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Omid Scobie admits early drafts of Endgame did name royal ‘racists’

Omid Scobie promotes Endgame on the TV programme This Morning
Omid Scobie has written that 'unbeknownst' to him, 'early and uncleared text' had been provided to his Dutch publisher - Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Omid Scobie has finally admitted that the names of the two alleged royal “racists” were included in early drafts of his book.

For more than a week, the author of Endgame has denied any responsibility for the King and the Princess of Wales being named as the relatives who had made comments about Prince Archie’s skin tone before he was born.

But in a piece for the i newspaper, Scobie wrote that “unbeknownst” to him, “early and uncleared text” had been provided to his Dutch publisher in advance so translators could begin working on the text – leading to names appearing in books sold in the Netherlands.

It is the first time that Scobie, 42, has appeared to acknowledge that he had written the names of the senior members of the Royal family in early drafts.

The co-author of Finding Freedom has previously strenuously denied “ever” submitting a version of Endgame with the names included.

The race row first began in March 2021, when the Duchess of Sussex alleged in an Oprah Winfrey TV interview that a member of the Royal family had speculated about the colour of her unborn son’s skin.

The Sussexes never named the individual and in Scobie’s book it became clear that two members of the family were alleged to have made comments about the prince’s skin colour.

In his article, Scobie said that he made it “very clear that any names would not be revealed due to legal reasons”.

Yet he described how he was in the middle of TV interviews in New York on Nov 28 when “a single name surfaced on social media”.

A copy of Omid Scobie's book Endgame in a Dutch bookshop
Despite the controversy, Endgame sold less than 6,500 copies in Britain in the first five days after its publication - Hollandse Hoogte/Shutterstock

Mr Scobie said that he was “at the very least relieved” when the Dutch publisher confirmed that copies containing what it described as a “translation error” would be removed from stores.

However, when a second name emerged from the book, Scobie claims that “details at this point were still being pieced together” and he did not “have the full story”.

He wrote: “To be clear, the only publisher I worked directly with was the one covering the US and UK.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

Initially, Xander Uitgevers, the publisher, said that a “translation error” had led to the names being published.

Soon after Scobie told the Dutch chat show RTL Boulevard: “There’s never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it.”

But Saskia Peeters, a translator who worked on the book, told the MailOnline that the names of the royals had been there in “black and white”.

Yet despite the controversy surrounding the translation, Endgame sold fewer than 6,500 copies in Britain in the first five days after its publication.

New Dutch versions of the book were published on Friday, with suggestions from journalists in the Netherlands that descriptions had been subtly changed and sources obscured in the update.