The Dutch translator who worked on Omid Scobie’s controversial book has insisted the names of two royals at the centre of a racism scandal were in the manuscript she was sent.
Saskia Peeters said she did not add the names to the Dutch version of the book Endgame.
Speaking to MailOnline from her home in Arnhem, she said: ‘As a translator, I translate what is in front of me.
‘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.’
Her claims appear to contradict Scobie’s who told ITV’s This Morning that he did not include the names of the two royals accused of discussing the skin colour of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie when he submitted the completed manuscript to his publisher.
Dutch translator Saskia Peeters (pictured today) who worked on Omid Scobie’s controversial book has insisted the names of two royals at the centre of racism scandal were in the manuscript she was sent
Her claims appear to contradict Scobie’s (pictured today) who told ITV’s This Morning that he did not include the names of the two royals
The alleged racist comments were made about ‘concerns’ over Prince Archie’s skin colour. Pictured: Harry and Meghan in Sydney in 2018
Saskia said she did not add the names to the Dutch version of the book Endgame (pictured)
‘I never submitted a book that had those names in it,’ Scobie insisted today.
The inclusion of the names led to 5,000 copies of the book – called ‘Final Battle’ in Holland – being withdrawn from sale on the bookshelves and pulped.
Bookstores were ordered to remove the paperback from their shelves and return to the publisher. The book will go back on sale next week.
TV presenter Piers Morgan has since revealed the names of the pair on his evening show.
Mrs Peeters was clearly shocked and nervous at the firestorm her translation has caused.
She did not say when she received the manuscript from the Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers.
She said that the pages were distributed between herself and fellow translator Nellie Keukellar-van Rijsbergen to transcribe.
When told the book’s author Scobie had denied the names were in his manuscript Mrs Peters said: ‘I don’t know why he would say that.
‘I have been translating for many years. This is the first time anything like this has happened.
‘This is not something I wanted to be involved in. This has been upsetting. I do not want to talk about it much more.’
The original claim was made by Meghan Markle in the Sussexes’ infamous 2021 Oprah Winfrey interview (pictured) when she revealed there were ‘several conversations’ between herself, Harry and Royal Family members about ‘how dark’ Archie would be
The inclusion of the names led to 5,000 copies of the book – called ‘Final Battle’ (pictured) in Holland – being withdrawn from sale on the bookshelves and pulped
Omid Scobie before the Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 3, 2022
Mrs Peters and her colleague Keukellar-van Rijsbergen are credited with the translation in the preface for the book which has been described as ‘poisonous’ for its attacks on the royal family, in particular Charles, Camilla and the Princess of Wales.
It is understood they were sent the English version of Endgame by Xander Uitgevers.
Mr Scobie, 42, issued a statement yesterday afternoon in which he insisted it was a ‘error in the translation’ in the Dutch version and he was ‘happy’ that it was being corrected.
But Netherlands publisher simply referred to ‘an error that occurred in the Dutch edition’ – not making any reference to a translation issue, suggesting there may be a difference in opinion as to what actually happened.
Colleagues of Mrs Peeters said would be ‘unthinkable’ that the experienced translators would add the names without checking with the publisher.
Paul Janse, who runs a book translation service, said: ‘I find it really unthinkable that a translator would mention names that weren’t there in their English version, especially such a sensitive matter.
‘To me it does not make sense. As a book translator you work with what is in front of you. I think they must have used a version with the names in it.’
Another experienced book translator based in Amsterdam also said the pair responsible for the Dutch version of Endgame would not have written the names unless they were in the manuscript already.
‘Why would they choose these particular names out of all of those they could use?’ said the translator.
‘They are very experienced professionals who have so many credits to their name. Why would they risk doing this and who is to say they got the right names.’
Peeters has over 20 years’ experience translating books from English into Dutch, including fiction works and cooks books.
Her colleague has translated books for best-selling authors Nicholas Sprks and Wilbur Smith.
