How Omid Scobie has reignited Harry and Meghan 'racist royal' row

How Omid Scobie has reignited ‘racist royal’ row after Harry and Meghan distanced themselves from it – as Endgame author tells Vanity Fair he was ‘interested and confused’ about why the Sussexes failed to mention it in Netflix documentary or Spare

  • Meghan accused royal of expressing ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin colour in 2021
  • But Omid Scobie says row ‘disappeared out of sight’ after Oprah Winfrey chat 

Omid Scobie has spectacularly reignited the row over the alleged ‘royal racists’ with his book Endgame after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle both retreated from it.

The author has said in interviews this week that he wondered why the couple did not continue the discussion after Meghan accused an unnamed royal of expressing ‘concern’ about her future son Archie’s skin colour in her Oprah Winfrey chat in 2021.

Mr Scobie told how the row ‘disappeared out of sight’, despite the Sussexes having a chance to say more about it in their Netflix documentary and Harry’s memoir Spare.

The 42-year-old said he ‘wanted to get to the bottom of that’ and learned that letters had been exchanged between Meghan and King Charles III after the Oprah show.

Mr Scobie also claimed there was a second ‘royal racist’ – but insisted he could not name them, saying: ‘Those are two names that I have to keep to myself for now.’

When promoting Spare in January, Harry said there were ‘concerns’ about Archie’s skin colour but described the comments as ‘unconscious bias’ rather than ‘racism’.

Today, the row intensified further after a Dutch journalist claimed the translation of Endgame in the Netherlands appeared to have named both ‘royal racists’.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with their children Archie and Lilibet in December 2021

Speaking to ABC show GMA3 yesterday, Mr Scobie said the Sussexes have managed to have positive conversations with King Charles since the Oprah interview.

READ MORE Second member of Royal Family ‘is named as racist’ in Omid Scobie’s book: Dutch translation of Endgame appears to identify two family members ‘accused of speaking about Archie’s skin colour’ – as publishers desperately pulp copies

He said: ‘There are many people that argued it’s normal to have conversations about what a child might look like at birth.

‘I think the problematic term that Meghan raised were that there were ‘concerns’ over the colour of Archie’s skin and I always wondered why Harry and Meghan didn’t continue that conversation in the Netflix series and Harry’s book Spare.

‘It’s like it disappeared out of sight and I wanted to get to the bottom of that, so to discover more about these letters that had been exchanged between Meghan and Charles after that Oprah interview.’

Mr Scobie added that the Sussexes and Charles don’t ‘see eye to eye on that to this day’, but said: ‘They’re able to at least share their queries and concerns about those conversations that happened within the family’.

In a separate interview with Vanity Fair published yesterday, Mr Scobie said he was ‘interested and confused’ by the lack of discussion about the row from Harry and Meghan after the Oprah interview.

He said: ‘When it comes to the conversations about Archie, for example, I was genuinely interested and confused as to why we didn’t hear Harry and Meghan talk about it.

‘Again, this huge allegation made on the Oprah interview and then suddenly doesn’t come up in the Netflix special even though there was a whole section on race. It doesn’t come up in Spare.

‘We discovered that there were conversations over letters between Charles and Meghan, and I was really interested to know what they touched on and how it was left.

Harry told ITV’s Tom Bradby in an interview in January that the Royal Family was not racist

‘I thought it was one of the only moments in recent years that showed some maturity between concerned parties, because they had exchanges rather than burying heads under the sand or sweeping things under the rug.

Omid Scobie’s new book Endgame about the Royal Family has been released this week

‘Here were two adults who did not see eye-to-eye on the issue – that was quite clear in how it was conveyed to me by the sources that I spoke to. Although they were able to both share how they felt, I think for Charles, there was a worry over how these conversations had been perceived.

‘And it is ‘conversations,’ as we’ve now learned that there were two family members involved. Charles is the head of the household or the boss, so it was good to see him engaging in that conversation with Meghan even if it was left with two people feeling very differently about the situation.’

