Shropshire Star

Sunak praises King as he steers clear of royal race row

The Prime Minister declined to comment on the naming of two members of the monarchy alleged to have raised concerns about Archie’s skin colour.

Global Investment Summit 2023 Royal reception

Rishi Sunak steered clear of commenting on a royal race row as he heaped praise on the King for his involvement in international climate talks.

The Prime Minister declined to comment directly on the naming in a book of two members of the royal family alleged to have raised “concerns” about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son.

Dutch copies of Endgame by Omid Scobie were pulled from the shelves in the Netherlands on publication day on Tuesday, when they were found to have identified two individuals said to have questioned Archie’s skin tone before he was born.

Asked about the controversy as he flew to Dubai for the Cop28 climate talks, Mr Sunak told reporters: “By longstanding and appropriate convention it wouldn’t be right for me to talk about the royal family in any way shape or form.”

The Prime Minister went on to applaud the climate-conscious King ahead of Charles’ opening address to world leaders at the climate summit on Friday.

“I’m delighted that he’s going to be at Cop tomorrow, he’s giving a call to arms in the opening statement,” Mr Sunak said.

“It speaks volumes about our type of leadership as a country that we’ve got our head of state there, delivering a call to arms in the opening statement which speaks volumes about the respect that he’s got on this issue around the world.

“We’ve got the head of Government there in me, and we’ve got our chief diplomat there in the Foreign Secretary. There are very few countries that will be able to say what I’ve just said.

“So that speaks again to our leadership on this issue and particularly His Majesty’s longstanding track record championing this issue and I’m delighted that he’s going to be delivering this very important statement tomorrow.”

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Harry and Meghan alleged an unidentified member of the monarchy – but not Queen Elizabeth II or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh – had raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.

Mr Scobie states in his book that two people, not one as Meghan said, made the comment about Archie, widely interpreted as a racist remark.

Mr Scobie has been accused of being behind a “stunt to sell books” during a television interview where he claimed never to have named the two race row royals in his expose.

This Morning co-host Craig Doyle quizzed the journalist about his royal family book, 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.

Mr Scobie said he wrote the English language version of his book but does not speak the other languages it was translated into, “so the only time you hear about the book is once it’s come out in the public domain. I’m as frustrated as everyone else”.

He claimed: “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.

“I have never submitted a book that had their names in it, so I can only talk about my version.”

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.

Later the website Mail Online claimed to have found the translator of the book’s Dutch edition, with the individual telling the website: “The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them. I just did what I was paid to do and that was translate the book from English into Dutch.”

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