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What “action” does Prince William want?
Prince William “wants action,” the Mail on Sunday reports, after a week of screaming headlines following the publication of Omid Scobie’s Endgame, whose Dutch and Belgian editions named King Charles and his wife Kate Middleton as the alleged “royal racists” who had what Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey in 2021 were “concerns and conversations” about the color of the then-unborn Prince Archie’s skin.
A source close to the royal family has urged Prince Harry and Meghan to defend Charles and Kate, telling the Telegraph: “For the couple that talked about ‘death by a thousand no comments’, the silence at this point is deafening.”
Meanwhile, the Sun on Sunday has found more sections in the Dutch version of the book that are not in the English—including a source close to the Sussexes calling William “heartless” for not letting Harry join his royal relatives on their plane to Scotland the day Queen Elizabeth died.
One section of the English version, which discusses the trip to Balmoral, reads: “Harry was informed that William had already secured a flight with his uncles Andrew and Edward (and Edward’s wife, Sophie), but he couldn’t get in touch with anyone about joining that flight.
“It was upsetting to witness,” said a source close to the Sussexes. “(Harry) was completely by himself on this.”
The Dutch version continues: “It was heartless to deny him the chance to go to Scotland to say goodbye to his grandmother. This was not the time to be petty.’”
In another section about events at the time, a “family source” is quoted as saying, “William ignored him. He clearly didn’t want to see his brother.”
But the Dutch edition reads: “William purposely ignored him. He didn’t want to see his brother and didn’t want to help. He was, and is, still angry because Harry revealed private issues. He thinks that is unforgivable.”
The Daily Beast reported yesterday that, as bad as the brothers’ relationship was before the “royal racists” scandal, a friend of William and Kate made it clear they now have “zero interest” in ever seeing Harry and Meghan again.
Scobie and his publishers are yet to respond to the Sun on the fresh claims, but Scobie originally put the naming of the pair down to a “translating error”; the Dutch translator said she had simply transcribed the manuscript she was sent, and that the royal names were part of that manuscript “in black and white.”
How the names got to be in those editions, and not others, is now the subject of an inquiry, Scobie said—did the Dutch receive in error an earlier draft of the book that had not been seen by a lawyer and subsequently edited, or was the naming deliberate and part of a publicity stunt? The royals are said to considering their options, including legal action. Meghan, via sources, has said that correspondence between her and Charles after the Oprah interview was not leaked by anyone close to her, and that she had never intended the names to be publicly identified.
Friends of Harry and Meghan said they had not leaked anything directly to Scobie. One quoted in the Sunday Times said: “I don’t think they are coming out of this looking good or benefiting from any of this. It doesn’t reflect well on them at all.”
“Royal aides have downplayed the suggestions of legal action, not wishing to further fan the flames,” the Sunday Times reported. “Resigned acceptance” has rippled across the royal households. “It’s business as usual, we’re focused on getting on with the job,” a palace aide told the paper.
The final decision on what to do rests with Charles, who, according to sources quoted by the Mail on Sunday, “will not act hastily.”
A Palace source told the paper: “Most right-thinking people would expect an apology—who wouldn’t? Being falsely branded a racist in print is a serious allegation that must be treated seriously. All options are still on the table.”
A source close to the Palace told the Telegraph that high-level discussions would take place this week between the households of King Charles and Prince William, who have yet to meet in person to talk about the naming of Charles and Kate. “Discussions are being had, and we’ll continue those discussions this week, but not in a crisis talks manner,” the source said. “Conversations will be had and decisions made with care and time and professionalism rather than rushed over a weekend.”
The Mirror also said it would be “business as usual” this coming week, with royal family members assembling for a ceremony for 500 diplomats at Buckingham Palace, and a charity carol concert at Westminster Abbey hosted by William and Kate. The idea, sources told the Mirror, would be to show the royals “rising above” events of the last few days—first signaled by William and Kate attending the Royal Variety Performance in London amid the clamoring headlines of the week.
A source close to Charles told the Sunday Times that he was “not distracted” by the headlines while in Dubai attending the Cop 28 environmental gathering, and was “actively focused on what he had to do, not on what was going on back at the ranch.”
