A royal biographer has called out Prince Harry for remaining silent about the couple's non-wedding wedding, calling it "appalling" the Archbishop had to come out himself to discredit the story.
Angela Levin, most recently known for Harry: Conversations with the Prince, said the fact the Duke didn't correct Meghan's claim the pair were married in secret three days before their royal wedding was "embarrassing".
"What is embarrassing is for him, the Archbishop of Canterbury, that he had to come out and say that, he didn't want to...," she told Talk Radio in the UK.
"How humiliating, just to create a scene of victimhood you drag in the Archbishop of Canterbury to say something, I think that's appalling.
"It's even more appalling that Harry, who didn't say much because Meghan wouldn't let him get a word in edgeways, in the interview, said 'yes there was just the three of us'.
"So he endorsed what Meghan was saying.
"If Meghan pretended to be naive as she sometimes does and didn't know anything about legality in England she might have thought she got away with it, Harry knows absolutely that it's not true but he didn't dare to speak out and say 'well it wasn't really a wedding...'"
Meghan's story about the wedding caused confusion in the UK because of the laws around the number of witnesses needed for a legal ceremony and the notice which has to be given of forthcoming nuptials.
It also reportedly had Britons fuming over why $58m of taxpayer money was spent on the lavish wedding if the duke and duchess were already married.
But during their shock interview with Oprah Winfrey Meghan said: "Three days before our wedding, we got married."
Meghan said the pair asked the man who would preside over the televised ceremony at St George's Chapel, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to marry them privately at Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace.
However, after it was made clear from Church of England clergy, the Archbishop confirmed the couple were formally married on 19 May 2018 – the royal wedding which was broadcast across the world.
Three weeks after the bombshell interview went to air, the Archbishop of Canterbury blasted the royal couple's claims of a secret marriage, saying that doing so would have been a 'serious criminal offence' on his part.
"The legal wedding was on the Saturday [May 19]," the archbishop confirmed in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
"I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false. So you can make what you like about it," he added.
The Archbishop of Canterbury declined to provide further details on his discussions with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prior to their nuptials.
“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... But I won't say what happened at any other meetings."
A spokesman for the couple clarified that Meghan was referring to an exchange of vows.
And others have also defended the couple, pointing out it's not unusual for a couple to consider a more private exchange of vows as their real wedding.
"Could it just possibly be... that Meghan and Harry considered their private exchange of vows to be the day they got married, while acknowledging that the wedding was the public/legal bit? Which isn’t *that* weird?" Anita Singh, Daily Telegraph arts and entertainment editor, tweeted.
"It was clear that they meant that they had a secret ceremony as a symbolic moment," Guy Pewsey, celebrity director at Grazia, agreed.
Additional reporting by Rebecca Taylor.
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