NEWS
27/11/2017 11:43 GMT | Updated 27/11/2017 12:41 GMT

Justin Welby Dodges Questions About Royal Engagement 24 Hours Before Wedding Announced

Did the Archbishop of Canterbury have the inside scoop?

Just 24 hours before Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle was announced to the public, the Archbishop of Canterbury was forced to dodge inquiries about whether the Royal was about to pop the question. 

Appearing on ITV’s Peston on Sunday yesterday, Justin Welby was grilled about the couple’s potential engagement, with Robert Peston suggesting he could have had a “tip off” about Harry getting down on one knee. 

The leader of the Church of England grinned sheepishly as the presenter asked: “There is a total obsession in the newspapers today about Prince Harry about to pop the question to Meghan Markle - have you had a tip off on the inside track that this is about to happen?” 

ITV
The Archbishop of Canterbury grinned sheepishly as he was questioned about the potential engagement 

The Archbishop of Canterbury traditionally plays a significant role in Royal weddings.  

While Welby’s predecessor Rowan Williams conducted the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, the Queen and Prince Phillip were also married by an Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Mark Blinch / Reuters
Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle was announced this morning 

But a smiling Welby brushed off the question, joking: “Well I certainly wouldn’t tell you if I had and I certainly wouldn’t tell you if I hadn’t.” 

When asked whether he expected to officiate the ceremony, he stutteringly  added: “That will be decided in due course, if there’s a wedding, but as I have nothing that I could possibly say on that, as you well know...”  

Today, England’s senior bishop took to Twitter to congratulate the couple, saying he was “absolutely delighted to hear the news”. 

“I wish them many years of love, happiness and fulfilment – and ask that God blesses them throughout their married life together,” he wrote.