Dutch speakers say edition naming Royals ‘as racist’ in Omid Scobie’s book can't be a mistranslation - as copies pulped

29 November 2023, 08:48 | Updated: 29 November 2023, 09:06

The Dutch translation of Endgame appeared to identify two Royal Family members 'accused of speaking about Archie's skin colour
The Dutch translation of Endgame appeared to identify two Royal Family members 'accused of speaking about Archie's skin colour. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Native Dutch speakers have claimed there is no way that a Royal Family member could have been named as the ‘royal racist’ in Omid Scobie’s new book by way of a mistranslation.

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His new book Endgame was pulled from sale in the Netherlands yesterday after it apparently identified two family members, one by name.

The book’s Dutch publishers said they had been told to halt sales at the eleventh hour, with copies now set to be pulped.

The English version of the book does not name the royal accused by Meghan of expressing ‘concern’ about Archie’s skin colour, a claim that first emerged in her interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The book goes further to claim similar remarks were made by a second person in the Royal household.

Mr Scobie has insisted he is not to blame for the"translation error" which led to the Dutch version of his book apparently naming the royal.

He told Dutch chat show RTL Boulevard: “The book is in several languages, and unfortunately I do not speak Dutch. But if there are translation errors, I'm sure the publishers will have it under control.

“I wrote and edited the English version. There's never been no version that I've produced that has names in it.”

Read more: Second royal 'named as racist' in Dutch translation of Omid Scobie’s book as author insists he’s not to blame

Read more: The eight most explosive claims from new book Endgame

Omid Scobie's new book about the royal family has been pulled from shelves in the Netherlands
Omid Scobie's new book about the royal family has been pulled from shelves in the Netherlands. Picture: Alamy

A page from the book sent to Dutch journalists this week clearly points the finger at a senior royal.

The Dutch version states: “But in those private letters an identity was revealed and confirmed: [NAME REMOVED BY LBC].”

Dutch royal journalist Rick Evers said: “It seems as if only the Dutch version has published the person's name who spoke about the skin color of the unborn child.

“Publisher Xander Uitgevers doesn't want to confirm about this specific theme.”

He also told Good Morning Britain the first name was “very specific” and the second name was “a little bit vague.”

He said: “Names of two senior royals are mentioned during the book.”

“The first one is very clear and the official way was that it was a translation issue. There are some debates about how these passages were stated in the book. I would say how could you translate a name wrong?

“I got through the book with a colleague of you and we saw some passages were missing in the English version. Like a sentence, five sentences between the first and the third part that was in the Dutch version. 

“So something has been erased during the work that has been done for the book.”

Another fluent Dutch speaker added: "Definitely not a translation mistake. Seems obvious the translating happened before the name was edited out."

A spokesman for the Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers said: “We have, however, received a request to put the title on hold and that is what we have done.” The publisher later claimed it was an error that was “currently being rectified.”

HarperCollins in New York, Mr Scobie's publishers, have not yet commented.

The royal couple first made the claim a royal had asked about their son's skin colour when they were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in 2021.

Xander Uitgevers, which has published the Dutch translated version of the book, said on Tuesday that it was "temporarily withdrawing" it from bookshops in the country.

It added in a statement on its website: "An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified."

Mr Scobie told Dutch TV: "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."

In March 2021 Meghan said in her interview with Oprah there were 'several conversations' between herself, Harry and members of the Royal Family about 'how dark' their unborn baby Archie would be.

“In those months when I was pregnant [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born,” Meghan said.

Harry said: “That conversation, I am never going to share. It was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

Meghan added: 'I think it would be very damaging for them.'

Harry later clarified the royal was not Queen Elizabeth II or the Duke of Edinburgh.

Endgame contains a raft of explosive claims against the royals.

Besides the allegation about the approaches over Archie's skin colour, Scobie has claimed King Charles branded Harry a "fool" over the Harry and Meghan documentary and then refused to speak to him.

He has also alleged the King warned other royals not to trust him.

Meanwhile, William is portrayed as power hungry, and responsible for a rift between himself and his father for influence.