Scobie draft ‘WAS sent to his Dutch publisher naming race row royals’
By Vanessa Allen
A MANUSCRIPT naming two senior royals at the centre of an alleged racism row was sent to author Omid Scobie’s Dutch publisher, it was claimed yesterday.
A draft version of Endgame which named King Charles and the Princess of Wales as the royals alleged to have speculated about the skin colour of Harry and Meghan’s unborn child was reportedly sent by Scobie’s agent.
Scobie, 42, said last week that he had not included the names when he submitted the manuscript to his publisher.
Thousands of copies of the Dutch-language version of Endgame were pulled from sale last week after they identified the King and Prince William’s wife Kate.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex told chat show host Oprah Winfrey in 2021 that there had been remarks about what colour Prince Archie’s skin might be but they did not name anyone.
A source close to Meghan has denied the two names were leaked to Scobie by anyone in her camp.
Scobie has attempted to distance himself from the row, telling an ITV interview last week: ‘I never submitted a book that had those names in it.’ The denial raises questions about how the names came to appear in the version published in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Scobie has since flown from Britain to Los Angeles, where he headed to a luxury Hollywood hotel, the Sunset Tower. He shared a picture of burgers, chips and what appeared to be a cocktail on his Instagram account, although he did not reveal the identity of his dining companion.
His earlier Sussex-friendly book, Finding Freedom, led to claims he was effectively Meghan’s mouthpiece, and she has admitted under oath that she authorised a senior aide to brief him.
Neither she nor Prince Harry have commented about the Endgame race row.
A source told The Times that Scobie’s agency, United Talent Agency, sent a draft version to Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers which contained the names. Early drafts are often sent to foreign publishers to help with the lengthy task of translating manuscripts before publication.
UTA later received an approved version from the British publisher, Harper Collins. Xander Uitgevers initially blamed a ‘translation’ mistake for the names but later said there had been an ‘error’.
Managing director Anke Roelen said: ‘ Xander... temporarily removed the book from sale, due to an error that occurred in the Dutch edition.’
Two translators were credited in the Dutch edition. One, Saskia Peeters, told the Mail last week that the names were in the manuscript she was sent.
She said: ‘I translate what is in front of me... I did not add them.’
The King and his senior advisers are expected to meet this week to discuss a response to the row, and will consider ‘all options’, including legal action.
Meanwhile, Endgame has already dropped out of Amazon’s 100 current bestsellers list. It is currently 139th in the UK chart.
In the US version of the chart, Endgame was ranked 235th, below The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
During their 2021 Oprah interview, Meghan alleged that an unidentified member of the Royal Family had raised ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his [Archie’s] skin might be’.
The King and the Duchess of Sussex reportedly exchanged letters about the claim.
‘Consider all options’
dmg media (UK)