Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are likely to be worried Omid Scobie’s new book will scupper their chances of mending their rift with the Royal Family, an expert has said. Claims about senior royals including Princess Kate and Prince William made in Endgame come amid reports the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are seeking to mend their fractious relationship with King Charles and the Windsors.
Pauline Maclaran, Professor of Marketing and Consumer Research at Royal Holloway, University of London, compared Scobie’s book to a Shakespearean tragedy, but one full of “well-worn” tropes such as a prince thrusting for power and an unpopular king.
On a claim in the book two people questioned Prince Archie’s skin colour, Professor Maclaran said: “I don’t think it will do any more damage [to the Royal Family] than it has already… It will be interesting to see what [Harry and Meghan] do. Before the book came out they were trying to distance themselves. The Sussexes may be worried the book will spoil a chance of restoring relations with the Royal Family.”
She added claims emerging from the book have had an emotional rollercoaster effect with the emotional turbulence contributing to the idea with the public that this is a royal soap opera over which the Windsors have no control.
The analysis comes as Scobie was this week accused of being behind a “stunt to sell books” during a TV interview to plug Endgame where he claimed never to have named the two race row royals.
This Morning co-host Craig Doyle quizzed the journalist about his royal family book Endgame, saying it seemed “bizarre” to the public that two members of the monarchy, accused of racism by commentators, had been identified in the Dutch version of his book.
Copies of Scobie’s work had to be pulled from the shelves in the Netherlands on publication day on Tuesday (November 28), when they were found to have named two members of the Royal Family alleged to have raised “concerns” about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son. Express.co.uk has decided not to name them.
Broadcaster Piers Morgan took the decision to name the pair on his TalkTV show on Wednesday night, saying the British public had a right to know as Dutch readers were aware of their identities. Endgame claims the names were discussed in letters exchanged between the Duchess of Sussex and the King. Media lawyer Mark Stephens called on the Sussexes to take legal action to “stanch” their distribution.
Among other bombshell claims published in Endgame, Scobie repeats claims the Princess of Wales is “cold” and ignored the Duchess of Sussex’s “cries for help”.
King Charles’s relationship with Prince William also comes under the spotlight with a “source” making a scathing comment about the heir to the throne’s opinion of his father. The source, quoted in the book, said: “William (doesn’t) think his father is competent enough, quite frankly. Though they share passions and interests, their style of leadership is completely different.”
Further claims made in the book are that there is a rift between the King and Prince of Wales; that Queen Camilla has “quietly thanked” Morgan for “defending the Firm”, and a timid Princess of Wales has to be encouraged to take part in official engagements.
Scobie’s book makes a series of allegations linked to the Sussexes, including that William and other family members “covertly sanctioned” leaks to reporters about Harry and that the elder brother ignored texts from the Duke when the royals were making their way to Balmoral before the late Queen Elizabeth II died last year.
On the claim Princess Kate is “cold” and work-shy, Professor Maclaran said: “That seems a bit ridiculous. We see her all the time. It seems Omid Scobie is saying Kate is afraid to express her opinions. That’s probably true. If you’re going to be a member of the Royal Family you have to watch every step you take otherwise the media will pick up on it.”
Professor Maclaran said ultimately the Royal Family will “rise above” the furore the book has caused, as the Firm has done previously in response to claims made in Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, and those levelled against the Windsors in the Sussexes’ Netflix documentary series, Harry & Meghan. She continued: “This time they may try to respond in some way. I imagine they will try to rise above it. There’s many contentious issues in the book, but I don’t think it’s been given much credibility.”
She added Prince William will feel “pretty aggrieved” by Endgame’s discussion of racism within the Royal Family, especially after the heir to the throne rejected the accusation when Meghan first voiced the claim publicly during the Sussexes’ TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
Harry and Meghan have reportedly tried to distance themselves from the book, with Scobie also trying to show the work is not biased in favour of the Sussexes. He told the media ahead of Endgame hitting the shelves that he is not Meghan’s pal but shares mutual friends with her.
Professor Maclaran said if media speculation around the extent to which Harry and Meghan were involved in Scobie’s book continues, then it will damage the pair more than it will the Royal Family.
Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace have not issued responses to the book.