The writer of the royal family book Endgame has admitted he named two family members alleged to have voiced “concerns” about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son in an earlier version of the text.
Omid Scobie said “early and uncleared text” was provided to a Dutch publisher with plans that its translation of the text “would be updated to reflect the final version of the book”.
Dutch copies of Endgame were pulled from the shelves in the Netherlands on publication day last week after they were found to have identified two individuals said to have questioned the skin tone of Prince Archie before he was born.
Xander Uitgevers, the publisher of the Dutch version, said in a statement that a translation error had occurred.
In the versions of Endgame being sold in English-speaking countries, Scobie states: “Laws in the United Kingdom prevent me from reporting who they were.”
When the controversy surrounding the Dutch version of the book first emerged, Scobie had denied ever naming the royals alleged to have made the comments.
He told RTL Boulevard last week: “For me, I edited and wrote the English version; there has never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it.”
Writing an opinion piece for the i, published online on Friday, Scobie said: “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.
“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.”
Scobie said publishers in other countries, including France and Italy, adopted the same practice and produced versions of the book that “perfectly replicated the completed work”.
The US-based British journalist added: “What I can be sure of is that I edited carefully, took independent legal advice, and the finished book that I submitted was not the version published in the Netherlands.”
Scobie is said to be close to Harry and Meghan and co-authored Finding Freedom, a biography of the Sussexes which chronicled the couple in glowing terms.
The royal couple first made the claim a royal had asked about their son’s skin colour when they were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in 2021.
According to details in Endgame, the two names came to light in letters exchanged between Meghan and Charles in the aftermath of the Winfrey interview.
The book asserts that the future of the monarchy is “in a crisis” and it is in a “fight for survival”.