The Princess of Wales now sounds “posher” than her husband after several rounds of elocution lessons, it is claimed in a new royal book.
Omid Scobie’s Endgame, published on Tuesday, delves into oft-repeated claims that the Princess’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, but “mostly Carole”, carefully orchestrated their teenage daughter’s life to ensure she was at the right places at the right time and spoke the right way.
“Kensington Palace has never denied that Kate had several rounds of elocution lessons as she became more serious with William,” the book notes.
“Friends have noted over the years that her accent now sounds ‘posher’ and ‘even more plummy’ than her husband’s.”
Scobie claims that the “Middleton strategy” involved “calculatingly placing Kate right at the centre of young Prince William’s world” by persuading her to turn down a place at Edinburgh University in favour of a gap year and then St Andrews.
Endgame has received mixed reviews, with many branding it “pro-Sussex propaganda” that combs over a now-familiar narrative that all members of the Royal family are ruthless, self-centred and unkind, while the Duke and Duchess rise saintly above the chaos.
Here are seven more claims you might have missed:
The Queen hates being called a “feminist”
Pontificating on the young Camilla’s finishing school education in the swinging Sixties, Scobie writes that while other women her age were burning their bras, she was “studying the blueprint for the blue bloods”.
“Today, Camilla stands for women’s equality but, interestingly, hates it when someone suggests she is a feminist,” he claims.
“Camilla was fine with her outmoded upbringing then, and she’s proud of it now, a fact that is both admirable and a little troubling, considering where we are as a society two decades into the third millennium.”
In another chapter, he adds: “Behind closed doors, Camilla usually rolls her eyes when topics such as gender identity, unconscious racial bias, and even veganism are raised,” quoting an aide saying: “It’s all ‘lefty nonsense’ to her.”
Blue Peter panic
Scobie quotes a Kensington Palace source as saying: “It was just not an area she felt confident in and, up until that point, other household staff hadn’t really pushed her.”
The Blue Peter engagement was “designed as a slow pitch for Kate to hit a crowd-pleasing home run”, Scobie writes, but there were “difficulties getting her up to the plate” and she initially wanted to turn it down.
With the Prince’s encouragement, she eventually agreed but on the day of filming, she was “a bag of nerves”.
“It was William’s words that eventually filled her with enough courage to stay calm,” says Scobie. “As she arrived, a text message from her husband popped up.”
A source reveals that he texted her regularly throughout the process to check how she was doing and ensure she was not too nervous. “William called afterwards to make sure everything was all right.”
Chaotic State Opening preparations
When the King stood in for his ailing mother to read the Queen’s Speech on her behalf it marked the first time he had taken on such a major constitutional duty.
Although he appeared calm and unflustered, the preparations the previous day were said to be anything but.
Scobie writes: “To say he was calm, an insider later shared, ‘would be a lie’,
“Sources in Charles’s camp later revealed that chaos reigned during the planning stages.
Boris Johnson didn’t send over the speech until the very last minute, so an irritated Charles wasn’t given ample time to practise reading it.”
Queen Elizabeth II disliked Boris Johnson
The late Queen “privately disliked” Boris Johnson, the book claims, although “you wouldn’t have known it”.
It says she remained professional throughout her final 40-minute meeting with the former Prime Minister last September, as he tendered his resignation.
However, Scobie claims she did not approve of his behaviour, noting that he was the only one of 15 prime ministers forced to formally apologise to her twice.
He goes on to quote an aide who said that Mr Johnson had “done everything he can to become the most unpopular prime minister the Windsors have ever known”.
Prince Edward the “germaphobe”
The Duke of Edinburgh is described in the book as someone who “avoids most physical contact with the great unwashed”.
A royal source says: “He’s a massive germaphobe.”
William read Spare
One former aide told Scobie that Prince William had only read “passages” of his brother’s memoir, Spare, but “not the full thing”.
The book claims that before Scobie’s first book, Finding Freedom, a biography of the Sussexes, was published in August 2020, William and some of his aides had “begged to see certain passages” but were told they could not.
The Princess and the ceder
One of Scobie’s more poetic scenes opens at RHS Wisley in 2019, where the Princess was planting a weeping blue cedar sapling watched by Dame Mary Berry.
“Just like the usually bashful autumnal sun, Kate, too, was ready to shed her shy side for the garden’s grand unveiling,” he says.
Praising her enthusiasm on the engagement, Scobie ventures: “Perhaps we’ll see more of this self-assurance and enthusiasm from the Princess of Wales as she grows even more accustomed to the spotlight.
“Maybe that Back to Nature garden day was a turning point for Kate—planting the weeping blue cedar a means to encourage her own growth.
“Here’s the thing about that species: it’s naturally slow growing and requires adequate space for its sculptural branches and cascading needles.
“But if there is too much pruning, or the space around it is too restricted, the tree ends up taking on an odd shape and loses the character that made it so special in the first place.”