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Monarchy faces 'long-lasting damage' as pair at heart of 'racism' row named

A pair of royals are alleged to have discussed what colour the skin of Prince Harry's baby with Meghan Markle would be <i>(Image: PA)</i>
A pair of royals are alleged to have discussed what colour the skin of Prince Harry's baby with Meghan Markle would be (Image: PA)

THE British monarchy has suffered “long-lasting reputational damage” following a row which has seen two royals named as being at the heart of racism allegations, a royal commentator has said.

King Charles and Kate, the Princess of Wales, have been widely named as the pair who are alleged to have raised “concerns” during family discussions about how dark the skin of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son might be before he was born.

Their names were first published in the Dutch edition of journalist Omid Scobie’s book Endgame, about the future of the royal family, which was quickly pulled from the shelves after the disclosure, which was not present in the English language version.

The BBC and many national newspapers followed the lead of broadcaster Piers Morgan, who named the two royal figures on his TalkTV show on Wednesday night.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales were the first members of the royal family to face public questions about the race row, when a member of the press shouted out to them when they arrived at the Royal Variety Performance on Thursday night.

William was asked: “Your royal highness, have you got a comment about Omid Scobie’s book?”

Another question was directed at the couple: “Did you watch the Piers Morgan show last night, your royal highnesses?”

The couple did not respond to either question.

The row has overshadowed the King’s address to COP28, the UN Climate Change summit hosted by Dubai, where he warned global leaders the world remains “dreadfully far off track” in key climate targets and called for meaningful change.

The National: The King, wearing a tie bearing a motif of the Greek flag, speaks to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as they attend the opening ceremony of the World Climate Action Summit at Cop28 in Dubai (Chris Jackson/PA)
The National: The King, wearing a tie bearing a motif of the Greek flag, speaks to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as they attend the opening ceremony of the World Climate Action Summit at Cop28 in Dubai (Chris Jackson/PA)

Joe Little of Majesty magazine said: “The allegations, true or untrue, will clearly put doubt in the minds of people who are aware of the individuals who have been named. That can’t be helpful in any shape or form.

“But mud sticks, once the shadow of doubt is there it never really goes away, and it’s got to impact not only on the individuals but also the institution as a whole – it’s a long-lasting reputational damage.”

It is understood all options are being considered by Buckingham Palace following the publication of the two names.

Focus within the royal household is firmly on the King’s diary, especially with his appearance on the world stage in Dubai this week.

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In their interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Harry and Meghan alleged an unidentified member of the monarchy – but not Queen Elizabeth II or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh – had raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.

Scobie claims in his book that the names were discussed in letters exchanged between the Duchess of Sussex and the King.

During an appearance on BBC’s Newsnight, Scobie said a “full investigation” was being carried out into how the names appeared in the Dutch edition of his book.

When asked if the “buck stops” with him he replied: “It doesn’t stop with me because there are irresponsible people in this country that have broken the law and repeated names that should never have been repeated, should never be named.

“The book I wrote, the book I edited, the book I signed off on did not have names. So I’m as frustrated as everyone else."

Buckingham Palace declined to comment and Kensington Palace has been contacted for a comment.