Why The Church Of England Is Striking Back At Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on March 7, 2021, though there's still plenty of drama to sift through in the aftermath. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not hold back about their royal departure and the events that led up to it. From "concerns" about their son Archie's skin color to Meghan admitting that she considered suicide, the interview offered a rare but telling glimpse into the not-so-glamourous side of royalty.

While Meghan and Harry shared some shocking claims during the interview, they also divulged some sweet details about their life. The couple announced that they're expecting a baby girl, with the gender reveal coming about a month after they announced Meghan's pregnancy on Valentine's Day 2021. In a juicier tidbit, Meghan also told Oprah that the couple actually wed three days before their festive, public ceremony — a piece of information that is turning out to be somewhat scandalous. In the aftermath of this revelation, some English officials are striking back at Meghan's claim. Keep reading to learn what a reverend for the Church of England has to say about Meghan and Harry's alleged elopement. 

A reverend is debunking Meghan Markle's private ceremony claim

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's May 19, 2018, wedding was certainly a day to remember. Royal fans across the world tuned into watch the duke and duchess tie the knot — but in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan admitted that she and Harry had actually wed in a private ceremony three days earlier. Meghan's claim has been questioned since the interview aired, and now a Church of England official is stepping in for clarification.

The Rev. Mark Edwards spoke to the Daily Mail to set the record straight about Meghan and Harry's supposed private elopement, which they say took place alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. "Justin does not do private weddings. Meghan is an American, she does not understand," Edwards explained to the publication, adding that Meghan's claim "puts us priests in a difficult position on what constitutes a Church of England wedding."

Though the Archbishop himself hasn't clarified anything about Meghan and Harry's claim, Edwards is calling for him to make a statement to avoid further confusion. "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," Edwards further explained to the Daily Mail. While Meghan and Harry's private ceremony may have not been an official wedding, it certainly seems to be the ceremony that is most sacred to the couples' heart — and perhaps that's all that matters!

More and more people are asking the Church of England for private wedding ceremonies

While Rev. Mark Edwards wants to clear the air about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's alleged backyard ceremony, he also wants Archbishop Justin Welby to release a statement of his own. "I think we need a clarifying statement — we need to know what our policies and procedures are. It can't appear to be one rule for one and another rule for another," Edwards explained to the Daily Mail. "Justin saying he refuses to comment is not helpful to the rest of us clergy and our own policies and practices."

Because people have heard Meghan's remarks about having a private ceremony, many people are apparently trying to do the same for their own weddings. Edwards said that he's "had people ask [him] during lockdown if they could have a private wedding" and that he has to explain that it "would not be a legal wedding and not according to canon law." 

Inside the legitimacy of Meghan and Harry's private ceremony

Of course, this isn't the first time people have questioned the legitimacy of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's private wedding claims. As Page Six first reported, the Church of England requires two witnesses for nuptials to be valid — a requirement that Meghan and Harry's private ceremony didn't seem to meet. 

During their interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan said that she and Harry told the Archbishop of Canterbury that the "spectacle" was for the world, but they wanted their actual "union" to be just between them. "The vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the archbishop of Canterbury," Meghan explained. As the United Kingdom's Citizens Advice's website states, there are strict requirements for where a couple can wed in the U.K. A backyard is not on the list, so some might be wondering whether the first wedding was legal.

Harry and Meghan's spokesperson told E! News that the couple "legally married on May 19, as most people thought." There you have it, folks!