Piers Morgan, the broadcaster, may have finally blown apart the long-running Royal “racism row” when he named on his Talk TV show two members of the Royal family a new book claims were the individuals so disgracefully implicated by the Duchess of Sussex. You may recall that Morgan was sacked by ITV when he said, after the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah, that he didn’t believe a word Meghan had said. Like millions of us, he has had enough of this manipulative, malevolent nonsense, apparently calculated to undermine the monarchy, and believes that now is the time to have an “open debate” about what actually happened.
It follows the publication of Omid Scobie’s Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival. By some mysterious “accident”, the Dutch version of the book revealed the names of the two senior Royals. Interviewed on Wednesday on ITV’s This Morning, Scobie did not appear entirely heartbroken that two people, who are not at liberty to defend themselves, had been named and shamed. Furrowing his eyebrows – a pair of hairy caterpillars from the Ugly Bug Ball – Mr Butter Wouldn’t Melt suggested that his true purpose was not spreading toxic rumours to help hasten the end of the monarchy. Heavens, no. It was to direct Britons to “conversations about the purpose, relevancy and future of the Royal family”. What a gent!
The Palace is said to be “dismayed” that Morgan has given away the names contained in Scobie’s book and is considering legal action. But Morgan may have done them a service, I reckon. The guessing game over which members of the Royal family supposedly wondered how dark Prince Archie’s skin colour might be has been a sword of Damocles dangling over the Royals since that notorious allegation was made in 2021.
“WHAT?” gasped Oprah. As if no mixed-race family in human history had ever speculated on the appearance of a beautiful forthcoming baby (good luck finding one that doesn’t).
With more kohl around her eyes than the love child of Cleopatra and a giant panda, and milking the moment for maximum soap-opera suds, the Duchess of Sussex played the part of the wronged relative to perfection. Nodding sorrowfully at Oprah’s horrified reaction, and with a fetching glisten of tears, she confided that, when she was pregnant, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”. Her tone was soft, but her meaning could not have been harsher: “What a bunch of bigoted bastards I married into, right?”
When Oprah asked for the names of the accused Royals, Duchess Disingenuous declined. “I think that would be very damaging to them,” said she solemnly. Well, we wouldn’t want that, would we, Meghan? Let’s just leave your unsubstantiated allegations, aka “speaking my truth”, to do their wicked work and cast a pall over the entire Windsor clan.
If you were being cynical – forgive me, I find it hard to have any other reaction – you would have noticed that, in the bombshell interview (watched by 12.4 million people in the UK alone), Meghan weaponised two of the fashionable concerns of the age: race and mental health. It made it hard for the Palace to counter the Sussexes’ wounding charges. Prince William came closest when he snapped at a reporter: “We are very much not a racist family.” But the mud from Montecito stuck.
That ticking timebomb exploded with the publication of the Dutch version of Omid Scobie’s book which, he was amazed to discover, revealed the identity of two senior Royals. Drat, those stupid, careless translators in the Netherlands generating several million pounds worth of free publicity! Funnily enough, my books have been translated into 32 languages and never once has anything I didn’t write personally been interpolated into the text. Translators as a breed are fastidious to a fault. I am prepared to bet the inflammatory addition to the Dutch version had nothing to do with them.
What part, some of us are bound to wonder, did Meghan and Harry play in this latest tome which exempts the Sussexes from any blame in the family feud started by Meghan and Harry? Scobie appears to revel in the alleged animosity between King Charles and his heir while taking several swipes at “Katie Keen”. Our widely adored and admired Princess of Wales is painted as a “Stepford Wife” who was “cold” to Meghan. Sounds like Catherine is an excellent judge of character who saw a C-list American actress getting her talons into William’s nice but dim little brother. Kate’s instinctive mistrust of Meghan proved prophetic. She was Trouble with a capital t.
Resenting the allegations that he acts as Meghan and Harry’s mouthpiece, Scobie claims the couple had no direct input into this volume, nor into his earlier portrait of them, Finding Freedom. That story came badly unstuck, however, when the Duchess of Sussex had to apologise in court for “failing to remember” authorising a senior aide to brief Scobie and his Finding Freedom co-author. In a devastating witness statement, Jason Knauf, the couple’s former press secretary, said the book was “discussed directly with the duchess multiple times in person and over email”. He also claimed Meghan provided him with several briefing points to share with Scobie at a meeting. Knauf says he emailed Prince Harry about the meeting, to which the Duke replied: “I totally agree that we have to be able to say we didn’t have anything to do with it. Equally, you giving the right context and background to them would help get some truths out there.”
My, what a tangled web those saintly Sussexes weave, eh? Their bitterness, a simmering desire to avenge the wrongs they believe were done to them, is in inverse proportion to the success of Megxit. When they quit the UK, the couple were convinced they could retain the privileges and commanding heft of Royalty while behaving like the Kardashians in coronets. Our late Queen wisely put a stop to that. Since then, there has been a seemingly unstoppable slide into failure and irrelevance. Meghan’s earnest identity politics and global humanitarianism have turned cheeky chappie Harry, once the public’s favourite Royal, into a bore with his smouldering, resentful stares and stupid “jobs”.
With their power waning, little wonder the Sussexes have made it known that an invitation to spend Christmas with the relatives at Sandringham would be favourably looked upon. You can just imagine how much Queen Camilla, the Waleses and the magnificent Princess Royal would relish lectures around the fire on their “unconscious bias”. (I was delighted, although not surprised, to hear that it was apparently Anne who urged her brother, the King, following the publication of Spare, to frogmarch Meghan and Harry out of Frogmore Cottage).
Well, they can forget that now. By publishing those two Royal names, Omid Scobie must have crushed any prospect of a reunion. This is war. Instead of legal action, the King should move swiftly to remove the titles of his younger son and his wife. Scobie called his book Endgame – the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival. We all know who – and what – the monarchy is fighting. There can be only one winner.