Archbishop of Canterbury says Church of England has 'dealt with' Meghan Markle's divorce

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has said that Meghan Markle's divorce is something the Church of England has 'dealt with' in the same way that it would with any other couple.

Speaking as he prepares to officiate at Meghan's wedding to Prince Harry in May, Archbishop Welby was asked whether her previous marriage was an issue.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement at Kensington Palace.Reuters

'It's not a problem,' he said. 'The Church of England has clear rules with dealing with that and we've dealt with that.

'We went through that as anyone would who will officiate at a wedding where someone has been separated and a partner is still living.'

In 2002, the Church of England agreed that divorced people could remarry in church, with the discretion of the priest.

Markle married Trevor Engelson, an American film producer, in 2011. They filed for divorce in 2013, citing 'irreconcilable differences'.

It was announced earlier this month that the Archbishop, who has written a new book called Reimagining Britain – Foundations for Hope, would officiate as the couple take their marriage vows on May 19.

The service will begin at noon at St George's Chapel with the Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner, conducting the service.

Prince Harry and Markle announced their engagement in November. The following day, Kensington Palace confirmed that Markle, who identifies as Protestant, would be baptised and confirmed ahead of her wedding day.

Asked what difference Markle, who is of mixed race, could make to the royal family, the Archbishop said: 'The wedding is going to be wonderful. I'm looking forward to it enormously.

'I think one of the places I started when I was writing [he book] was the excitement of living in a much more diverse country than the one I grew up in 45, 50 years ago, and what a gift that can be rather than a threat.'