The Royal Family is taking legal advice after two senior members at the heart of the Harry and Meghan “racism row” were named on telly tonight.
Piers Morgan announced the names on his TalkTV show, adding that he does not believe "any racist comments were ever made by any of the Royal Family", after thousands of copies of a Dutch version of Endgame by Omid Scobie were pulled for identifying those who allegedly expressed concern over Harry’s son Archie’s skin colour. Royal sources revealed “utter dismay” at the heart of the monarchy after the names were plastered across social media, trending on X for hours today.
The Mirror has chosen not to name the pair. Buckingham Palace is understood to be “considering all options”, including legal action. Mr Scobie, who is due to give his first UK interview on Thursday on ITV’s This Morning, has denied including the names, insisting he was not responsible for translated passages in foreign publications.
The author, often referred to as “Meghan’s pal”, due to their relationship before the release of his book Finding Freedom about Harry and Meghan’s departure from The Firm, said he knew the names, but legal restrictions in the UK barred him from publishing them.
He said: “Having only written and edited the English version of Endgame, I can only comment on that manuscript, which does not name the two individuals who took part in the conversation. I’m happy to hear that the error in the translation of the Dutch edition is being fixed.”
But royal sources tonight dismissed the explanation as “nonsense”, after it was revealed one complete section appeared in the Dutch version of the book that was absent from the English copy. One source said: “As with much of this book, which has ranged from wild conspiracy theories to total mistruths and slighted opinion, all is not what it seems. There is an understanding regarding translation of texts that may contain the odd error, a rather blinding one in this case, but whole paragraphs of mistruths? Surely it’s complete nonsense.”
Palace aides were tonight still scrambling for information as to how excerpts in the Dutch version could have appeared as an “error” from a translated text. Mr Scobie’s book was pulled from sale in the Netherlands while the Dutch publishers said they had been ordered by US bosses to put sales “on hold”.
A statement said: “Xander Uitgevers is temporarily withdrawing the book Eindstrijd by Omid Scobie from sale. An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified.” In TV interviews, Mr Scobie, 42, said he “wanted to get to the bottom of” comments allegedly made by the royals, despite Harry and Meghan choosing not to discuss it in their Netflix series or Harry’s memoir, Spare.
Mr Scobie said he learned letters had been exchanged between Meghan and King Charles after the Sussexes’ 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview and the situation had not been resolved. In the Oprah chat, Harry and Meghan said an unidentified member of the monarchy – but not Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip, had raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his (Archie’s) skin might be when he’s born”. When the Sussexes made their explosive allegations on Oprah, in an interview broadcast around the world, they set in train a public debate about who in the royal family might harbour such racially charged views. In a multicultural modern Britain such allegations against the monarchy generated debate on a matter of such public importance with Scobie's new book claiming to add to that public debate.
It prompted an unprecedented statement from the late Queen, saying “recollections may vary”. Days later, Prince William told a reporter who questioned whether the royals were racists: “We are very much not a racist family.” Mr Scobie states in his book that two people – not one, as Meghan had said – had made the comment about Archie, which has been widely interpreted as a racist remark.
The author then went on to appear on American television to boast about how he knew the names of both royals, but could not reveal them due to legal implications in the UK. But Dutch journalist Rick Evers highlighted a translated page taken from a review copy that in one section appeared to contain the identity of one senior royal in the racism row.
Referring to private correspondence between Meghan and King Charles discussing the issue of the alleged remarks about Archie, the Dutch version of the book reads: “But in those private letters an identity was revealed and confirmed: XXXX (name redacted).” In another entire passage present in the Dutch version of the text that does not feature in the English version, alongside details of Meghan’s letter to the King in which she noted conversations that had taken place by members of the royal family, it reads: “It was revealed that XXX and XXX took part in such conversations about Archie.” Buckingham Palace did not comment tonight.