Harry and Meghan wedding snub
Next summer, Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke of Westminster (and one of the U.K.’s wealthiest people), is getting married. He is a close friend of William and Harry—but only one brother looks set to be getting an invite.
William and Kate are on the invitation list—and, in a sign of how deep the brothers’ rift is, Harry and Meghan have not been invited, the Sunday Times reports—a deliberate move “to avoid a family clash with the House of Windsor,” the paper says. William may even be the Duke’s best man for his marriage to Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral on June 7.
Grosvenor is a godfather to both Kate and William’s oldest son, George, 10, and to Prince Archie, Harry and Meghan’s son, the Times reveals. Grosvenor is Charles’ godson.
Grosvenor had wanted to Harry and Meghan, the paper reports, but decided against it to avoid tension with Charles, Queen Camilla, William, and Kate. A spokesman for Grosvenor told the Times that they were “not in a position to comment on the guest list.”
A friend of William and Harry’s told the paper: “It’s incredibly sad it has come to this. Hugh is one of very few close friends of William and Harry’s who has maintained strong bonds and a line of communication with both. He wishes they could put their heads together and patch things up, but realizes it’s unlikely to happen before the wedding. He wanted to avoid anything overshadowing the day, especially for Olivia, and doesn’t want any awkwardness.”
Possibly the only person to get more publicity out of Omid Scobie’s book than Omid Scobie is Piers Morgan, who was the first mainstream British broadcaster to name Charles and Kate as the alleged “royal racists,” doing so on live TV. Today, in the Sunday Times, he has penned an article taking us inside his outrage, writing that “it’s time we were told exactly what was allegedly said by whom to who, when and where it was said, and in exactly what context.”
Morgan says he also has “some questions” for Scobie too. “How did he know who Meghan named in her private letter to Charles? She denies involvement in Endgame, but she said that about his last book Finding Freedom only to later admit in court—ironically after suing a newspaper for repeating information from a private correspondence with her father—that she briefed an aide on what to tell Scobie. I strongly suspect that either she, Harry or one of their friends must have told him the names, because it sure as hell wasn’t the king. Their damning silence this week hasn’t diminished my suspicions.”
King Charles’ speech at environmental gathering Cop 28 in Dubai was totally overshadowed by the latest sensational episode of the royal soap opera.
In his speech, Charles said: “I pray with all my heart that Cop28 will be [a] critical turning point towards genuine transformational action at a time when, already, as scientists have been warning for so long, we are seeing alarming tipping points being reached. Despite all the attention, there is 30% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there was [in 2015], and almost 40% more methane. Some important progress has been made, but it worries me greatly that we remain so dreadfully far off track as the global stocktake report demonstrates so graphically.”
Prince Andrew, smiling again!
As all hell rained down on his relatives, Prince Andrew perhaps took a rare victory lap. The disgraced prince was photographed out riding his horse on Friday morning, looking fairly delighted with himself. He even wore a jacket with the logo of the Grenadier Guards on it, per photos published in the Daily Mail, despite being relieved of his military associations in 2022. The defenestration took place in the queen’s name, but according to Omid Scobie, all this was really pushed along by Prince William.
Amid all the excitement generated this week by apparent incompetence in the publishing world, another seismic royal event: the dropping of the big trailer for the final episodes of The Crown, which include William singling out Kate as future queen material after she catches his eye dressed in lingerie at that now-famous St Andrew’s University fashion show!
The final few episodes, which will conclude the drama, drop on December 14. It all looks glossy and marvelous, although we are not sure about a wobbly-lipped Queen Elizabeth bemoaning her fate to an adviser, saying, “What about the woman I put aside when I became queen?” Somehow, just not very Liz.
This week in royal history
On December 9, 1992, then Prime Minister John Major formally announced the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
So many! How did the leak of the names of the “royal racists” happen? Was it an accident—an early, un-legaled draft of Omid Scobie’s Endgame that got sent to the Netherlands—or a more tangled conspiracy-meets-publicity stunt? Who leaked Scobie the correspondence between Meghan and King Charles? If the names, and comments ascribed to them were true, how and in what tone and intent were those comments made? Has this torpedoed Harry and William’s relationship forever? Even though the royals are leaning into “business as usual,” do Charles and Kate care that their names will remain indelibly linked to the scandal? Do they not want to explain, or challenge, anything?