Omid Scobie: Endgame draft text to blame for royal naming error

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Omid Scobie says he had named the two royals in an earlier version of the text
By James Gregory
BBC News

An author whose book triggered a row over allegations of racism in the Royal Family has said an earlier version of the text was to blame for the naming of two royals in one edition.

Omid Scobie said an “early and uncleared” version of Endgame was sent to the Dutch publisher so work could start on translating.

The Dutch edition was not the final version he had submitted, he added.

The translation named King Charles and Catherine, Princess of Wales.

They are reported to have allegedly discussed the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s unborn baby.

The passage in the book relates to allegations made by Prince Harry and Meghan during their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021.

In the interview, Meghan said there had been “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he was born”.

In the English version of the book, Scobie claimed there had been two people involved and that he knew their identities, but he said for legal reasons the names could not be disclosed.

However, the Dutch language edition of his book, entitled Eindstrijd, appeared to identify the two royals alleged to have been involved in the conversation. The BBC has seen a copy of the Dutch translation, which names the King and Catherine as being the two royals that discussed the baby.

Scobie said “my stomach flipped” when he first realised the royals had been named.

Writing in an opinion piece for the i, he said: “Unbeknownst to me at the time, early and uncleared text was provided to the Dutch publisher in order for them to start work on the translation, with the understanding that their translation would be updated to reflect the final version of the book I officially submitted.

“Other foreign-language publishers, including in France and Italy, were also doing the same thing, though their versions perfectly replicated the completed work.

“What I can be sure of is that I edited carefully, took independent legal advice, and the finished book that I submitted was not the version published in the Netherlands.”

Scobie said the only publisher he had worked with was the “one covering the US and UK”.

He previously told the BBC he did not know how the Dutch translation came to name the two royals.

He told Dutch television last week: “For me, I edited and wrote the English version; there has never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it.”

The Dutch edition was withdrawn from sale, with publisher Xander Uitgevers blaming a translation error.

The publisher has been approached for further comment following Scobie’s article.

Meghan’s claims in the Oprah Winfrey interview were explosive – Buckingham Palace called them “concerning” and said they were being “taken very seriously”.

However, in subsequent interviews, Prince Harry was asked whether he would describe the comment about his son’s skin colour as racist, he told ITV’s Tom Bradby in January: “No, I wouldn’t.”

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