Piers Morgan has explained why he felt moved to reveal the names of the British royals that appeared in the Dutch translation of Omid Scobie’s new book Endgame, with the author alleging that they participated in “concerns and conversations” about the skin colour of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s then-unborn child.
(Committed royal watchers will need no reminding that these allegations were first aired in Harry and Meghan’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, but with no names of the alleged speakers given.)
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This week has seen the UK media dancing around the names, including the slightly surreal episode of the BBC’s flagship radio news Today Programme not identifying them in the first hour of the programme, but then naming them in the second.
Morgan, who named the two royals on his Wednesday evening TalkTV show as being King Charles and Kate Middleton, has written in this weekend’s Times newspaper, saying he felt the situation was becoming farcical, and that he believed Scobie to be a liar.
“It seemed absurd to me that Dutch people should be privy to significant information about our royal family, but British people would be prevented from knowing it too.
“Second, because this whole farrago has gone on long enough and caused enough damage. Frankly, it’s time we were told exactly what was allegedly said by whom to who, when and where it was said, and in exactly what context. Otherwise, this deeply divisive, racially charged sore will continue to ooze its way into global public consciousness.
“Third, because in reporting the names their identities can no longer be held over them as some kind of blackmail threat by the Sussexes.
“My own firm belief, which I’m sure will be shared by most of the British public, is that neither Charles or Kate ever made any racist comments about baby Archie, and that this is a sickening slur on the characters of two people who’ve spent their lives in public service advocating for racial equality and justice.”
“Poor Omid Scobie seems to have become the first author in history whose book was secretly sabotaged en route to a printer in a random foreign country.”
Scobie has denied that he included the names in any version of the manuscript he originally submitted for publication in various countries, while the Dutch translator at the centre of the scandal has been robustly defended by her publisher, with both saying she only translated what was put in front of her.
Meanwhile, the UK media are going to town, with commentators saying the onus is now on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to speak out publicly against the contents of the book. So far there has been what is being called “a deafening silence” from Montecito.
King Charles has been on environmental duties this week at Cop28 in Dubai, but his team is expected to discuss what the next options could be – including either legal or through a statement – to respond to this very damaging story for the British Royal Family. Everyone remembers the late Queen Elizabeth’s neat response to the allegations made in the Oprah chat – “recollections may vary.” For the King’s follow-up… watch this space.
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