'I married Harry and Meghan at the Royal Wedding, not in the days before' says Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

  • Video report from ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

The Archbishop of Canterbury has confirmed that he did not marry Meghan and Harry three days before their wedding as the Duchess of Sussex has claimed.

Justin Welby was asked about what happened at the 2018 Royal Wedding and in the days before it following Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey when the Duchess said she and Harry got married three days beforehand.

"The legal wedding was on the Saturday," said the Archbishop in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper referring to Saturday 19 May, when Harry and Meghan married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

"I signed the wedding certificate which is a legal document," Welby explained, "and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false."

12 million people in the UK watched the Oprah Winfrey interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

 In one part of her explosive interview with Oprah, which was watched by 12 million people in the UK when it aired on ITV, Meghan said: "You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that. But we called the Archbishop and we just said ‘look, this thing, this spectacle, is for the world, but we want our union between us’."

 The Duchess of Sussex also told Oprah: "The vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our back yard with the Archbishop of Canterbury... just the three of us."

 The Archbishop, who is the most senior Church of England cleric did acknowledge that he had met Harry and Meghan before the wedding but said those meeting would remain "confidential" no matter "who I am talking to".

He added: “I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the Duke and Duchess before the wedding”.

As for what they discussed, Welby said: "The legal wedding was on the Saturday. But I won’t say what happened at any other meetings."