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A royal family ‘in crisis’: six claims from Omid Scobie’s book Endgame

<span>Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA</span>
Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

The latest tome on the royals has dropped, though, according to initial reviews, with none of the explosive impact of Spare, the Duke of Sussex’s unsparing memoir.

Endgame – by the Sussexes’ journalist supporter-in-chief, Omid Scobie, the co-author of Finding Freedom, on their escape from “the firm” – examines a royal family “in crisis”.

It has been described as one-sided by monarchy-loving media outlets, with one unnamed royal source reportedly saying it is “depressingly poisonous”.

Scobie, 42, has stressed in pre-publication interviews that he has not interviewed Harry and Meghan for the book, nor is he Meghan’s friend. But he told the Times: “I have mutual friends with [Meghan], and that definitely helps with getting information and breaking details.”

Here are some of its claims.

Heir apparent

The king is reportedly unnerved by the actions of Prince William. Scobie suggests William made attempts to upstage Charles, seeing him as a transitional king. Coverage of his father’s first trooping the colour was wiped from front pages after William gave a rare interview to the Times, for example, the book claims. William is cast as “hot-headed” and a “company man”. He did not consider Charles “competent enough” to adequately deal with the Duke of York situation, it claims. Charles’s reluctance is said to have “baffled” William, “who didn’t have much confidence in his father to do the right thing anyway”. Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace are reportedly “hives of competing agendas and different ideas about how to modernise”.

Related: ‘The monarchy looks vulnerable’: will Britain’s republicans bring down the king?

Angry king

William’s unilateral decision to immediately distance himself from former lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey after she asked Ngozi Fulani, a black charity leader, where she was “really” from, allegedly angered Buckingham Palace. A palace source is quoted saying it was “a rash … kneejerk response”. The book claims Charles was disappointed by William’s failure to involve him in his big environmental initiative, the Earth Shot prize. It also claims Charles “derived some schadenfreude” from the Cambridges’ criticised tour of the Caribbean. But, Scobie suggests, Charles was “furious” when royal aides told journalists on the journey back that lessons had been learned and discussed a “blueprint” for William’s reign, seeing it as upstaging. The decision to evict Harry and Meghan from Frogmore Cottage is described as punishment. Scobie reports that, in a phone call to Charles, Harry asked: “Don’t you want to see your grandchildren?”

Brotherly strife

William believes Harry has been “brainwashed” by an “army of therapists”, it is claimed. William also ignored texts from Harry on the day the late Queen died, meaning Harry had to charter a plane to get to Balmoral, it claims. Scobie quotes Harry telling a friend: “I’m ready to move on past it. Whether we get an apology or accountability, who knows: who really cares at this point?” The book also alleges that the Waleses allowed staff to circulate negative stories about the Sussexes.

Thankful queen

Camilla is alleged to have quietly thanked the TV presenter Piers Morgan for defending “the firm” after he called Meghan “Princess Pinocchio”. Camilla is also described by a former aide as rolling her eyes at “lefty nonsense” such as gender identity, unconscious bias and veganism.

Letters from Meghan

Harry was reportedly “gutted” when, after allegations of bullying staff were made against Meghan, the royal family stood by to watch the “dirty game play out”. Harry reportedly confronted his father and brother after Prince Philip’s funeral. Scobie writes that Charles replied: “You must understand, darling boy, the institution can’t just tell the media what to do.” Charles and Meghan exchanged letters in the wake of her interview with Oprah Winfrey, it is alleged. The alleged letters are said to reveal the identity of two people the duchess claimed in the TV interview had aired “concerns” about the colour of then-unborn Prince Archie’s skin.

Queen in training

Kate is described as “jokingly shivering” when Meghan’s name is mentioned. She is accused of being “cold if she doesn’t like someone” and ignoring Meghan’s “cries for help”. Scobie writes that Kate spent more time talking about Meghan than talking to her. The future queen is described as an “inscrutable queen in training – an institutional dream come true”.

Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s representatives have been contacted for comment.