The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has addressed for the first time the claim Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made in their Oprah Winfrey interview that they married three days prior to the televised Royal Wedding.

In an exclusive interview with Italian newspaper La Republica, Welby was asked if there is any truth to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's claims. He confirmed that the legal wedding did take place on May 19, 2018. Their marriage certificate proved this and he said he even signed the document himself.

"The legal wedding was on the Saturday. 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 said.

However, Welby refused to reveal what happened when he met with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle three days before their Royal Wedding. He said it is confidential information although he did confirm that he had conversations with the couple several times before the ceremony.

"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," Welby said as he further reiterated that the "legal wedding was on the Saturday."

In their Oprah interview, Meghan Markle said that she and Prince Harry had a secret marriage ceremony in their backyard. They exchanged vows in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was not a legal ceremony though, as their marriage certificate proved. It lacked witnesses, as there were just the three of them, and it was held at an unauthorised or unregistered venue.

Apparently, what happened was just a private exchange of vows with the Archbishop of Canterbury as a witness. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have since admitted that they did not have an official ceremony three days prior to their Royal Wedding at the St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Royal wedding of Harry and Meghan
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for their wedding in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS