t be good for the institution,” Meghan had told Oprah.
Today’s the day.
Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A Primetime Special airs tonight at 8/7c on @CBS. #OprahMeghanHarry pic.twitter.com/hHFppSFrW8
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) March 7, 2021
The most alarming topic that was brought up, though, centered around Meghan and Harry’s son. Meghan, who is biracial, claimed that there were “conversations about how dark his skin might [be] when he’s born.” She did not disclose who allegedly had these conversations, and revealed that the information was relayed to her by Harry. In response to the interview, Buckingham Palace issued a statement saying that “the issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning” and “will be addressed by the family privately.”