Logo of This Morning
itv |

Weekdays 10am-12:30pm

Exclusive: Omid Scobie speaks out about royal book 'translation error'

Brace yourself for some Royal revelations. Omid Scobie, famous for writing about Harry and Meghan, joins us for an exclusive chat following the release of his highly anticipated second book on the royal family, Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival. Omid pulls back the curtain on an institution in alleged turmoil exposing chaos, family dysfunction, distrust and draconian practices threatening its very future.

Speaking to hosts Alison Hammond and Craig Doyle about ‘Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s fight for survival’, Omid told Craig he did not include the two royal names accused of asking Prince Harry about the colour of Archie’s skin in his version of the book, which have controversially appeared in the Dutch version of the book, and has been taken off the shelves.

Omid said, “It's still being investigated right now. I wrote and edited the English version of the book with one publisher. That then gets licensed to other publishers. I obviously can't speak Italian, German, French, Dutch or any of the other languages that come out. 

“So the only time you hear about the book is once it's come out in the public domain. I'm as frustrated as everyone else, I make it very clear in this book that I, in every way possible, want to adhere to the laws surrounding this subject.”

He added, “It's why I've been very careful and how it's described in the book. And it's why I've never spoken about it beyond what I've said in the public domain before. The reality is, though, is that this is information that is not privy just to me. Journalists across Fleet Street have known those names for a long time, we've all followed a certain code of conduct when it comes to talking about it. It's frustrating that now what's going on in the Netherlands with the book that was obviously immediately rescinded and is now being reprinted has happened. I'm glad to hear that. But for me, I can only talk about the English version of the book that I wrote.

“I had never submitted a book that had their names in it. So I can only talk about my version. I'm obviously frustrated. And I wouldn't say I'm upset about it. Because to be honest, I've been operating a bubble of no emotion for the last 10 days. But I'm frustrated about it just like how many of the other things I've seen, written or said about the book.”

Alison asked if he feels that some people are trying to discredit him to avoid discussing whether the royal family is racist and he said, “Firstly, I've never used the ‘racist’ word in this subject. Even the book makes it very clear that we're talking about unconscious bias. 

“And I realised that the alliteration of ‘racist royal’ is a great headline. But that's not the subject at stake here. 

“We're talking about a conversation that was raised about the colour of Archie’s skin that they called concerns. And for me, it was important to get to the bottom of that; a) why was it not covered ever again? Why did the Sussexes never talk about it? What happened behind the scenes? 

“This isn't just a family that we're writing about, like celebrities. This is a family that is part of a publicly funded institution that is representative of Britain for our entire diverse country. And so to ask questions around the issue of race, or potential unconscious bias dealt with properly is important.”

Craig also asked about Princess of Wales, Kate being referred to as a ‘Stepford’ wife in the book, and Omid replied, “It said ‘Stepford-wife like’. I think that the whole section of the book, if you read it in detail talks about that she's never puts a step wrong, but also that the role does require that kind of stately detachment and, and it compared her to the Queen in a very favourable way, actually. 

“But of course, if you compare that to say, everyday folk, there is a very reserved, almost Stepford-like, approach to those kinds of things.”

Craig said, “A lot of it feels like a bit of a hatchet job against the royal family” and asked Omid what his relationship with Meghan and Harry is like and Omid said, “I'm not their friend, I've never sat down with Meghan privately for interviews, I've never exchanged information with Meghan, I'm not in their private world in any way whatsoever.”

Craig asked if he was fighting their corner and Omid replied, “No. During Meghan's time as a working member of the royal family, I was extremely sympathetic for the position she was in. I was one of a number of journalists, a part of that small pack that covered the story, as a full time job.”

He added, “For me, there were things that I saw being written about in the press, that comments are being made about her unfair treatment, when it came to how she was being written about compared to say how we've written about others in the past. And so I called it out.” 

On the public’s reaction to the book, Omid said, “I knew that it would be heated and controversial, absolutely. But a lot of this has been simply about me. It's been unnecessary information about me, it has been unfair attacks about me, it's been an assassination of my character. My father's been harassed.”

Alison mentioned he’d had death threats and Omid said, “I don't want to make light of those. But death threats, almost like the least of my worry. I had tabloid journalists harassing my father last night and the week before, trying to purport all sorts of nonsense. I've had things done that have happened behind the scenes that no one would ever know about. The reality is that this book covers a lot of things that the British press don't want to talk about, because they are part of it. “

Concluding the interview, Craig asked Omid if he wants the monarchy to exist and Omid replied, “There are aspects of the monarchy I appreciate and have been proud of. But there are also many moments I feel that don't represent the Britain that we should be in today.”

And on the future of the royal family, Omid said, “Meghan and Harry are irrelevant to the future of the royal family. I'm only here to talk about the past experiences and stories and how they relate to the issues that we're talking about with the royal family today. So I have very little interest in what they're doing in California, etc. 

“But I do think when Meghan was a working member of the royal family, she was massively misrepresented in lots of the coverage. I think a lot of it was steeped in xenophobia, misogyny and prejudice. I've always said that very loudly from the start. It's the thing that has made me a target for many people, in terms of someone who is just seen as like some mouthy fan of her, rather than perhaps okay, I'm a mixed race member of the press pack. And I've got something different to say about it.”

Logo of This Morning
itv |

Weekdays 10am-12:30pm