The publisher at the center of the naming of King Charles and Kate Middleton as the alleged “royal racists” has called out author Omid Scobie for making “factually incorrect” statements about how the names were published in Dutch editions of his book Endgame.
On Friday, Scobie admitted for the first time that the names of Charles and Kate appeared in early drafts of Endgame, as the senior royals who had allegedly had “concerns” over the color of then-unborn Prince Archie’s skin—which Meghan Markle first spoke about with Oprah Winfrey in her and Prince Harry’s bombshell 2021 interview.
The names were published in Dutch editions of the book, leading to an international media firestorm last week. Buckingham Palace is said still to be considering its response to the naming of Charles and Kate.
In a column for the UK’s i newspaper, Scobie wrote that “unbeknownst” to him, “early and uncleared text” had been provided to his Dutch publisher in advance so translators could start working on the text—leading to the names ultimately being published in error.
“To be clear, the only publisher I worked directly with was the one covering the U.S. and U.K.,” Scobie wrote. “I spent almost two months with independent British barristers and in-house legal counsel to ensure that every detail in the finished book was legally watertight. 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.”
However, a spokesman for the publishing house Xander Uitgevers told the Daily Mail they disputed the contents of the column. “Omid Scobie's explanation in his column in iNews about the Dutch editorial process of the Dutch edition of Endgame is factually incorrect and we do not recognize ourselves in his representation of the events. Xander Uitgevers is not allowed to say anything about the content, we therefore refer to the agent UTA.”
Last week, one of the translators disputed Scobie’s initial assertion that “translation errors” had led to the naming, telling the Mail that Charles and Kate’s names were written in “black and white” in the draft she was sent.
Scobie said that the focus on the naming of the royals distracted from one of the central themes of the book, which was to interrogate the royals and their history around issues of race and imperialism. He wrote that the controversy was part of “shooing away opportunities to meaningfully explore the royal institution’s historic links to slavery (and the impact its legacy has had on the country), or have serious conversations around the royal institution’s failure to protect its only family member of color, sends a clear message that the issues just don’t matter.”
“Time and time again I encounter this aggressive resistance to allowing proper discourse about the current state and role of the British monarchy to take place,” Scobie wrote.
In the days since the scandal, the royals have been photographed carrying on with business-as-usual, with Kate, Prince William, and their children leading the royals at Kate’s third annual Together at Christmas concert at London’s Westminster Abbey on Friday evening.