The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had pronounced them man and wife before they exchanged vows in front of millions at their televised royal wedding. But a Newcastle vicar has said a source at Lambeth Palace denied the secret wedding.
Rev Mark Edwards said he has been inundated with requests for private ceremonies from couples eager to tie the knot during the Covid pandemic.
After the duchess claimed the head of the Church of England had offered her and Harry such a service he decided to seek answers.
The vicar said a CofE source told him: “Justin had a private conversation with the couple in the garden about the wedding, but I can assure you, no wedding took place until the televised national event.”
The church’s rules for weddings are strict.
At least two witnesses are required for the ceremony to be deemed valid and legal.
A marriage must be solemnised by a clergy member in a church or in a place specified in a special licence.
This could include a hospital, chapel or a cathedral.
The church’s book of rules states that members of the public must have “unrestricted access” to the building while a marriage ceremony is being conducted.
She added: “We called the Archbishop and we just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us’.”
As head of the CofE, the Archbishop does not comment on…