Justin Welby on marrying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: ‘I mustn’t drop the rings’
As he prepares to officiate the wedding of the year in front of the watching world, even the Archbishop of Canterbury could be forgiven a few nerves. The Most Reverend Justin Welby has disclosed his biggest concerns ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: dropping the rings and forgetting the vows. The Archbishop, who has formed a close bond with the engaged couple as they prepare for their marriage, admitted he had made both mistakes in recent ceremonies, in a warm interview about the upcoming Royal wedding. The St George’s Chapel service at Windsor Castle will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Revd David Conner, with the Archbishop officiating their vows. Although he will have conducted countless ceremonies in his lifetime, wedding are not a regular part of his role as Archbishop of Canterbury. Asked how he was getting on with preparations for the Royal wedding, the Archbishop told ITV: “Unlike recent weddings, I must not drop the ring. And I must not forget to get the vows in the right order, as I did at the rehearsal for one of my children’s weddings. “You know, at the heart of it is two people who have fallen in love with each other, who are committing their lives to each other with the most beautiful words and profound thoughts, who do it in the presence of God. “Through Jesus Christ you pray for them to have the the strength to fulfill their vows and you seek to do it in a way that respects their integrity and honours their commitment.“ He added: “You just focus on the couple. It’s their day.” “You talk about what they want in the wedding, discuss it with the Dean of Windsor, it’s what you do for weddings, it’s just on an infinitely larger scale.” Asked what he could say about the baptism of Meghan Markle, which took place last week, he said: “Almost nothing at all! Except that it was very special. “It was beautiful, sincere and very moving. It was a great privilege.” In September, Archbishop Welby caused a moment of panic and amusement at the wedding of his director of communications Ailsa Anderson to journalist Simon Cole, dropping the bride’s ring during the ceremony. Mid-vows, he had remarked that he had been given only one ring, before realising one had slipped from his order of service and rolled away under a nearby chair. Shortly after the wedding, the new Mrs Anderson-Cole told the Sunday Telegraph said it had been “absolutely gorgeous” and the Archbishop “so kind”, despite his faux pas. In 2014, Archbishop Welby presided when his son Peter and his new wife Jen were married at Canterbury, and officiated at the wedding of his daughter Katharine to Mike Roberts months later.