William and Harry deny ‘offensive’ newspaper story about their relationship

Prince William and Prince Harry have issued a firm denial to a “false” newspaper story speculating on their relationship, calling the story “offensive and potentially harmful”.

Their statement does not specify which newspaper they are referring to, but comes after The Times reported a source as saying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex felt they had been pushed out by William’s “bullying” attitude.

The statement reads: “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.”

It comes just hours before the family is due to meet for crunch talks at Sandringham following the Sussexes’ announcement last week that they plan to step down as senior royals.

Yahoo UK has contacted Buckingham Palace.

Prince William and Prince Harry have issued a joint statement following allegations of 'bullying' [Photo: Getty]

READ MORE: Prince Harry steels himself for historic summit with royal family

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement: what the language, timing and tone reveals

Over the weekend it was reported that the Duke of Cambridge has said he can no longer “put his arm around” his brother.

According to The Sunday Times, Prince William said he feels sorrow that he and his brother are now “separate entities”.

“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“I’m sad about that. All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the team.”

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan seek global trademark for 'Sussex Royal' brand

The Sussexes and the Cambridges have been embroiled in rift rumours [Photo: Getty]

Last week, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry surprised the nation when they announced their plans to step down as senior royals in a statement shared last Wednesday.

The announcement was made following the couple’s return from Canada, where they had travelled for their six-week-long break over the Christmas period.

Issues up for discussion today when the Royal Family meets include Meghan and Harry’s future royal duties, and what income they can continue to claim through being royal.

Prince Harry did address rumours of a rift with his brother in a documentary last year [Photo: Getty]

Last year Prince Harry addressed rumours of a reported rift with his brother claiming they are “certainly on different” paths and admitting: “Inevitably stuff happens”.

The Duke opened up in a documentary about him and Meghan’s royal tour of Africa.

“Part of this role, part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it is under, inevitably stuff happens,” he responded.

“But we are brothers, we will always be brothers. We are certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him as I know he will be for me.

He went on to say that though they don’t see each other very often he “loves him dearly.”

While he didn’t directly discuss a potential fall-out the duke went on to say that the “majority of this stuff is created out of nothing.”

He added: “As brothers you have good days and bad days.”