Prince William, Harry issue joint statement blasting 'offensive' relationship claims

Prince William and Prince Harry have blasted "offensive" claims about their relationship.

The pair are currently in crisis talks at the Queen's Sandringham estate following Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle's shocking announcement last week that they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family.

That prompted a curt statement from Buckingham Palace amid reports the Queen was furious Prince Harry had ignored her order not to make a public announcement.

Present at the talks are Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, and Queen Elizabeth. Meghan is understood to have dialled in from Canada, where she fled to following the statement's release on Thursday.

In the lead up to what is being referred to as the Sandringham showdown, reports emerged that one of the reasons for Prince Harry and Meghan's announcement was the pair felt pushed away by Prince William's "bullying" attitude. 

But the brothers have blasted that report from The Times, saying it was "offensive". 

"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."

Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship has been on the rocks for a while. Last year, Prince Harry admitted to an ITV documentary that the pair were on "different paths".

On Sunday, The Sunday Times reported Prince William as saying he can no longer support Prince Harry as he used to. 

"I've put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can't do that anymore... I'm sad about that," William told the paper.

"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."

Journalist Tom Bradby, who documented the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their royal tour of Africa in 2018, claimed the couple felt "driven out" of the family.

"There've been a lot of fallouts... it's gone a bit too far... from Harry and Meghan's point of view, they're being driven out as they see it. And it's sad," Bradby said in an ITV News broadcast.

"There needs to be a peace deal really soon."

Among the topics likely to be discussed at Sandringham is the pair's security arrangements should they become financially independent. Currently, the British taxpayer pays for that. Whether the pair would also retain their royal titles along with their Frogmore Cottage is also up for debate.

According to The Sun, Prince Harry and Meghan could threaten the Queen with doing a tell-all interview if they don't get what they want.

Meghan is said to have already signed a deal with Disney to do a voiceover, potentially signalling how the pair will support themselves going forward.

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