Endgame page 128: Inside the leaked Dutch version of Scobie book which names royal ‘racist’

Omid Scobie has insisted he did not name the royals in any version of the book he produced

Athena Stavrou
Sunday 03 December 2023 14:43 GMT
Endgame: Omid Scobie breaks silence over naming of alleged 'royal racists' in Dutch book

A new book about the royal family has reignited a racism row, after it named two members of the family who allegedly made comments about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son.

Endgame, by royal author Omid Scobie, refers to the row that started two years ago after comments made by Meghan Markle in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

But the Dutch version of the book names the individuals said to have been involved as King Charles and the Princess of Wales.

Copies of Scobie’s second book were pulled from the shelves in the Netherlands after they were found to have named the pair in a Dutch translation, though it is not clear how it happened.

According to Scobie, the names were discussed in letters exchanged between the Duchess of Sussex and the King.

Translations of the page posted by a royal commentator read: “After discussing possible unconscious biases within the family, after it was revealed that the King and Princess of Wales had taken part in such conversations about Archie, Kate has avoided discussing the subject with her sister-in-law.”

Questions have been raised about how such a detail was included in the Dutch publication of the book without appearing elsewhere.

Mr Scobie has insisted he did not sign off the book with names in it.

He told Newsnight it was not for him to apologise because he still wanted to know what had happened.

“The buck doesn’t stop with me because there are irresponsible people in this country who’ve broken the law and repeated names that should never have been repeated, should never have been named,” he said.

“The book I edited and signed off on did not have names in it.”

King Charles and the Princess of Wales were named as the royals accused of raising questions about the skin colour of Prince Harry and Meghan’s son before he was born. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The royal reporter and author said that a “translation error” had led to a names appearing in the book, which had been shared with journalists in the Netherlands.

Xander, the publishers of the Dutch version of Endgame, said: “An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified.”

Scobie has insisted that there “has never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it,” but there has been speculation that the names may have been in an earlier draft of the book.

The Dutch translator of the book, Saskia Peeters, refuted claims she had added the names of the two royals in the Dutch translation of her own accord.

Omid Scobie has insisted he did not name the royals in any version of the book he produced (Luke Fontana)

“As a translator, I translate what is in front of me,” she told MailOnline. “The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them. I just did what I was paid to do and that was translate the book from English into Dutch.”

Sharing the pages on Twitter, royal reporter Rick Evers questioned how it is possible to mistranslate a name, and suggested they were included in an earlier manuscript.

He told Good Morning Britain: “There are some debates about how these passages were stated in the book. I would say how could you translate a name wrong?

“I got through the book with a colleague of yours and we saw some passages were missing in the English version. Like a sentence, five sentences between the first and the third part that was in the Dutch version.

“So something has been erased during the work that has been done for the book.”

The claims were initially made against one senior royal in Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, but the couple declined to name the person allegedly behind these remarks, fearing the backlash would be “too damaging for them”.

The claims that questions were raised about Archie’s skin colour were initially made against one senior royal in Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 (Getty Images)

After Meghan and Harry’s interview with Winfrey was made public, Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Noting that “recollections may vary” with regards to the racism allegations put forward by Meghan, they said: “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.”

Buckingham Palace has not responded to any of the claims made in Endgame.

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