Prince William and Prince Harry have said an “offensive and potentially harmful” newspaper report published about their relationship today is false.
The Reuters and Press Association news agencies have linked the statement to a report in The Times, citing an unnamed source, which claimed Harry and Meghan had been pushed away by the “bullying attitude” of William.
The report added the Duke of Cambridge had not been welcoming to Meghan.
Spokespeople for the Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge said: “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.
“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.”
The statement comes as the Queen prepares to hold crisis talks with Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles today – the first face-to-face discussions since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to step back from royal duties.
The couple released the statement without consulting or informing any senior members of the family. Members of the Royal Family were said to be disappointed and hurt at the time.
In an unprecedented summit, the senior royals sat down together at Sandringham in Norfolk, where they held “constructive talks”.
It is understood that Meghan, who is in Canada with baby Archie, was due to join the meeting by telephone.
There are thought to be a range of possibilities for the family to review and final decisions will be made in the coming days, Buckingham Palace has said.
These decisions will take into account the thinking outlined by the Sussexes on Wednesday when they announced their intentions to “carve out a progressive new role within the institution”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to comment on the matter during his trip to Northern Ireland on Monday.
“I knew you were going to try something like this!,” he told Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby.
“I don’t, as you know, comment on stuff to do with the Royal Family.”
Despite the complexity of the talks at Sandringham, a palace source has told Sky News that it continues to be the Queen’s request and wish that the discussions about solutions happen at pace and are worked out within days and not weeks.
Meetings between senior members of the family may take place behind closed doors, but this was the first time in recent years that the media was openly briefed about one happening.
It can be seen as a move by the Queen to show she is taking control of the situation after Harry and Meghan unveiled plans to step back as senior royals, become financially independent and split their time between North American and the UK.
A former Royal Marine has said services personnel were “disgusted” by the Duke of Sussex’s behaviour ahead of the summit.
James Glancy said Harry – the marines’ captain general – had been a “great public servant”, citing his two tours of Afghanistan and charity work including the Invictus Games.
But he added that his “behaviour in the last year is not becoming of somebody that holds these important positions, including that of captain general”.
He told LBC: “I’ve spoken to other Royal Marines and other people in the military and they’re very upset if not disgusted at the disrespect to the Queen by not discussing this.
“You can’t do this half and half. You’re either in or you’re out.”
News reporter @TomGillespie1 Prince William and Prince Harry have said an “offensive and potentially harmful” newspaper report published about their relationship today is false. The Reuters and Press Association news agencies have linked the statement to a report in The Times, citing an unnamed source, which claimed Harry and Meghan had been pushed away by the “bullying attitude” of William.