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by Mick the Ram
The author of a recently released book about the Royal Family has claimed he has “no idea” how a Dutch translation of the publication came to reveal King Charles III and Catherine, Princess of Wales, as the two people who questioned the colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s unborn baby, back in 2021, sparking racism allegations at that time.
Omid Scobie, a 42-year-old British journalist based in the US, denied that it was all a publicity stunt and said that in his version of Endgame – his second Royal book – the pair were not named and what transpired in the Netherlands was simply “an error” although the translator of the book said she had simply translated what she was given.
It was during a controversial interview just over two years ago with TV chat-show host, Oprah Winfrey, that Meghan Markle caused a sensation when speaking of a conversation between herself and another member of the royal family – the name of whom she was unwilling to disclose – which probed “how dark” the couples forthcoming child (Prince Archie) might be.
Mr Scobie said the row has “overshadowed” the release of his book, and confirmed that he had received several death threats in all the aftermath.
Publishing house Xander Uitgevers said the withdrawn Dutch version would be rectified and re-released shortly.
Harry and Meghan have so far remained silent on this latest development.
The Palace have not yet responded, although a spokesperson did say they were “exploring all options”.
Mr Scobie said that a “full investigation” was under way to discover how the names had been allowed to be included in the Dutch language edition of his book, entitled Eindstrijd. He insisted that in the English version which he edited, nobody was named.
He claimed that he knew their identities, but he said for legal reasons they could not be disclosed. However, that very fact seems contentious given that in the interview, Ms Markle spoke of the conversation being with just one member of the royal family.
He went on to say that he had been “hurt” by allegations that it was all pre-arranged to generate interest in the book, calling them conspiracy theories. “All of this is frustrating because it feeds into something that couldn’t be further from the truth, and also, quite frankly, I’ve always felt the names weren’t needed to have this discussion.” That seems to be the line he is sticking to.
Asked if he would apologise for the naming, he said: “It is not for me to apologise”, repeating that he had never included any names in his manuscript.
Translator questions author’s response
The actual reference to the Princess is vague and brief, although the naming of the King is very clear, albeit it is given in a short, and unexplained line. The Dutch translator, Saskia Peeters, refuted claims she had added the names of the two royals of her own accord, asserting that the names were very much “there in black and white” in the manuscript she had been sent.
Endgame is the second Royal Family book that Mr Scobie has produced. In 2020, he co-wrote a biography of Meghan Markle, entitled: Finding Freedom. That in itself had some controversy attached to it, with Meghan being forced to apologise in court after initially stating that she “did not contribute” to the biography.
She admitted that she had “forgotten” having provided what she would describe as: “briefing notes” to one of her aides who she knew was in touch with Mr Scobie.
Sussexes keeping out of it – for now
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, although remaining tight-lipped at present, are believed to be strongly rejecting any suggestion that they, or any member of their team, provided Mr Scobie with the private letters, supposedly identifying those involved.
The couple have been adamant previously in not wanting to disclose who it was that was involved, although that does beg the question as to why the comment was made in the first place, were that to be the case.
Regarding the colour row, Prince Harry has on record emphasised that it was all about “unconscious bias” within his family, rather than racism.
William’s uncomplimentary comments
In Endgame, Scobie paints Harry’s brother, William, as emotionally volatile and manipulative. He is described as a “company man – an institutional champion who has privately embraced the draconian tactics of an antiquated and often vicious institution”.
Continuing he also seems to suggest that the future King is an ambitious, but “hot-headed prince”, determined to lead the royal family into a future that “rips up” the rulebook, and will do things “the Cambridge way”.
He adds that he believes that the relationship between the brothers is unlikely to be mended any time soon.
Out of date
The author makes no secret of his past association with the Sussexes, and there is no doubting that the publication is extremely sympathetic to the couple.
The overall feeling the book has left with many observers is that much of it is already at least two years out-of-date and heavily ambiguous, which is not the reaction Mr Scobie would have been hoping for.
Meghan’s contact with “mouthpiece”
Despite denials, it is natural for suspicions to be raised, given that the author has previously admitted that when the royal couple began dating he decided he was going to: “Work my damn hardest to make sure I was close to every single person in their lives.”
He has earned for himself the uncomplimentary tag of being “Meghan’s mouthpiece” for his favourable reporting of both the Duke and Duchess, and he has also already revealed that Ms Markle has personally called him after learning that he had received serious threats on social media.