Mr Scobie also spoke about the row in another interview with ABC broadcast on the network’s Nightline programme last night, saying he could not name those involved.

He said: ‘Unfortunately, those are two names that I have to keep to myself for now. But I do wonder if that might change over the future. It does seem that Harry and Meghan have decided to put that to rest.’

Harry and Meghan with Archie as a baby while visiting South Africa on September 25, 2019

Omid Scobie appears on ABC programme Nightline which aired early this morning in the US

He added: ‘We know from sources that Charles was horrified that’s how Meghan felt those conversations were and that he wanted to, sort of as a representative of the family, have that conversation with her.’

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When Harry was promoting Spare in January, he denied calling the Royal Family racist but said they were guilty of ‘unconscious bias’ while discussing Meghan’s claim to Oprah.

The original claim about racism was made by Meghan in her infamous Oprah interview when she revealed there were ‘several conversations’ between herself, Harry and members of the Royal Family about ‘how dark’ their unborn baby Archie would be.

‘In those months when I was pregnant [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born,’ Meghan said in the interview.

Harry added: ‘That conversation, I am never going to share. It was awkward, I was a bit shocked.’ Meghan added: ‘I think it would be very damaging for them.’

Oprah had asked Meghan: ‘They were concerned that if he were too brown, that would be a problem? Are you saying that?’

And Meghan responded: ‘If that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?’

It prompted a worldwide guessing game about the senior royal who said it and hours later Harry’s estranged brother, Prince William, was forced to publicly remark that they were ‘very much not a racist family’.

Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare statement and said ‘the issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning’ but stressed that ‘recollections may vary’.

The original claim about racism was made by Meghan in her infamous Oprah Winfrey interview of March 2021 when she revealed there were ‘several conversations’ between herself, Harry and members of the Royal Family about ‘how dark’ their unborn baby Archie would be

Harry later clarified the royal was not Queen Elizabeth II or the Duke of Edinburgh. 

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But the Duke then told ITV’s Tom Bradby in January that the Royal Family was not racist.

Bradby said: ‘You accused members of your family of racism.’ But Harry replied: ‘No I didn’t. The British press said that. Did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?’

Harry then insisted the comments made about his son Archie’s skin colour were ‘unconscious bias’.

The Duke did not refer to the Oprah interview in Spare, but was asked by Bradby: ‘Wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?’

The Duke replied: ‘I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family.’ But he added: ‘The difference between racism and unconscious bias… the two things are different.

‘But once it’s been acknowledged, or pointed out to you as an individual, or as an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow from that so that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.’

Harry was also asked at the time on ABC’s Good Morning America whether the Royal Family needed to modernise, and said: ‘I think the same process that I went through with regarding my own unconscious bias would be hugely beneficial to them.

‘Not racism, but unconscious bias, if not confronted, if not learned and grown from, that can then move into racism. But there was an enormous missed opportunity with my wife.’

Omid Scobie is pictured outside the Good Morning America studios in New York yesterday

During the interview, Harry also said: ‘I think my mother would have realised the missed opportunity with Meghan being part of the institution, part of the monarchy.’

READ MORE ‘I didn’t do it’: Panicked Omid Scobie denies responsibility for error in Dutch copy of Endgame that ‘names the royal racist’ accused of speaking about Archie’s skin colour as sales of controversial book are halted in Holland and offending copies pulped

In his new book Mr Scobie refers to an exchange of letters between Meghan and her father-in-law that were said to address the duchess’s ‘concerns about unconscious racial bias in the royal family’ and contained ‘damning details’.

Mr Scobie goes on to say that Charles first reached out to Meghan in spring 2021 to express his sadness over the ‘distance’ between them and his disappointment that the couple chose to go so public with their words.

Despite the clear inferences in her interview, Mr Scobie falls over himself to stress that Meghan never used the words racist or racism when she spoke about the event or in her private letters.

Now, it has been claimed today that two Royal Family members appear to have been named as the ‘royal racists’ in the Dutch translation of Endgame .

