Omid Scobie book Endgame promises to detail Royal Family turmoil

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Omid Scobie’s book takes aim at the “antiquated ideas” of the Royal Family
By Sean Coughlan
Royal correspondent

A controversial book about the Royal Family is expected to pour more fuel on to claims of tensions between Prince Harry and Meghan and his elder brother, Prince William and his wife, Catherine.

Omid Scobie’s Endgame, published on Tuesday, promises to “pull back the curtain on an institution in turmoil”.

The book criticises King Charles as an “unpopular king” and his son, William, as a “power-hungry heir to the throne”.

Buckingham and Kensington Palace are not commenting on the book.

Previously seen as close to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, Scobie has said he did not interview her for the book and “the Sussexes have nothing to do with” this publication.

Representatives of Harry and Meghan have not commented on the book’s claims of palace intrigue and briefings, which Mr Scobie told US-TV broadcaster ABC had caused “irreparable damage in the relations” between Harry and William, the Prince of Wales.

But for those expecting new scandals similar to those emanating from Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir, Spare, a report in the New York Times, based on an early sighting of the book, says gossip hunters are likely to be “disappointed”.

Among the newsier lines, the author returns to the 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview, with its claims a member of the Royal Family had been asking about the skin colour of Meghan and Prince Harry’s baby.

Endgame is not expected to name names – but in interviews about the book, Scobie has said the two people involved were mentioned in letters between Meghan and the King.

Omid Scobie’s latest book looks at tensions within the Royal Family

While Spare was based on Prince Harry’s first-hand experience, Endgame is attributed to “sources”.

Criticism of Catherine, the Princess of Wales, seems to be a theme, with accusations she appears in photo opportunities but takes on few substantial projects and is uncomfortable with some public engagements.

Rivalries and jealousies within the palaces will be discussed, along with claims of an unhealthy relationship with the tabloid press.

And the book depicts the King as head of an institution “plagued by incidents involving antiquated ideas around race, class and money”, with younger people increasingly unsympathetic to the monarchy.

Awkward timing

Recent YouGov polling suggests 59% of people think the King is “doing a good job”, with 17% saying he is “doing a bad job” and others undecided.

And this month, the Big Issue praised him for spending his recent birthday promoting the magazine for the homeless and visiting a warehouse distributing items for food banks.

Endgame excerpts released in the US last week describe the hours before Elizabeth II’s death, in 2022, including how Prince Harry heard of the death from the BBC website rather than his family – a story previously told by the prince himself.

With signs of improving relations between Prince Harry and his family – including a 75th-birthday call for his father – this book’s publication might be seen as awkward timing, with its reheating of old arguments.

Olive branches seem to be the current mood, rather than burning bridges.

Or it might be seen as a slightly retrospective book, in a royal soap opera that has moved on from the claims and counter-claims of Prince Harry and Meghan’s departure to the US.

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