Well, the cat is well and truly amongst the Royal pigeons as yet another book about the monarchy, hits the shelves, jam-packed with revelations that are sure to upset the Royal Family.
Journalist and author Omid Scobie, author of 2020’s international best-selling biography "Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan, and the Making of a Modern Royal Family" (along with Carolyn Durand), is back with his second book, "Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival."
It promised to be a penetrating investigation into the current state of the British monarchy. And that it is.- Packed full of Royal history as well as revelations that are sure to generate days and days of headlines, this is familiar territory for Scobie.
"Finding Freedom" was the story of Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back as working Royals, and even though they denied they collaborated on it, it’s since been revealed that Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex did help Scobie for the book – if only to correct her father’s narrative in it.
Scobie is often touted as Harry and Meghan’s mouthpiece or cheerleader, which he strongly denies. He still draws criticism for his willingness to defend the couple or tell their side of the story.
But his new book "Endgame" is more than the latest tome on the Sussexes, it’s an account of a Royal Family reeling after the death of its matriarch, moving into a new era where they will have to modernize to survive – or it’s "endgame."
Here are just a few of the revelations in the book that are sure to send shockwaves through the Royal ranks.
King Charles III told close family that Prince Harry wasn’t to be trusted ahead of the release of "Spare"
It’s December 2022. The publication of Prince Harry’s long-awaited and much-lauded memoir "Spare" is on the horizon. It’s just days after the documentary "Harry & Meghan" dropped on Netflix, and the Royal Family are on red alert.
The King has pre-recorded his Christmas address at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle before retreating to Sandringham for the traditional Royal Family Christmas. Harry and Meghan, are, of course, not invited, which is of no surprise to anyone in attendance. Scobie writes, “It was Charles who chose not to reach out to his younger son. Instead, it was Harry who made the effort to wish his father well over the holidays."
“Charles was cautious,” a source close to the monarch shared. “He didn’t want to engage in anything other than light chat… The message among the family about Harry was he is not to be trusted until they see what is in the book and what he says while promoting it. They all took that seriously.”
It’s hard to be a person of colour working for the Royal Family
A lot has been written about the Royal Family and the subject of race, but when it comes to the family members themselves, they stay mostly stoic and silent on the subject.
In the wake of Harry & Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, where Meghan described conversations with someone in the Royal Family who had concerns over Archie’s skin colour, Prince William told reporters that, “We’re very much not a racist family.”
But people who work in the Royal household have revealed a different atmosphere. Scobie spoke to a non-white member of the Royal household staff who wanted to remain anonymous.
They said, “I would be lying if I said it’s not a difficult environment to be a person of colour… I have not witnessed outright, explicit racism but I have certainly experienced, and seen others experience microaggressions and prejudice at work. This place still has a long way to go when it comes to everyone working here being able to feel completely comfortable.”
Another member of staff said, “The ignorance and casual racism is as bad as you think it is. It felt like another era sometimes.” Let’s not forget that this is a household where in 1968 a document was issued that said it wasn’t appropriate to hire coloured immigrants or foreigners to clerical or important roles.
It’s not clear when this ban was scrapped but records show people of colour being appointed into these roles from the 1990s onwards.
The Royal Family believe Prince Harry is paranoid – just like his mother
Diana, Princess of Wales, famously gave an interview about her time in the Royal Family and her marriage to Charles to the BBC’s Martin Bashir, which we later found out he obtained using duplicitous methods, playing on Diana’s paranoia at that time.
Fast forward twenty-something years later and her son has given interviews about his time in the Royal Family and his mental health and was labelled, too, with the same tag – paranoid.
In "Endgame," Scobie talks about the "Diana effect" -- both good and bad -- and how the Royal Family prefers the side that boosts its image rather than the side that forces it to question itself.
Scobie writes, “And with Harry and Meghan’s own storyline out there dredging up… issues particularly the institution’s indifference when it comes to women and mental health, this is a propitious moment for the Firm to, at the very least, rewrite this one notorious chapter… Harry has experienced something very similar after sharing his own experiences and truth….He understands exactly what his mother when through because it’s happening to him too.”
Two people expressed concerns about Archie’s skin colour – and they have been named in The Netherlands
One of the big revelations from Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was that someone within the Royal Family expressed concerns what colour Archie’s skin would be.
In "Endgame," Scobie reveals that there were in fact two parties who had these concerns, and Meghan shared their names in private letters with King Charles III.
Scobie doesn’t name them in the book, saying, “Laws in the United Kingdom prevent me from reporting who they were.”
However, it’s thought they were named in a Dutch version of the book in error, which has since been pulled from the shelves.
King Charles III is very spoiled – apparently
King Charles, left, and the President of Korea Yoon Suk Yeol speak as they leave the Ceremonial Welcome ceremony by carriage for Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
It’s long been rumoured that King Charles III likes the finer things in life – and this should come as no surprise – he is British aristocracy, after all. But in "Endgame," Scobie details how palace staff complained to journalists about the King’s “service demands and his extravagant lifestyle”.
Scobie writes, “There have been reports of temper tantrums at night… if the prince’s pyjamas aren’t pressed, sources have claimed, there is hell to pay… There is even a rumour (one that surprisingly, sources have confirmed) that Charles likes to have someone squeeze exactly one inch of toothpaste onto his toothbrush for him ahead of his bedtime routine.” Must be nice…