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Endgame: Omid Scobie refuses to apologise to 'race row' royals named in Dutch copies of new book

Author Omid Scobie was facing a wave of criticism on Friday after refusing to apologise to two senior royals caught up in a race row after being named in the Dutch version of his book.

The Dutch edition of Endgame claimed King Charles and his daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales, had made remarks about Prince Archie’s skin colour before he was born.

Endgame was hastily withdrawn from shelves in the Netherlands and copies pulped after what the publisher blamed on a “translation error”.

On Wednesday, Piers Morgan identified Charles and Kate as the names in the book, before media organisations around the world then followed suit.

On BBC Two’s Newsnight, Mr Scobie declined to say sorry and insisted it was not a deliberate publicity stunt to sell his highly critical book on the monarchy’s “fight for survival”.

He told presenter Victoria Derbyshire: “It’s not for me to apologise because I still want to know what’s happened.”

Mr Scobie swore “on my life, on my family’s life” that Charles and Kate’s identification wasn’t orchestrated, adding of the English version: “The book I wrote, the book I edited, the book I signed off on, did not have names in it.

“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.”

However, Dutch translator Saskia Peters told MailOnline: “I translate what is in front of me. 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.”

She said the pages were distributed by Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers between herself and fellow translator Nellie Keukelaar-van Rijsbergen.

When told Mr Scobie had denied names were in his manuscript, Mrs Peters added: “I don’t know why he would say that. I have been translating for many years. This is the first time anything like this has happened. This is not something I wanted to be involved in.”

Prince Harry’s wife Meghan made the original allegation during their bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021.

The Duchess of Sussex said: “In those months when I was pregnant [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born.”

Harry added: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

The prince later clarified his comments in a chat with ITV’s Tom Bradby, saying he and Meghan had not accused members of the royal family of “racism”.

Endgame cover with Harry and Meghan (ES)
Endgame cover with Harry and Meghan (ES)

King Charles did not mention the scandal as he gave an opening address on climate change at Cop28 in Dubai.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also steered clear of commenting on the royal race row as he heaped praise on His Majesty’s involvement in international climate talks.

On Thursday night, The Prince and Princess of Wales appeared “relaxed” at the Royal Variety Performance.

Singer Paloma Faith said William and Kate seemed calm when they spoke with her after she sang.

After the show, Faith said: “I was just saying how relaxed they are and warm. They just put you at ease, which is a skill in itself isn’t it? Not everyone can do that, Royal or not.

“They’re good at their jobs aren’t they, and it is a job.”