Dutch royal journalist Rick Evers revealed on ITV ‘s Good Morning Britain that the first name was ‘very specific’, while the second one was ‘a little bit vague’.

It comes after Mr Scobie’s book was pulled from sale in the Netherlands yesterday after it apparently named one of the ‘royal racists’. The author’s Dutch publishers said they had been ordered by US bosses to put sales ‘on hold’ at the eleventh hour.

Thousands of copies of Endgame, which was published globally yesterday to withering reviews for its vindictiveness toward the Royal Family, face being pulped.

In the English-language edition Mr Scobie does not name the royal accused by Meghan of expressing ‘concern’ about the skin colour of her future son Archie.

But the book alleges that in her letters to discuss the situation the duchess claims similar remarks were made by a second person in the Royal Household.

William, Harry, Meghan and Charles speak together at Westminster Abbey in March 2019

In the English version, Mr Scobie says he knows the names of both individuals but ‘laws in the United Kingdom prevent me from reporting who they were’. The same sentence is in the Italian edition.

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However a page taken from a review copy of the book sent to Dutch journalists this week clearly points the finger at a senior royal.

Referring to the letters discussing the issue, it reads dramatically: ‘But in those private letters an identity was revealed and confirmed: [The Mail has redacted the name concerned and will not be repeating it].’

It is unclear why one foreign language version of the book would name a specific individual when no other editions appear to do so. And it should be stressed that there is no evidence the claim itself is even true.

Mr Evers, who first revealed yesterday that the book had identified one of the ‘royal racists’, told Good Morning Britain today: ‘Names of two senior royals are mentioned during the book.’

Host Richard Madeley then asked: ‘Can I be clear about this, there are two names in the book?’

And Mr Evers replied: ‘Yes, the first one is very specific. The second one is a little bit vague, if this person is really involved in the story. But the first one is very clear and the official way was that it was a translation issue. There are some debates about how these passages were stated in the book. I would say how could you translate a name wrong?’

Mr Madeley then said: ‘Well, I was going to ask you, how do you mistranslate a name. You can mistranslate a word or a sentence, but a name? Do you buy that explanation from the publishers that it’s a translation error?

Meghan, Harry, William and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in July 2018

Mr Evers responded: ‘I can’t believe it. I got through the book with a colleague of you 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.

READ MORE Prince William is accused of silencing Princess Diana by stopping the BBC re-broadcasting her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir to protect the Firm by Omid Scobie in his new book

‘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. So 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.’

The Dutch version doesn’t just include the specific royal’s name but contains no mention whatsoever of Mr Scobie’s claim in the English version that he is prevented by law from repeating it.

A spokesman for the Dutch publisher, Xander, told the Mail: ‘You are right but I can’t talk about the details. We have, however, received a request to put the title on hold and that is what we have done.’

Asked when that request was received, she explained: ‘Just now. We are awaiting further instructions. I do not know how long this will be. You should speak to the US agent.’

They later claimed it was an ‘error’ and was ‘currently being rectified’.

Adding to the confusion, Mr Scobie told Dutch chat show RTL Boulevard that he did not mention a name in his manuscript.

He added: ‘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.

King Charles III attends St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, on Sunday

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

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HarperCollins in New York, Mr Scobie’s publishers, did not respond to requests for comment.

Two major bookshops in central Amsterdam said they had not received deliveries as expected yesterday, though offered to order a copy for delivery ‘in about a week’.

There was no comment on anything relating to Endgame from Buckingham Palace, which has treated the book with a contemptuous silence.

One royal source told the Mail yesterday that it was ‘thoroughly littered with errors that discredited it as a piece of journalism’.

The furore began yesterday after Mr Evers leaked the name on social media.

That meant that while Mr Scobie, 42, was gleefully waving to photographers in New York and embarking on a round of chat show appearances to publicise his new tome, the name of the senior royal supposedly concerned was being shared on social media – although most reactions to it were disbelieving and sympathetic.

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