Times: There was an early draft of Omid Scobie’s ‘Endgame’ which included the names

Again, be mindful of the Murdoch family connections within all of these dramas involving Omid Scobie’s Endgame and the “mistranslated” editions. Endgame was published by Harper Collins here in the UK and North America – that’s the publisher Scobie worked with throughout the process of writing Endgame, and that publishing house is owned by News Corp, meaning the Murdochs. News Corp also owns News UK, the umbrella for all of the Murdochs’ media outlets in the UK, which includes The Sun and The Times of London. The Times has had very curious coverage of Endgame and the mistranslations, and I believe their reporting about an internal investigation. Thus far, the Times has avoided assigning blame, all while the other British outlets are basically calling for Scobie’s beheading. Well, the blame game might be afoot internally, because now the Times has this curious story about where and when the names of the “racist royals” might have been added.

The agency of the author Omid Scobie sent his book’s Dutch publisher a final version weeks before publication which did not name the two royals at the centre of a race row. However, United Talent Agency (UTA) had earlier sent a draft version to the Dutch publisher Xander Uitgevers which did contain the names, a source told The Times. It is understood that the translator interpreted an earlier version of the manuscript, rather than the final approved text.

Thousands of Dutch-language copies of Endgame had to be pulled from the Netherlands and Belgium last week after they named King Charles and the Princess of Wales as the senior royals who were said to have made remarks speculating about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s unborn child. The claim arose in an interview given by the Sussexes to Oprah Winfrey in 2021. After the broadcast, Prince Harry denied that he and his wife had accused a member of the royal family of racism.

Translating can be a long process and it is common for agents to send early versions to foreign publishers to get it underway. It is understood UTA received a signed-off manuscript from the British publisher, Harper Collins, and sent that to its foreign counterparts.

Xander initially said the names were revealed in a “translation” mix-up but later said that an “error” led to the printing. The book has the title Eindstrijd (Final Battle) in the Netherlands. Anke Roelen, managing director of Xander Uitgevers, said: “Xander … ­temporarily removed the book from sale, due to an error that occurred in the Dutch edition.” That edition credits two translators.

One of them, Saskia Peeters, said last week that the names were in the manuscript that she was sent. “I translate what is in front of me … I did not add them,” she told Mail­Online. The other translator, Nellie Keukelaar, did not comment.

Scobie, 42, said last week that he did not include the names when he gave the manuscript to his publisher. When told that Scobie had denied the names were in his manuscript, 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.”

[From The Times]

I genuinely believe Scobie’s denials, that he never included the names in any drafts he turned in, and here’s a question I have for the lawyers: even if Scobie did turn in a draft with the names, wouldn’t legal have caught it immediately and shut it down? It makes zero sense for the names to have been included in earlier drafts, only to be edited out at the last moment… especially with Scobie saying repeatedly that he never included the names in the first place. As I said up top, be mindful of the Murdoch connections here – is someone trying to set up Omid Scobie?

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Photos courtesy of Scobie’s IG and a screencap from the BBC.

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111 Responses to “Times: There was an early draft of Omid Scobie’s ‘Endgame’ which included the names”

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  1. Iris says:

    Well, this will be easy to prove for Omid if he’s telling the truth. He will have emailed the Word doc (or whatever equivalent he uses) to his editor at various stages of the editing process so it’ll be an easy check

    • SarahCS says:

      But will he? With the size of files involved I’d assume some sort of fileshare site where in theory you have records of who made what changes and when but with Murdoch behind all this (eventually) I’m not sure I would trust those records today.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        A Word file wouldn’t be that big. I’ll reiterate what I said before: there will be a digital footprint as to what was sent to whom and what was in which version and who edited what. This will be easy to solve, if they want to.

      • Iris says:

        @thatsnotokay I’m an author! I always use Word docs for my books. And send each iteration via email. It’s an easy enough thing to go and pull up the first word doc I sent to my editor and re-download it

      • Ashley says:

        Author here too. Always Word with publishers, never, ever anything else. Always email.

        It’s a very old-fashioned industry, but also Google owns your content in Google Docs, etc., and no designer wants to deal with new-fangled file-sharing BS.

    • TigerMcQueen says:

      One way to tell is if the Dutch version had other changes compared to the final. If indeed the translator was given an ‘early’ version of the book that included the names, there are other things that would be different as well. No book goes from an ‘early’ version to a ‘final’ version with only a few specific paragraphs in one very specific section changed.

      If there are a ton of differences between the two, it may very well be an early version. If that specific area where names were named in the only difference, something very hinky is up.

      • Becks1 says:

        @TigerMcQueen yes that’s my thought process as well. So this was an early enough version to include the names, but the only thing thats different from the final version published in every other country is the inclusion of those names? NOTHING else changed from Version 1 to Version 20 (whatever the final version was?) That’s suspicious.

      • May says:

        @tiger, saw an article indicating another difference between the English and Dutch versions. It is said in the Dutch version Scobie specifically gives the reason for William’s not returning texts the day the Queen died is because he was still angry at Harry for the (I think) Oprah interview.

      • Scar❤️ says:

        Also computers time stamp up dates to documents. Also computers time stamp when accessed. If the right people are looking into this story. Solving this should be easy enough.

  2. Bettyrose says:

    They all said it/thought it/nodded silently in agreement. It feels like splitting hairs at this point. But the wrong manuscript sent to the Dutch translators is such a weird twist. Was it deliberate?

