In March 2021, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for an explosive TV interview during which they recounted their experiences behind palace doors. The most shocking revelation came when Meghan, who is biracial, claimed that there had been “concerns and conversations” while she was pregnant with son Archie, now 4, “about how dark his skin might be when he was born.”
In the weeks that followed, the royal family went on the defensive, with a usually tight-lipped Prince William telling a reporter “we are very much not a racist family” and Buckingham Palace releasing a statement saying the royals were taking the issues raised by Meghan and Harry “particularly that of race … very seriously.”
In the ensuing years, there has been endless speculation about the identity of the person who made the comments. Then, in late November, a Dutch journalist claimed the royal in question had been named (as well as another person who was involved in the conversation) in the Dutch version of Omid Scobie’s new royal tell-all, Endgame. A photo reportedly of the passage in question included the name “Charles.” In response, the Dutch publishers swiftly pulled the book from shelves in the Netherlands saying in part, “Xander Uitgevers is temporarily withdrawing the book Eindstrijd by Omid Scobie from sale. An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified.”
Meanwhile, the author insisted that he’d “never submitted a book that had their names in it,” as speculation grew that the error hadn’t been a mistranslation after all. (In the English version of the tome, Scobie explained that he wouldn’t reveal the identity in question because of libel laws.) Two days after the book was temporarily pulled, controversial British TV host Piers Morgan went public, claiming King Charles and Kate Middleton as the royals named in the Dutch translation. Now, a source exclusively tells In Touch, the palace is in crisis mode and in a scramble to protect the king’s reputation. “It’s not a pleasant atmosphere for anyone associated with The Firm,” says the source, adding, “No one is sleeping very soundly right now.”
According to Scobie, Meghan and Charles, 75, exchanged letters following Meghan and Harry’s claims during the 2021 TV interview. In Endgame, sources reveal Charles wanted to make it clear to Meghan that he didn’t believe the remarks regarding skin color were made with “ill will.” In response, the sources said Meghan told Charles the conversations proved the existence of “lingering unconscious bias and ignorance” that needed to be addressed within the royal family. The In Touch source confirms, “Meghan did correspond with Charles to open his eyes on how hurtful and harmful such words can be even if they weren’t meant to be taken seriously.” Apparently, the Duchess of Sussex was satisfied with the result. Says the source, “Both Meghan and Charles were left with a better understanding of the situation.”
It wasn’t the first time the royal family was accused of racist behavior. In 2017, Princess Michael of Kent wore a Blackamoor brooch to a Christmas banquet at Buckingham Palace attended by Meghan (Blackamoor art often features Black men or women in subservient positions), and in 2022, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s former lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, was forced to apologize after asking charity founder Ngozi Fulani, who is Black, where she “really came from” at a palace event. The queen was also heavily criticized prior to her 2022 death for never publicly apologizing for the monarchy’s involvement in Britain’s slave trade. “Clearly, the royals don’t believe they have a problem,” says the source. “They continue to be shocked that they’re portrayed as a racist family.”
The source says Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, hadn’t wanted to name names because of the potential fallout. “They never meant to attack this person head-on,” says the source, noting that Meghan in particular wanted to protect Charles. (It’s notable that the incident was not mentioned in their Netflix docuseries or in Harry’s memoir, Spare.) “She and Harry must be aghast that he’s being dragged through the mud like this.”
But the damage has been done — and there have even been calls for the already unpopular Charles to step down from the throne. “The latest claims won’t be dignified or discussed by the royal family,” says the source. As for the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the royals, the book does little to suggest reconciliation is possible. Accused of being Harry and Meghan’s “cheerleader,” Scobie has insisted he isn’t “friends” with the couple yet he takes some swipes at the Duke and Duchess of Wales.
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Among the book’s bombshells are that William believes Harry has been “brainwashed” by an “army of therapists” and that Kate has been described as “jokingly shivering” when Meghan’s name is brought up. Scobie also quotes sources saying the Princess of Wales ignored then-suicidal Meghan’s “cries for help” during her time as a working royal. None of which bodes well for the return of the Fab Four. “The relationship between the Sussexes and William and Kate is looking more dire than ever,” says the source. “How can they ever build a bridge now? It’s just a complicated mess.”
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In Endgame, author Omid Scobie covers a lot of ground, asserting that Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have reportedly become “hives of competing agendas and different ideas about how to modernize” the monarchy as Charles and William quietly battle for power. The book’s sources also claim Queen Camilla, 76, thanked Piers Morgan when he called Meghan “Princess Pinocchio” after the Suits star said royal life left her feeling suicidal and that she looks down her nose at “lefty nonsense” like gender fluidity and veganism. And new insight is revealed about Kate, who’s described as detached and “cold if she doesn’t like someone.” Writes Scobie: “[Kate is an] inscrutable queen in training — an institutional dream come true.”
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