Omid Scobie's new royal book "Endgame" was pulled from shelves in the Netherlands after its release on Tuesday
A U.K. politician is speaking out in support of the two senior royal family members at the center of a royal book controversy.
Tom Tugendhat, a minister in the U.K. government, praised the "dignity" and "grace" of King Charles and Kate Middleton after the Dutch version of Omid Scobie's book Endgame reportedly identified them as the two royals who allegedly made remarks about how dark the skin color of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son Prince Archie would be before he was born.
According to the Times in the U.K., the Dutch version of the book reportedly included a claim that Charles was one of the participants in a conversation. A second, unclear, reference suggested that Kate was also involved in conversations.
During an appearance on TalkTV in the U.K. on Thursday, Tugendhat was asked about the lack of evidence for the claims against the King, 75, and the Princess of Wales, 41.
“Some individual has written some rumor and scuttlebutt that has made various claims about His Majesty the King that are, frankly, completely unproven," he said. “The King’s done a brilliant job for us, not just in the last year since he’s been King, but he’s been absolutely fantastic for many, many years in arguing in the interests of the British people as Prince of Wales. So frankly I see this as just rumor, hearsay and an attempt to disparage somebody who’s served our country with enormous dignity and enormous grace for many many years.”
In Endgame, Scobie writes about the private written correspondence between Charles and Meghan addressing the Duchess of Sussex's concerns about unconscious racial bias in the royal family after Meghan and Harry's Oprah Winfrey interview in 2021. During their sitdown with Oprah, they alleged that there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born." When Oprah asked who made that comment, Meghan declined to answer, saying the revelation would be too damaging. While the English version of Endgame doesn't go so far as to name the individuals allegedly involved in those conversations, the Dutch version reportedly does.
Buckingham Palace said on Thursday that aides are “considering all options” over the assertions (hinting that there could be legal action), but has not made any further comment. Kensington Palace, where Princess Kate has her office, declined to comment.
A source close to the Sussexes told PEOPLE that suggestions Meghan or her team provided the letter to Scobie are entirely false.
In a statement to the Times in the U.K., Scobie said: “The reality, 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.”
Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth two days after the Oprah interview aired in the U.S. While the Queen said the family was "saddened" to hear of Meghan and Harry's challenges and stated "Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members," she also remarked that "some recollections may vary" when it comes to the issues and concerns raised in their interview.
While promoting his book Spare in an interview with ITV's Tom Bradby that aired last January, Prince Harry denied accusing his family of racism. The Duke of Sussex said he wouldn't describe the incident as racist, "having lived within that family."
"The difference between racism and unconscious bias...the two things are different," he said.
Charles and Kate's names first became public following Endgame's publication in the Netherlands on Tuesday in what has been described by both publishers and Scobie as an "error." It's unclear if the Dutch translation was incorrect or if the translation had been based on an earlier draft.
British journalist Piers Morgan was the first to report Charles and Kate's names on his TalkTV show on Wednesday. During his monologue, Morgan, who is a well-known critic of Meghan, Harry and Scobie, said that he didn’t believe a racist comment was made.
Princess Kate and King Charles have since been named by the BBC, The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the New York Times and the New York Post among others as the royals who were identified in the Dutch edition of Endgame.
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Scobie has vehemently denied that the "error" in the Dutch edition was a marketing trick. In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday, Scobie said that he was “hurt” by suggestions of “conspiracy theories that this is a publicity stunt.”
“All of this is frustrating because it feeds into something that couldn’t be further from the truth. And also, quite frankly, I’ve always felt the names weren’t needed to have this discussion," he said.
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