Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Were Not Legally Married in Private Backyard Ceremony

Meghan Markle surprised fans when she revealed she married Prince Harry in a secret, intimate wedding before the full-blown televised event. But it turns out, it wasn't as official as you might think.

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 09, 2021 1:02 AMTags

Meghan Markle recounted her harrowing experience within the royal family during her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, March 8. But despite all the bumps in the road, she said her fairytale does have a happy ending, now that she has escaped with her Prince Charming. 

She even revealed an adorable chapter of her love story with Prince Harry that the pair had never shared before. During the CBS special, Meghan dropped the news that "we got married" three days before their televised wedding took place on May 19, 2018. 

"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 said. "The vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the archbishop of Canterbury." Harry chimed in to confirm it was "just the three of us." 

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All Meghan Markle's Outfits From Her Royal Wedding Weekend

Though the private backyard ceremony sounds oh-so-romantic, Meghan and Harry's spokesperson tells E! News the couple was, in fact, legally married on May 19, as most people thought.

Their three-person vow exchange appears to be mostly for sentimental reasons, rather than legally binding ones. 

Alexi Lubomirski

Almost three years later, Meghan made it clear she feels at "peace" now that the couple has settled in California and are expecting another child, a baby girl, they revealed on Sunday.

And although the whole world was watching at the time, Meghan and Harry still managed to make their spectacle of a wedding feel "intimate" for the 600 guests that were lucky enough to attend, including Oprah, Serena Williams, Troian Bellisario, Priyanka Chopra, David and Victoria Beckham and Amal and George Clooney.

According to audio from the 2019 exhibit "A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," Meghan said in a recording, "A great level of detail went into the planning of our wedding day." She went on, "We knew how large the scale of the event would be. So, in making choices that were really personal and meaningful, it could make the whole experience feel intimate."

Of course, her unforgettable bridal look included a boatneck Givenchy gown and the Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, which was on loan from Queen Elizabeth for the big day.

Ben Birchhall/AP/Shutterstock

In the new interview with Oprah, Meghan shared another detail from her wedding: She was left in tears after she and Kate Middleton butt heads over the flower girls' dresses. The Duchess of Sussex explained, "It made me cry and it really hurt my feelings."

She noted, "I don't say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard… and [Kate] was upset about something and she owned it and she apologized and sent flowers and a note, apologizing. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it."

The Palace has not yet responded to the claims, but royal biographer Omid Scobie told E! News it's likely the royal family will provide a statement within the week.

Read more bombshells from the tell-all interview here.

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