Meghan and Harry reveal they had private wedding with just archbishop before televised ceremony

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
Britain's Prince Harry poses with Meghan Markle in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, London, Britain, November 27, 2017. |

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an explosive interview that revealed many things about the couple that they never shared publicly, including that they were married before their spectacular wedding ceremony with only the archbishop in attendance. 

Harry and Meghan were publicly wed on May 19, 2018. Millions of people worldwide watched the televised event in which Oprah said she felt  had “a sense of magic.” 

“You came through that door. It seemed like you were floating down the aisle,” the media mogul explained.  

Meghan said her public nuptials felt like an “out-of-body experience” that she was very present for. 

While Oprah visited the family in their California home and spent time in the Duchess of Sussex’s chicken coop, the couple revealed details about their private wedding ceremony three days earlier.

"I think just being able to live authentically, this kind of stuff it's so basic, but it is really fulfilling and just getting back down to basics,” she said of being outdoors feeding her chicken. 

“I was just thinking about it, even our wedding. Three days before our wedding, we got married,” the "Suits" star added. “No one knows that, but we called the archbishop, and we just said, 'Look this thing, this spectacle for the world, but we want our union between us.”

Meghan and Harry were secretly married in a backyard ceremony officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. 

 "So the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with Archbishop of Canterbury, just the three of us,” she disclosed.

Archbishop Welby is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior bishop in the Church of England.

Despite the enchanting televised wedding, Oprah’s full interview with the royals also detailed much drama behind the scenes leading up to the wedding and the four years that followed. 

Markle, 39, said she had not really realized the magnitude of marrying a 1,200-year-old institution, “the monarchy.”

"I will say I went into it naively because I didn't grow up knowing much about the royal family. It wasn't something that was part of conversation at home,” she admitted.

The Duke of Sussex first introduced Markle to the Queen after her majesty finished a church service in Windsor while they were in town.

"I remember Harry and I are in the car and he says, 'Okay, well, my grandmother is there, so you're gonna meet her. [I said,] 'Oh, great. I loved my grandmother. I used to take care of my grandma. This is great.' He goes, 'Great, do you know how to curtsy? I thought genuinely that that was what happens outside. I thought that was part of the fanfare," the former actress explained.

After a “deep” curtsy, Meghan said, "I got there, and we chatted, and it was lovely and easy."

"I thank God I hadn't known a lot about the family," she said. "Thank God, I hadn't researched. I would have been so in my head about all of that.”

When becoming a royal, she admitted she was forced to reflect on her background as a woman of color, an American, a divorcee, an actress who had grown up very independently. However, Meghan expressed how grateful she was for her life experiences.

"Now upon reflection, thank God all those things were true,” she declared. “Thank God I had that life experience. Thank God I had known the value of working.”

Markle noted that her first job was when she was 13 years old at a frozen yogurt shop.

“I've always worked. I've always valued independence. I've always been outspoken, especially about women's rights. That's the sad irony of the last four years is, I've advocated for so long for women to use their voice, and then I was silent.”

Oprah asked if Meghan was silent or silenced. The mom, who will soon have two children, said it was “the latter.”

In the interview, she also said she had to learn all the customs of being a royal on her own, without someone to walk her through it all. Included in what she studied on her own were “30 hymns for church” as the tradition of the monarchy.

Despite being “cut off” from the Royals after leaving England and coming to America, Meghan and Harry have launched a media company named Archewell, where they intend to provide “uplifting” true stories in all that they produce.

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