British royals Prince Harry and Prince William have denied reports alleging they have fallen out over the treatment of Harry’s wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.
Britons were left shocked after Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping back from their royal roles last week, with royal officials and Queen Elizabeth II reportedly kept out of the loop until just before they went public.
Ahead of a “summit” on Monday, there has been feverish speculation about the state of Harry and William’s relationship, with a report in The Times newspaper quoting a source saying they have grown apart due to the Duke of Cambridge’s “bullying” attitude towards Meghan.
In a statement, which didn’t mention the newspaper by name, royal officials 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.”
According to The Guardian, it is believed the statement is referring to The Times report. Editors at its sister paper, The Sunday Times, also claimed William told a friend, “I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities.”
Queen Elizabeth was reportedly blindsided by her grandson and his wife’s announcement they are stepping back from their royal roles, and is holding Monday’s family summit, which Meghan will reportedly dial into from Canada, where she is with their eight-month old son Archie.
The royals will discuss the couple’s plans to reduce their royal duties and become financially independent while splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada.