The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s claim that he married them in a secret ceremony for their wedding at Windsor Castle.
Justin Welby broke his silence on what the couple told Oprah Winfrey three weeks ago, saying he signed Harry and Meghan’s marriage certificate on the day millions saw them get married.
The legal marriage was on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at St George’s Chapel, he said. In her interview, Meghan raised eyebrows when she told Miss Winfrey that she and Harry were married “the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
But the 65-year-old told an Italian newspaper yesterday, “The legal wedding was on Saturday.”
He was asked ‘what happened to Meghan and Harry? Were you really married to them three days before the official wedding? ‘
Justin Welby broke his silence on what the couple told Oprah Winfrey three weeks ago, saying he signed Harry and Meghan’s marriage certificate the day millions saw them get married.
In her interview, Meghan raised eyebrows when she told Miss Winfrey that she and Harry were married ‘the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury’
Justin Welby says freedom of speech is ‘essential’ and denounces ‘very, very dangerous’ culture of cancellation
Justin Welby has stressed the importance of freedom of speech after a teacher was suspended for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed to his class.
The West Yorkshire teacher was suspended and forced into hiding after furious protests from Muslim parents.
But the Archbishop told La Repubblica, “We must adhere to freedom of speech,” adding, “We have very good relationships with Muslim leaders across the country.
‘Many of them are very upset … many of them have said you clearly disagree, but no violence, no threats.
“Take advantage of your freedom of expression, but don’t prevent other people from exercising their freedom of expression.”
He also criticized the ‘cancellation culture’, adding, ‘We must be able to express truths or express our views – good or bad.’
He said it is a “huge threat” to the future of the Church of England.
The Archbishop noted the “very, very dangerous” trends growing in British universities.
The Archbishop seemed to close the question for the first time, saying, “If any of you ever talk to a priest, expect them to keep that speech confidential. It doesn’t matter who I talk to. ‘
But then he added, “I had a number of private and pastoral gatherings with the Duke and Duchess before the wedding.
The legal marriage was on Saturday. I signed the marriage certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious crime if I signed it knowing it was false.
‘So that you can turn it into what you like. But the legal wedding was on Saturday. But I will not say what happened at other meetings. ‘
Harry and Meghan, who have now been completely relieved of their royal duties, returned to their claim to the private ceremony in a statement last week.
It had aroused serious suspicion, partly because legal marriage in the UK requires two witnesses.
A spokesman for the couple told US website The Daily Beast, “The couple exchanged personal vows a few days before their official / legal wedding on May 19.”
A backyard exchange of vows is not a marriage. Despite this, Harry came in during the Oprah interview, adding that it was “ the three of us. ”
Yesterday’s comments by the Archbishop do not categorically deny a private ceremony, but dispel any doubts about where and when the couple legally tied the knot.
Earlier, he had declined to speak out because the pressure on him increased to debunk the allegation.
A spokesman for the archbishop’s office said last week that he “does not comment on personal or pastoral matters.” But other clergy became involved.
Reverend Mark Edwards said he contacted the Archbishop’s office to get “some clarification” in the wake of the allegations.
Mr. Edwards, pastor at St Matthew’s Church in Dinnington and St Cuthbert’s Church in Brunswick, Tyne and Wear, said he was told by a Lambeth Palace employee, “Justin doesn’t do private weddings.
‘Meghan is American, she doesn’t understand.
The legal wedding was at St George’s Chapel on Saturday, May 19, 2018, the Archbishop said
“Justin had a private conversation with the couple in the garden about the wedding, but I can assure you there was no wedding until the national televised event.”
Archbishop Welby’s first public comment on the matter was yesterday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica while on tour to promote his new book Reimagining Britain: Foundations For Hope.
In it, he echoed broad views from the book on topics such as the pandemic, vaccination nationalism, Northern Ireland, cartoons of Mohammed and freedom of speech, racism and asylum seekers in the UK and Pope Francis.
The former industrialist, who sits in the House of Lords, did not comment on the veracity of any other topic mentioned in the couple’s US TV interview.
He discussed racism, but avoided any mention of Meghan’s allegations of speculation about her son Archie’s skin color.
In the aftermath of the interview, Buckingham Palace made a statement on behalf of the Queen saying, “Memories May Vary,” referring to claims of racism and other issues.