Prince Harry and Prince William break silence to slam 'offensive' story on royal rift

AOL.com Editors

Prince Harry and Prince William have issued a rare joint statement to slam a story that claims the royal breakup was caused by Prince William's "bullying."

The dukes issued the statement -- the first from the brothers since Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping back from their royal duties last week -- to publications on Monday. 

"Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge," the statement read.

It continued: "For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful."

Although the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge did not name the source of the false story, many link the statement to a recent report from the U.K. Times.

The publication claims that the brothers' rift dates back even before Harry married Meghan in 2018 and that it stemmed from "the bullying attitude" of Prince William. The story also added that the couple was frustrated after “constantly being told their place" in the royal family.

It's been reported that Queen Elizabeth will hold a family meeting to discuss last week's bombshell announcement. Prince William, Prince Charles and Prince Harry are all expected to join Her Majesty at her Sandringham Estate on Monday. Meghan, who returned to Canada last week, is expected to join by phone.