Monarchy has suffered 'reputational damage' following naming of race row royals

Monarchy has suffered 'reputational damage' following naming of race row royals

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

The pair are alleged to have raised “concerns” during family discussions before he was born about how dark the skin of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son might be.

Their names were 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.

Royal Variety Performance 2023
The Prince and Princess of Wales faced questions about Omid Scobie’s book as they arrived for the Royal Variety Performance (Aaron Chown/PA)

Many national newspapers have followed the lead of broadcaster Piers Morgan who named the two royal figures on his TalkTV show on Wednesday night.

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.

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.

Cop28 summit
The King makes his address at Cop28 in Dubai (Chris Jackson/PA)

“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.

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”.

Mr Scobie states in his book that two people, not one as Meghan said, made the comment about Archie, widely interpreted as a racist remark.

Endgame claims the names were discussed in letters exchanged between the Duchess of Sussex and the King.

During an appearance on BBC’s Newsnight Mr 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.