Omid Scobie on Thursday denied all responsibility for the Dutch-language version of his book Endgame naming the two senior royals alleged to be the “royal racists” who questioned the likely color of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s children’s skin before they were born.
In an interview with British breakfast show This Morning, Scobie said: “I never submitted a book that had those names in it.”
He added that he was “frustrated” but not “upset” by the development. Asked about online rumors that the inclusion of the names in a Dutch translation was a stunt to sell books, he replied: “I wish it was the case.”
He added that he “never submitted a book that had their names in it.”
Asked how the names might have appeared in the Dutch version, he said: “It’s still being investigated now. I wrote and edited the English version of the book with one publisher. That then gets licensed to other publishers. I obviously can’t speak Italian, German, French, Dutch, or any of the other languages that come out. So the only time you hear about the book is once it’s come out in the public domain.
“I’m as frustrated as anyone else. I make it very clear in this book that I in every way possible want to adhere to the laws surrounding this subject. It’s why I’ve been very careful in how it’s described in the book and it’s why I’ve never spoken about it beyond what I’ve said in the public domain before.
“The reality is though is that this is information that is not privy just to me. Journalists across Fleet Street have known those names for a long time. We’ve all followed a certain code of conduct when it comes to talking about it. It’s frustrating that now what’s going on in the Netherlands with the book that was obviously immediately rescinded and is now being reprinted has happened, and I’m glad to hear so. But for me I can only talk about the English version of the book that I wrote and produced.”
Despite a lengthy series of remarks about Piers Morgan, the presenters, who both admitted they had not read the book, did not ask Scobie about Morgan naming the two royals on a small British television channel on Wednesday.
The Sun meanwhile reported that palace insiders believe Meghan probably caused the content of the letters she and King Charles exchanged to be shared with Scobie.
A senior Palace source said: “It’s vanishingly unlikely the names came from here.”
Another royal insider told the The Sun: “That letter is under lock and key and no one from within the King’s circle would’ve briefed anyone about its contents.
“In all likelihood, it must have been the Sussex camp which leaked the names.
“It’s a nasty and deliberate attack.”
The controversy stems from the interview with Oprah Winfrey in which Harry and Meghan alleged a member of the royal family asked Harry about their children’s likely skin color.
Scobie’s new book, Endgame, alleges that Meghan named the two royals in letters she wrote to the king.
The author said in the book that he knew the identity of the royals in question but could not reveal them.
However, they were identified in the Dutch version of the book and subsequently repeated by Morgan on Talk TV. The New York Post subsequently printed the names, citing Morgan.
Amid an increasing atmosphere of absurdity, British papers continued not to name the royals in question while their identities were widely disseminated online.
Buckingham Palace has yet to respond to the allegations.
The king is on an official visit to Dubai, where he said he was feeling his age after his recent 75th birthday.
The Dutch publisher has said that a “rectified version” of the book will be published next week.
The Sun reported that a source “close to the Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers” had said the translation of the manuscript they were given was “correct.” They added: “It is very much the feeling that the error has not occurred in Holland.”
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