LONDON: Britain's Prince William and his younger brother Harry publicly denounced an "offensive" newspaper report about their relationship on Monday, as the royals met for crunch talks to discuss the future roles of Harry and his American wife Meghan.
The Times, citing an unnamed source, reported that Harry and Meghan had been pushed away by "a bullying attitude" of William who had not been welcoming to Meghan.
"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," said the statement issued by the offices for William and Harry.
"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."
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The couple had earlier said they would now “balance” their time between Britain and North America and rip up long-established relations with the press, in a surprise statement on Wednesday that appeared to catch Buckingham Palace off guard.
In a short, terse response a short time later, a palace statement said discussions with Harry and Meghan were “at an early stage”.
“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” the palace said.
Media reports said the couple made their shock statement — released on their Instagram account, own website and through Buckingham Palace’s email communications system — without notifying either Harry’s grandmother, the monarch, or father, the future king Prince Charles.