Harry and Meghan did privately exchange vows days before wedding

The Sussexes exchanged symbolic vows in private three days before their televised wedding ceremony

Natasha Preskey
Wednesday 24 March 2021 18:13 GMT
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle now admit they did not have a secret wedding

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did exchange symbolic vows in private days before their official legal wedding in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, The Independent has learned.

During their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, Harry and Meghan said they had married three days before their official wedding ceremony that was broadcast live to an audience of 18 million on 19 May 2018.

The Duchess of Sussex told Winfrey: "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’.

“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.”

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Harry chimed: “Just the three of us” before playfully singing the words to the tune of Bill Withers’s hit Eighties song, “Just The Two of Us”.

Following the tell-all interview, fans speculated about whether or not the couple’s private ceremony was legally binding or not, and whether they were already officially married when TV viewers watched them walk up the aisle.

Many pointed out that a legal marriage ceremony must take place in a licensed venue in the presence of two witnesses (two people in addition to the couple getting married).

Now it has been confirmed that the ceremony the Sussexes were referring to was a symbolic exchange of vows - which they have framed in their California home - not a legally-binding event.

The Faculty Office confirmed that a marriage license for the Sussexes had been signed on 14 May 2018. “The Registrar of the @Faculty_Office has signed the special marriage license for HRH The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to be married in St George’s Chapel in Windsor,” the organisation tweeted.

Having a symbolic ceremony in addition to a legal one is common practice, especially among couples who wish to get married abroad.

It is also a choice sometimes made by people who want to have their wedding at a particular beauty spot or non-licensed venue.

Symbolic weddings are a common choice for participants in the programme Don’t Tell The Bride, in which grooms organise a wedding for their partner, who is not aware of where the wedding will be held until the day itself.

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