Royals involved in race row named in Dutch version of controversial book

Two members of the royal family alleged to have raised “concerns” about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son have been named in a new book.

The Dutch version of Endgame by Omid Scobie was pulled from shelves on Tuesday, the day of publication, after early reviewers spotted it mentioned an individual who was said to have questioned Archie’s skin tone before he was born.

Now the name of a second member of the monarchy, alleged to have made the same comment, has been found in the pages of the Dutch edition, titled Final Battle, according to social media.

Monarchy in crisis after series of revelations by Meghan
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA)

The version being sold in English-speaking countries does not name the two people, with Mr Scobie stating: “Laws in the United Kingdom prevent me from reporting who they were.”

But the names are widely featured and discussed on social media and are likely to circulate further in the coming days.

In their interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, the Sussexes 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.

Before publication of Endgame there had been widespread speculation about the identity of the royal but now two individuals will be associated with the comment.

The book’s publisher said in a statement on its website: “Xander Uitgevers is temporarily withdrawing the book Final Battle by Omid Scobie from sale. An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being corrected.”

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Harry and Meghan holding their son Archie during a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2019 (Toby Melville/PA)

Meghan’s claim in 2021 led to a difficult period for the royal family, with the Prince of Wales having to defend the monarchy against accusations of racism, saying: “We’re very much not a racist family.”

Harry denied the comment about his son was racist during an interview to promote his memoir Spare earlier this year.

When asked by his friend and broadcaster Tom Bradby “wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?” the duke replied “no I wouldn’t”.

The two names came to light in letters exchanged between Meghan and Charles in the aftermath of the Sussexes’ Winfrey interview, according to Endgame.

In his book, Mr Scobie says of Charles’s correspondence with his daughter-in-law: “The King, said sources, wanted his response to make clear to Meghan that he felt there was no ill will or casual prejudice present when the two people had spoken about his future grandson.”

Speaking to Dutch TV, the writer said: “The book is available in a number of languages and unfortunately I can’t speak Dutch so I haven’t seen the copy for myself, but if there have been any translation errors I am sure the publisher has got it under control.

“For me, I edited and wrote the English version; there has never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it.”

Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace declined to comment.