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King Charles shrugs off racism row as he jokes about recent ‘ancient birthday’

The monarch and president Tinubu met to discuss energy, environment, the Commonwealth and global security
The King and president Tinubu met to discuss energy, environment, the Commonwealth and global security - Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The King has continued in his official duties despite an ongoing row over alleged racism in the Royal family, beginning an overseas trip with the assurance: “I’m all right very much, just about.”

The monarch, 75, started his 48-hour trip to Dubai, where he will give an opening address at the Cop28 environmental summit, with a 30-minute bilateral meeting with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria’s president.

They shook hands warmly, and the president asked: “How are you?”

The King, wearing a suit, took his seat and said: “I’m all right very much, just about. Having had a rather ancient birthday recently, recovering from the shock of that.”

The King met wellwishers as he visited Heriot-Watt University to formally open its Dubai campus
The King met wellwishers as he visited Heriot-Watt University to formally open its Dubai campus - Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The pair met at a hotel in Dubai ahead of the conference to discuss energy, environment, the Commonwealth and global security. It was the first of a series of meetings with world leaders during the trip.

The King went on to welcome Lord Cameron to Dubai, with the pair meeting during an engagement to see examples of clean technology and innovations to fight climate change at the Heriot-Watt University campus.

The King welcomes Lord Cameron to Dubai
The King welcomes Lord Cameron to Dubai - Chris Jackson/Getty Images

His appearance follows the publication of Omid Scobie’s Endgame, a new biography about the Royal family.

The identities of two members of the family named as taking part in conversations about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby’s skin colour were published in the Dutch translation of the book.

Scobie’s book describes how the Duchess of Sussex wrote to her father-in-law, the then Prince Charles, to express her concern about unconscious bias in the Royal family.

The letter, first revealed by The Telegraph, was sent after the Sussexes’ March 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview, in which the Duchess alleged that a member of the Royal family had speculated about the colour of her unborn son’s skin.

Scobie further details how the Duchess named two people who had upset her with the discussion. He does not name either person in the English language version, citing “laws in the UK”.

The Dutch version, pulled from the shelves within a day of publication, names both in two separate chapters.

Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Archewell have not yet responded to requests for comment.

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