Omid Scobie denies naming royals in Endgame Dutch edition was publicity stunt for the book
Endgame author Omid Scobie has denied a scandal that has broken out around the Dutch translation naming two royals at the centre of an alleged racism row was a publicity stunt for his book. The book, which details the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to step down as senior working royal and the rift in the family, was pulled from shelves in the Netherlands after the translated copy included two names allegedly involved in a conversation with Harry and Meghan about "how dark" the skin-tone of their firstborn, Prince Archie, would be during Meghan's pregnancy.
The scandal has led to claims that Scobie manufactured the "error" in his book to boost publicity for sales. However, he has vehemently denied these claims, saying he was "hurt" by the "conspiracy theories". The author told BBC's Newsnight: "All of this is frustrating because it feeds into something that couldn't be further from the truth. And also, quite frankly, I've always felt the names weren't needed to have this discussion".
He added that he found out about the controversy over the pulled Dutch edition on social media and that he was "exploring all options". Scobie added that the scandal had actually "overshadowed" the release of the book rather than help to boost its reach.
It comes after he denied writing any copy of the book in which the names were included during an appearance on ITV's This Morning. He told hosts Allison Hammond and Craig Doyle: "I wrote and edited the English version of the book with one publisher. That then gets licensed to other publishers. I obviously can't speak Italian, German, French, Dutch or any of the other languages that come out.
“So the only time you hear about the book is once it's come out in the public domain. I'm as frustrated as everyone else, I make it very clear in this book that I, in every way possible, want to adhere to the laws surrounding this subject.”
However, the Dutch translator insists the royals' names were in the manuscript she was sent. Speaking to MailOnline, Saskia Peeters said: "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."
Buckingham Palace has also revealed it is "exploring all options" including reportedly pursuing legal action against Piers Morgan, after the journalist decided to name the two royals on air. During an episode of his TalkTV show, the journalist said: “If Dutch people wandering into a bookshop can see these names, then you, the British people who actually pay for the royal family are entitled to know, too". Harry and Meghan's representatives have not commented on the situation.