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Vicar says he was told that Harry and Meghan did not have a private wedding.

A pastor claims he learned from the Archbishop’s office of Canterbury that “there was no wedding” after Meghan told Markle that she and Prince Harry were secretly married in their garden.

The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey during the global interview: “You know, three days before we got married, we got married. Nobody knows.”

Later speaking to Oprah, Harry said it was only she and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who were present.

But Rev. Mark Edwards, who was inundated with requests for private weddings during the Covid-19 lockdown, contacted the archbishop’s office following claims to “clarify their policies.”

Rev. Mark Edwards

However, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne pastor claims a Lambeth Palace employee told him, “Justin doesn’t do private weddings. Meghan is American, she doesn’t understand. “

Rev. Edwards said the person he spoke to then told him, “Justin had a private conversation with the couple in the garden about the wedding, but I can assure you that there was no wedding until the national television event. “

The Vicars have raised doubts about Meghan’s claims since the interview that Church of England wedding rules require at least two witnesses and the public must have “full access” to the ceremony in order to raise objections.

Experts have said that any ceremony that was held likely wasn’t legally binding.

Rev. Tiffer Robinson, a Church of England pastor in Suffolk, wrote on Twitter: “She has the right to consider it her marriage if she chooses. The Americans are much less concerned with the specifics of marriage law than the English clergy. “

The Archbishop of Canterbury has so far said he will not comment on Meghan’s comments as it is a private matter.

Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking to Oprah Winfrey

But Rev. Edwards said it was “in the public interest of the head of the Church to correct the records.”

He told ChronicleLive: “It puts us priests in a difficult position what constitutes a wedding in the Church of England.

“Should there be witnesses, licenses and legality, or is it just an ad hoc agreement with members of the clergy now? Can we now hold private weddings without witnesses in our back gardens?

“Telling Justin that he refuses to comment is not helpful to the rest of us ministers and our own policies and practices.

“I was asked during the lockdown if people could have a private wedding and I had to explain that this would not be a legal wedding and it would not comply with canon law.

“I think we need a clarifying statement – we need to know what our policies and procedures are. It can’t seem like one rule for one and another rule for another. “

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In the interview, Meghan went on to say that she and Harry called the Archbishop of Canterbury to ask him to perform the ceremony.

“We called the archbishop and just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world, but we want our union between us,'” she said.

The couple announced that they have a framed photo of the ceremony in the bedroom of their Montecito mansion.

“So the vows we made in our room are just the two of us in our back yard with the Archbishop of Canterbury,” Meghan said.

Harry and Meghan during their wedding in 2018

Harry and Meghan during their wedding in 2018

Meghan said she feels like the “spectacle” that Oprah and other high profile figures attended “wasn’t our day”.

A Lambeth Palace spokesman said they were unable to determine who Rev. Edwards was speaking to and could not review or comment on the remarks.

They said a marriage must be celebrated by a member of the clergy in a church or in a location specified in a special permit (e.g. a cathedral, chapel, hospital) in the presence of two witnesses.


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