New book reignites royal race row over Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s son

LONDON – Almost three years after Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey sent shockwaves through the British monarchy, their most sensational claim that provoked a royal race row has been reignited by a new book.

In the dramatic interview with Winfrey in 2021, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex whose mother is Black and father is white, said while she was pregnant with son Archie, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.

The couple declined to say which unnamed royal made the remarks, although Winfrey later clarified it was neither the late Queen Elizabeth nor her husband Prince Philip.

The furore led Buckingham Palace to issue a statement on behalf of the Queen that pointedly said “recollections may vary”, and a denial from now heir Prince William that the family were racist.

Prince Harry, the younger son of King Charles, said in a subsequent 2023 TV interview, neither he nor Meghan accused anyone in their family of racism.

But a new book about the royals written by journalist Omid Scobie has brought the issue back to the fore, making front page news again in Britain this week.

In his book Endgame, Mr Scobie says the names of two figures involved were identified in private letters between King Charles and Meghan following the Winfrey interview, but said he was prevented from naming them by British laws.

However, on Nov 30, Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers said it temporarily removed the book from sale because of “an error” in the country’s edition in which the two royals were indeed named, although that particular paragraph does not appear at all in the English version.

“I edited and wrote the English version. There’s never been a version that I produced that has names in it,” Mr Scobie told Dutch broadcaster RTL Boulevard this week.

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In his TalkTV show on Wednesday, the royals allegedly involved were also named by British broadcaster Piers Morgan, a vocal critic of Prince Harry and Meghan.

He described Mr Scobie, who earlier in 2023 referred to the former tabloid editor when he appeared as a witness for Prince Harry in a phone-hacking court case, as the couple’s “lickspittle”.

King Charles, who has campaigned on climate change and sustainability for more than 50 years, made no reference to the row when he kicked off a visit to Dubai where he is meeting world leaders and will be delivering the opening address to the COP28 United Nations summit.

“I’m all right, thank you very much, just about, having had a rather ancient birthday recently, recovering from the shock of that,” King Charles, who celebrated his 75th birthday earlier in November, joked when he met Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu.

Neither Buckingham Palace nor any of the royal family’s offices have commented on the book, but the Daily Mail said officials were considering all options, including legal action.

“However, the key thing for them is His Majesty responding in the most eloquent way possible by getting on with business and not letting it distract from vastly more important issues regarding the future on the planet and bilaterals with other world leaders,” the paper quoted an unnamed source as saying. REUTERS

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