The royal couple told Oprah that they secretly got married by the Archbishop of Canterbury
in their backyard three days before the televised wedding in 2018 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
However the royal couple told the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby something very different about their wanting to have their wedding in a church 2017.
“This is no ‘tick box’ exercise, ‘We want to get married in a church.’ There is a profound sense of commitment and seriousness, both about faith and about their lives together, which is quite inspirational,” the Archbishop told BBC Radio 4’s
after multiple conversations with Harry in Meghan.
Welby’s conversations were likely part of the recommended pre-marital counseling by the Church of England
“to offer preparation for marriage.” In addition, Meghan was baptized and confirmed
into the Anglican Church by Welby and would have been counseled in preparation.
The reporter asked if Harry and Meghan’s wedding at St. George’s was important for the church and the nation, more than just important to the couple.
“Of course it’s important because people will look at and they will see a model of how to keep a presence of millions of people and that is going to be a wonderful— It’s always a beautiful moment. Every wedding is profoundly beautiful,” replied Welby.
In contrast, the couple told Oprah Winfrey and their 17 million American viewers on Sunday night that they wanted- and had- a private ceremony outside of the church.
“Three days before our wedding, we got married ,” Meghan told Oprah. “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’. So, like, the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
Prince Harry clarified that the wedding was “just the three of us" to include the Archbishop who is the spiritual head of the church, while his grandmother, the Queen, is the head of the Church of England.
In the Book of Common Prayer
for the Anglican Church, a wedding must be in a church: “At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the persons to be married shall come into the Body of the Church with their friends and neighbours: and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and the Woman on the left, the Priest shall say [the vows.]