Scobie’s Dutch draft ‘did carry race row names’
A DRAFT of Omid Scobie’s book naming the royals accused of discussing Harry and Meghan’s son Archie’s skin colour was sent to be translated into Dutch, it was claimed today.
The Endgame writer, seen by some royal watchers as close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, previously insisted he “never submitted a book that had those names in it” but it has now been reported that his agent sent a draft of the controversial tome to publisher Xander Uitgevers which contained the names.
A final proof copy without the names was sent later but it is believed the translator worked from the earlier draft — meaning the Dutch edition was published complete with the claims the King and his daughter in-law, the Princess of Wales, had made remarks about Archie’s skin colour while Meghan was pregnant.
It comes as Buckingham Palace is said to be considering legal action over the allegations while Scobie, inset left, has refused to apologise for the mishap which saw the book pulled off the shelves in the Netherlands and pulped.
He has shrugged off criticism saying the royal duo’s names were “known for a long time” before they ended up in print in his book and initially blamed it on a “translation error”.
That prompted the book’s translator Saskia Peeters to speak out in her own defence, telling journalists the names were in the copy she was given and insisting: “The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them. I just did what I was paid to do and that was translate the book from English into Dutch.”
The royal racism row has prompted one Conservative MP to propose a new law allowing members of the royal family who “trash” the institution to be stripped of their titles. Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely took aim at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as he outlined his hopes to bring forward legislation in the House of Commons to update the Titles Deprivation 1917 Act Amendment Bill.
Writing for the Mail on Sunday, Mr Seely said: “I’m not a republican and support the monarchy, but after the latest instalment of the couple’s feud with the rest of the royal family, I believe that Parliament and the Privy Council should consider a nuclear option. The Duke and Duchess can be Mr and Mrs like the rest of us.”
Mr Seely was not among the 20 MPs drawn out of the Private Members’ Bill ballot and therefore does not have priority to bring forward a proposal.
It means the Bill is highly unlikely to make progress through Parliament in its proposed form due to a lack of time to consider it.
A new version of the book, minus the names, will finally go on sale in the Netherlands on Friday.
Buckingham Palace has declined to respond to the book’s claims or the removal of the Dutch edition, and representatives of Prince Harry and Meghan have also not commented.
Mr Scobie previously co-authored the book Finding Freedom, a biography of the Sussexes and their breakaway from the royal family.
Evening Standard Limited