• Sunday, March 03, 2024

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Racism row: Dutch author denies naming UK royals

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, King Charles III, Queen Camila, Anne, Princess Royal, and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence attend The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, November 11, 2023. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS

By: Pramod Thomas

THE author at the centre of renewed racism claims against Britain’s royal family has denied naming members alleged to have asked about the skin colour of Prince Harry’s son.

Copies of the Dutch language version of Omid Scobie’s “Endgame” had to be pulped after the names of two senior royals allegedly involved were included.

They are alleged to have asked about the skin colour of Prince Harry’s son Prince Archie before he was born.

Harry, the younger son of King Charles III, is white while his wife, Meghan, is mixed-race.

The translation’s withdrawal has sparked renewed speculation about the identities of the pair, even though Harry and Meghan have never revealed them.

Scobie told BBC television late on Thursday (30) that he did not include either in his original English version of the book.

“The version that I signed off… has no names in it,” he told the broadcaster, adding that he only found out about the issue from social media.

“The Dutch publisher told us there was a translation error,” he added, insisting “on my life, on my family’s life” it was not deliberate.

The Dutch translator of the book has insisted the names were in the manuscript she was sent but Scobie has said they were not for legal reasons.

On Wednesday (29), British television host Piers Morgan named the royals as the king himself and his daughter-in-law Catherine, Princess of Wales.

But he added on his TalkTV show “Uncensored”: “I don’t believe that any racist comments were ever made by any of the royal family.

“And until there is actual evidence of those comments being made I will never believe it.”

A number of other major British and international media outlets, including the BBC, have also named the pair, citing either Morgan or the Dutch version.

A royal source told AFP on Thursday they were “considering all options” in response to Morgan’s remarks.

But legal experts said the chances of the royals suing for defamation was small, not least because the names would have to be formally made public.

Scobie, who previously co-wrote a soft-soap biography of Harry and Meghan, said the names were not needed for his new book, which looks at the future for the royal family.

Harry and Meghan, who quit royal life in 2020 and moved to North America, first mentioned the alleged skin colour comment in a March 2021 interview.

They have since denied accusing the family of racism and instead implied they had an “unconscious bias”.

 

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