Prince Harry and Prince William break silence to slam 'offensive' story on royal rift

Prince Harry and Prince William have issued a rare joint statement to slam a story that claims the royal breakup was caused by Prince William's "bullying."

The dukes issued the statement -- the first from the brothers since Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping back from their royal duties last week -- to publications on Monday. 

"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," the statement read.

It continued: "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."

Although the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge did not name the source of the false story, many link the statement to a recent report from the U.K. Times. 

The publication claims that the brothers' rift dates back even before Harry married Meghan in 2018 and that it stemmed from "the bullying attitude" of Prince William. The story also added that the couple was frustrated after “constantly being told their place" in the royal family.

It's been reported that Queen Elizabeth will hold a family meeting to discuss last week's bombshell announcement. Prince William, Prince Charles and Prince Harry are all expected to join Her Majesty at her Sandringham Estate on Monday. Meghan, who returned to Canada last week, is expected to join by phone. 

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The best photos from Meghan and Harry's royal wedding
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The best photos from Meghan and Harry's royal wedding

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex hold hands in the Ascot Landau Carriage as their carriage procession rides along the Long Walk, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) 

Ms. Meghan Markle walks down the aisle at the start of her wedding to Prince Harry in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle following their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Sussex leave St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte sticks out her tongue as she rides in a car to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex kisses his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Danny Lawson / POOL / AFP)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on Castle Hill outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP) 

US actress Meghan Markle, accompanied by Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks down the aisle toward her husband-to-be Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 during their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, are driven along the Long Walk as they arrive for her wedding ceremony to marry Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

(Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP) 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte on the steps of St George's Chapel after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

Meghan Markle is driven to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle along with her page boys Brian and John Mulroney at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Toby Melville- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, stand together at the altar in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 during their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Prince Harry, arrives with his best man Prince William, Duke of Cambridge for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Odd Anderson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive back at Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau Carriage after their wedding ceremony and after their procession in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

(Photo by Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP)

Meghan Markle's mother Doria Ragland, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

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