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Charles and Kate named as royals at centre of Endgame racism row as palace ‘considering all options’

The ‘translation error’ meant the Dutch versions were dramatically pulled from shelves and pulped at the eleventh hour

Alex Ross
Friday 01 December 2023 11:23 GMT
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Omid Scobie fights back tears as he defends Endgame following backlash

It’s described as a book exposing the dysfunction and distrust at the heart of the British monarchy – but since its publication, Omid Scobie’s book Endgame has become a tumultuous saga in its own right.

The royal racism row was reignited when a Dutch translation of the book identified King Charles and the Princess of Wales as the two senior royals who allegedly raised “concerns” about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son.

The apparent “translation error” meant the Dutch versions were dramatically pulled from shelves and pulped at the eleventh hour, but not before the names began circulating on social media.

Piers Morgan used his TalkTV show on Thursday night to give the names to the British audience, claiming those in the country “who actually pay for the royal family are entitled to know, too”.

The latest twist in the story has increased pressure on Buckingham Palace, which is reportedly “considering all options”, but is yet to respond.

Appearing on This Morning on Thursday, Mr Scobie brushed off the naming of the senior royalsclaiming he never submitted the book with the names in.

He later told BBC Two’s Newsnight that a “full investigation” was underway to discover how the names were included in the translation amid questions that the move was a PR stunt designed to boost sales.

The row was initially sparked in the wake of a bombshell interview of Harry and Meghan by Oprah Winfrey in 2021, where they alleged an unidentified member of the monarchy had raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.

In the interview, Meghan said a member of the Royal Family – but not Queen Elizabeth II or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh – had raised “concerns” over the skin colour of Archie, but fell short of naming them, stating it “would be very damaging to them”.

But in his book, Mr Scobie states that two people, not one as Meghan said, made the comment about Archie, widely interpreted as a racist remark.

The names are not included in the UK version of the book, where Mr Scobie writes laws “prevent me from reporting who they were”. However, they were named in the Dutch version, entitled Eindstrijd.

In his interview on Newsnight, Mr Scobie said the controversy had overshadowed the release of the book with thejournalist saying he had received death threats as he continued to claim he was not responsible for the naming the two royals.

He said he only discovered the issue on social media, denying accusations he deliberately included the names in book to general interest.

However, Mail Online claimed to find the translator of the book’s Dutch edition, who told the outlet: “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.”

Talking to the BBC, Mr Scobie said: “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”.

Asked if he would apologise, he said: “It’s not for me to apologise because I still want to know what has happened.”

The Dutch language edition of his book has since been withdrawn from sale with publisher Xander Uitgevers reportedly re-releasing a “rectified” version on Friday.

But for the Royal Family it is too late, with headlines around the world focusing again on the relationship with Harry and Meghan, and resurfaced claims of racism within the institution.

As the Palace remains silent on the situation, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak chose to steer clear of commenting on the row as he flew to Dubai for the Cop28 climate talks. Asked about the controversy, he said: “By longstanding and appropriate convention it wouldn’t be right for me to talk about the royal family in any way shape or form.”

Meanwhile, the Prince and Princess of Wales were said to appear “relaxed” at the Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday night. After the show, pop singer Paloma Faith said: : “I was just saying how relaxed they [William and Kate] are and warm.”

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