Meghan and Harry: Royals 'can't come back from this' says Greer
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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry saw down with Oprah Winfrey in an intimate interview during which Meghan talked about why the couple left the UK, the racism they suffered and how they were silenced. The Duchess of Sussex claimed the couple were “married” before the Windsor Castle ceremony on May 19, 2018, but the validity has been questioned by many.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex interview with Oprah Winfrey was watched by 11.1m people in the UK on Monday.
The 90-minute interview was filled with bombshell revelations with Meghan accusing the Royal Family of fostering an atmosphere of racial hostility which led her to suicidal thoughts while she was pregnant with her first child.
Speaking to Oprah Winfrey, Meghan said: It was all happening just because I was breathing.
“I just didn’t want to be alive any more. That was a clear, real, frightening and constant thought.”
The royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was watched by 29 million people in the UK and 23m in the USA.
Speaking about her wedding to Oprah Winfrey, Meghan said the ceremony at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, was a “spectacle for the world”.
Meghan revealed the couple decided they wanted to have their own special moment and had their own private ceremony on May 16, 2018.
She said: “Three days before our wedding we got married. The vows we have framed.”
The Duchess of Sussex 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.”
She revealed the ceremony included “just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury”.
ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship tweeted: “How do you call up Justin Welby and ask for an additional wedding three days before the main event? It can’t have been a wedding without witnesses. Even with the Archbishop there #OprahMeghanHarry”.
Reverend Tiffer Robinson, a Church of England vicar in Suffolk, wrote on Twitter: “She’s entitled to consider it her marriage if she wants to. Americans are much less concerned with the specifics of marriage law than English clergy. Most of their wedding ceremonies aren’t legal weddings … saying ‘we really got married three days before in a secret ceremony’ is not actually the same as saying they were legally wed three days before everyone thought they were.”
One social media user tweeted: “How can you believe her. One minute she says she was married three days before the Royal Wedding but in fact, it was only an exchange of vows. Not legal so we are told by officials”.
Another person wrote: “It doesn’t have to be a legal marriage. It sounds like they chose to spiritually join on their own terms. I fail to see the issue here. The massive royal wedding is a show for the people. I imagine it’s hard to really immerse yourself in that or enjoy it.”
One Twitter user said: “If it wasn’t witnessed how could it be a legal wedding? Secondly, why have a wedding before a full-on, expensive Royal Wedding? They might have had a blessing but that’s not a wedding.”
One person added: “Some people seem to be amazed that Hazza and Megs got legally married before their Royal wedding – it is normal protocol. The legal/civil ceremony always happens before the religious ceremony for the Royals. #HarryandMeghan”.
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The Sussex couple’s marriage registration has never been shared publicly.
This is not unusual for Royal Family members with certificates not being shared for the weddings of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank or Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
Other royal wedding register pages, including that of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, were put into the public domain after the ceremony.
A representative for the Church of England has declined to comment on this topic, stating the “archbishop does not comment on personal or pastoral matters.”
What makes a wedding legal?
In Britain, there are certain conditions which must be met to make a wedding legal.
Opposite sex couples can marry in a civil or religious ceremony, while same-sex couples can only get married in religious ceremonies if the religious organisation has agreed to marry the couple.
To make a wedding legally binding, two witnesses are required.
Meghan did not make any reference to witnesses which has called into question whether the private wedding was in fact legal.
Some experts instead claim the private event on May 16 was a private commitment ceremony instead of their actual marriage.
There are also strict rules about outdoor weddings in England and Wales.
The premises for a wedding must be regularly open to members of the public, so private homes are unlikely to be approved since they are not normally open to the public.
Stately homes, hotels and civic buildings are likely to be thought suitable.
However, approval will not be given for open-air venues, such as moonlit beaches or golf courses.
At the time of their wedding, Harry and Meghan were living at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
The Archbishop of Canterbury may have been able to grant a special license in some circumstances, but most likely would not have been able to overcome the legal need for weddings to be undertaken in a licensed venue and the need for two present witnesses.
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