The Duchess made the controversial claim during an incendiary two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month. Meghan said she and Harry first took their vows “just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury”.
However, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, confirmed the televised service watched by millions around the world was the Sussexes’ “legal wedding”.
Speaking to Italian newspaper la Repubblica he said: “The legal wedding was on the Saturday.
“I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committee a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false.”
However Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, who described herself as a “political and women’s rights activist”, defended Meghan’s comment.
She tweeted: “Archbishop of Canterbury DIDN’T deny #MeghanAndHarry exchanged personal vows before wedding & CAN’T share about meetings with them.
“#MeghanMarkle DIDN’T say he presided over personal vows but they told him they want private union too.
“Formal wedding & Personal Vows happened. Period.”
The post was retweeted over 150 times and received nearly 1,000 likes.
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During the CBS interview with Ms Winfrey, Meghan said: “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’.”
Harry confirmed the account adding it had been “just the three of us”.
Meghan and Harry’s legal wedding, watched live by hundreds of millions across the world, took place on May 19 at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.
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It was attended by senior members of the Royal Family and a number of celebrities including George Clooney and Ms Winfrey.
However, during his la Repubblica interview Mr Welby didn’t rule out a private service having happened earlier, though it wouldn’t have been a legal marriage.
He commented: “I won’t say what happened at any other meetings.
“If any of you ever talk to a priest, you expect them to keep that talk confidential.
“It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to. I had a number of private and pastoral meetings with the Duke and Duchess before the wedding.”
During the interview with Ms Oprah Meghan spoke movingly about her mental health difficulties admitted she’d had suicidal thoughts since joining the Royal Family.
She also claimed “concerns and conversations” about Archie’s skin colour were raised within the family prior to his birth.
In a statement on behalf of the Queen Buckingham Palace expressed regret at Meghan’s struggles which it said would be addressed “privately”.
However, it added “some recollections may differ” about the events described by the Duchess.
Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family in March 2020.