It comes as well-placed sources told the Mail that Buckingham Palace is today ‘considering all options’ over the royal race row stoked by Scobie’s new book.
Sources say that while King Charles is determined to focus on important state business in Dubai, where he is holding bilateral meetings ahead of giving a keynote opening speech at the COP28 summit on Friday, aides are seriously looking at how they should, if at all, respond.
While it is clear that courtiers will be looking at the various legal options open to them, it is incredibly unlikely that they would actually sue Scobie. They would not want to get into a protracted legal battle.
But a source told the Mail: ‘I understand the palace is considering all options open to them.
‘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 including those impacted by the situation in the Middle East.’
Other options available to them could be sending out a legal warning to those tempted to further repeat the names, particularly given there has been no confirmation that these are indeed the people concerned or whether there is any truth even to the allegations themselves in the first place.
An indomitable King Charles today brushed off the row over Endgame
King Charles receives a parrot figurine at the Commonwealth and Nature reception
The other option would be to publicly release a statement, much like the late Queen Elizabeth did in the wake of Harry and Meghan marking their original allegations in their Oprah interview in 2021 when the Duchess of Sussex alleged that a senior royal express their ‘concern’ about her son, Prince Archie’s, skin colour.
Then the late monarch said famously that while the issues around race were concerning, ‘recollections may vary’ and vowed to deal with the matter privately.
It has been reported that the King and his daughter-law subsequently exchanged letters about the matter in which he is said to have expressed his sadness that she felt that way but took great pains to explain that there would have been no ‘ill will or casual prejudice’ intended on behalf of those involved.
It is said that he wanted to clear up something he felt strongly about.
An indomitable King Charles III today brushed off the row over Endgame as he landed in Dubai where he will give a keynote speech at the COP28 climate change conference.
When asked by Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu how he was, the monarch replied: ‘I’m all right very much, just about’.
He added: ‘Having had a rather ancient birthday recently recovering from the shock of that’ – a nod to turning 75 earlier this month.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were also out and about amid the race row – as they welcomed the future Queen of Sweden and her husband to Windsor Castle today.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with their children Archie and Lilibet in December 2021
As the royals got on with business as usual, Scobie appeared on UK TV to square the blame on the Dutch publisher, declaring: ‘I never submitted a book that had those names in it’.
In an interview with ITV’s This Morning, which started with a denial he is ‘Meghan’s mouthpiece’, Omid offered no mea culpa or apology for the error and when asked if he was upset he said:
‘I am obviously frustrated. I wouldn’t say I am upset about it’.
Asked if the Dutch farrago was a ‘stunt to sell books’ in the face of poor reviews, he said: ‘I wish it was the case’ and that ‘an investigation is underway’.
‘I had never submitted a book that had their names in it, so I can only talk about my version’, he said. ‘I wrote and edited the English version of the book with one publisher. That then gets licensed to other publishers. I can’t speak Italian, German, French, Dutch or any of the other languages that it’s come out in’.
He also said that he and Endgame had been unfairly criticised. He said: ‘I knew this book would be controversial, whether it’s about race or the Palace’s relationship with the press. I never expected it to be presented fairly’. He said: ‘There have been unfair attacks on me’.
He said that he believed that he has been victimised because he was saying ‘loudly from the start’ that Meghan suffered racism. He added that because he is mixed race he has a different perspective on the racism she had – but insisted that he not just some ‘mouthy fan’.
Scobie said he was ‘as frustrated as anyone else’, adding: ‘I make it very clear in this book that I in every way possible want to adhere to the laws surrounding this subject.
‘It’s why I’ve been very careful in how it’s described in the book and it’s why I’ve never spoken about it beyond what I’ve said in the public domain before.
‘The reality is 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.
‘It’s frustrating that now what’s going on in the Netherlands with the book that was obviously immediately rescinded and is now being reprinted has happened, and I’m glad to hear so. But for me I can only talk about the English version of the book that I wrote and produced.’