Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Omid Scobie book Endgame pulped by Dutch publishers after it ‘named royal racist’

Finding Forever author’s latest book contains various claims about the royals - but it is a foreign language edition that is causing the most controversy

Joe Middleton
Wednesday 29 November 2023 13:18 GMT
Omid Scobie opens up on 'upsetting' revelation about Harry and William's relationship

A Dutch translation of a book written by a reported confidant of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has reignited a racism row about the royal family.

Omid Scobie’s book Endgame was released this week and contained claims that it was not one but two members of The Firm who had made derogatory comments about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son Archie’s skin colour.

A version of the book on sale in the Netherlands included an additional paragraph to the English text that named a senior royal accused of making the racially insensitive remark.

Royal journalist Rick Evers, who has read the Dutch translation of the book, said that the name of the first royal is “very specific”, and added there is also a second name mentioned elsewhere that is “a little bit vague”.

Dutch publishers Xander Uitgevers have put sales of the book on hold temporarily over what it calls an error, with thousands of copies expected to be pulped.

Omid Scobie, royal biographer, has denied responsiblity for the additions in the Dutch translation of his book Endgame (BBC Newsnight)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex first made the claim a royal had asked about their son’s skin colour when they were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in 2021.

Ms Markle told the US host: “In those months when I was pregnant... we have in tandem the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title,’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

Meghan and Harry have refused to name the royal involved, but said it was not the late Queen Elizbabeth II or her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mr Scobie claims in Endgame that two people, named in private letters between King Charles and Meghan, raised questions about Archie’s skin colour, but libel laws prevented him from naming the individuals.

Xander Uitgevers said in a statement on its website: “An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified.”

The publisher told The Independent that a “rectified edition” of Mr Scobie’s work would be in bookstores in the Netherlands on Friday 8 December.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationships with his family deteriorated following the interview (Getty Images for Invictus Games )

Mr Scobie has denied responsibility for the mistake in the Dutch translation.

He told Dutch TV: “The book is available in a number of languages and unfortunately I can’t speak Dutch so I haven’t seen the copy for myself, but if there have been any translation errors I am sure the publisher has got it under control.

“For me, I edited and wrote the English version, there has never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it.”

However, Mr Evers has questioned how it is possible to mistranslate a name, and suggested the names of the two royals were in an earlier version of the book manuscript.

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

He added: “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. So my suggestion is that.. the official words from Omid were that it was “never in the production of Omid”.

“Which is way of saying, well if it’s a production, then it is produced, well, it’s my theory, but then a manuscript has never been produced, but it has been used of course. I think it was in the manuscript but legal agents said it’s not a good idea to mention these names because of, well, that’s where we are.”

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

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in