  3. sevenblue says:

    When all the BM is coming for him, I doubt Omid would lie about something so easy to prove. If he lied, they would use that as an evidence that Omid is not a reliable journalist and he can’t be trusted. Everything is digital now, all of Omid’s emails to the publisher is easy to show if he included the names or not.

    • ales says:

      Omid would not have set himself up to be sued. Legals would have gone over his manuscript thoroughly before it was printed. Anything can be changed digitally when experts are used. The BRF and the BM seem to be running scared. I am very curious about the determined protection of K, when she and her family have already turned the BRF into a trashy joke.

  4. Yes it does look like they are setting him up. What still bothers me is the crucifying of a person who has written a book with facts about the royal cult. People should be outraged about the facts that have been revealed not about who revealed them. When will this cult be crucified for what they have done? Unfortunately I don’t see this happening anytime soon.

    • SarahCS says:

      It’s their standard playbook at this point. Don’t focus on how awful the act was, distract everyone by getting them riled up about something else, typically HOW DARE they talk about this, privacy, no trust, etc. etc.

    • Flowerlake says:

      The BRF are getting dragged on social media over this, but the mainstream media in the UK seems to have been bought by the elites to protect them.

    • Tara says:

      Well, there is a pattern. Princess Diana spoke about things the RF really does not want to be questioned – and was called delusional in the BM, then car crash. Harry wrote Spare, Harry and Meghans Netflix documentary about things the RF really does not want to be questioned – BM went bonkers, then (almost) car crash. Omid wrote a book about things the RF really does not want to be questioned – BM comes after him. I find it almost logical to think this is a set up.

  5. windyriver says:

    I’m confused. Why would the agency have anything to do with sending the manuscript out to anyone? Wouldn’t it be Harper’s job to contract with publishers in individual countries? I know very little about how this works. Does Scobie himself/his agency have to deal with each individual country?

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Authors often send their agents drafts to look at and give feedback on before they turn in their manuscripts to the editor/publisher. This explanation actually seems logical. An idiot agent sent the book out early—maybe to get buzz going—but it should never have been for translation. That is, unless Omid kept translation rights in his contract. Then, yeah, it would be his agent’s job to send the book/manuscript to whomever bought the rights in whichever territory, for global, simultaneous publication. And the Dutch publisher didn’t use the final, approved manuscript. Pretty interesting.

    • Lucy says:

      Document management is a nightmare. I’m guessing the agency is responsible for providing manuscripts so that one that’s already in the process of being edited doesn’t get sent. I believe that Omid didn’t put that in, and I believe the translators saw it.

      I think it’s most likely someone at the agency did a read through and added the names either as an editor comment or inserted them as a lark, expecting it to get caught in further editing. It could also easily be someone with access to the publishing company files who did it, but I prefer stupidity over malice in explanations.

    • windyriver says:

      @TNO, interesting. Still don’t see why Omid would include any names, especially in such an uncontrolled situation, and particularly since Harry explicitly said to Oprah he wasn’t going to reveal it/them. Even if all of Fleet Street and the palaces knew the names, don’t see Omid needing to piss off H&M by being the one to reveal them, when the book is about so much more.

      • Afken says:

        Maybe he initially thought he could because other authors had: Christopher Andersen and Tom Bowers already named Charles in their books and were not restricted by any legal challenges. Their books are still for sale. So its really interesting to see only Omid have to pulp his book and that only UK law preventing the publication of the names seems only to apply to Scobie.

      • Jais says:

        Yes that what I don’t get. Charles had been named in previous books. And no one asked them to apologize to the RF. It actually makes it seem like they take more credence in what omid writes than others, suggesting he has more credibility than the others. The only difference is the letter and the naming of Kate in the Dutch version.

    • Ashley says:

      Author here. Agencies make “international” deals, which is everything outside of US/UK/Canada, not publishers. HC would not have been involved. They would normally only buy the rights to those countries and sometimes Australia or the right to sell all English versions.

      But the curious thing is why they would not have received the final, edited version from HC’s editors or from Omid himself. He would have gone through three sets of edits including a legal review at HC; that should have been the copy that was shared with the Dutch publisher.

      • Nic919 says:

        Thanks for this info. Basically confirms what I have thought all along. This is a mess up on the part of the publisher, either HC or the Dutch one, because no one checked if the copy sent for translation was the final version approved by legal.

  6. MsIam says:

    I’m not sure how this would be Scobie’s fault? Once he submitted the manuscript to the publisher and its approved, they take it to print. And why would Scobie’s agent be sending copies of the manuscript to foreign publishers? Wouldn’t that be HarperCollins job? Wouldn’t Xander be an imprint of HarperCollins? And how would that explain both Dan Wootton and Piers Morgan saying they knew the names in the letter if its “under lock and key and only a small circle know the contents”? These people are fcking themselves continuously.

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:

    In order to include that story in the book, he might have had to name the culprits for legal and fact checkers to give the go-ahead, even if their names were not going to be included in the final draft. He probably never approved a version with the names in them, but unless sabotage is what we’re going with, he has to have been the one to provide them at some point.

    Also, I’m trying to understand why Murdoch/Mews Corp would want to sabotage its own publication, if they’re set to make money off it since they own HC. I don’t think they want a lawsuit unless their aim is to get even more private information spilled about all the royals?

    • windyriver says:

      Except – the story originates with Meghan and Harry, who told it in the Oprah interview. Why would legal/fact checkers need to know the names as the story was a matter of public record?

    • ML says:

      I think, as Niki said below, the names were in there and removed. The Dutch publishing company was taken over by a larger company at the turn of the year and the original founder left in May/ June. The Dutch news didn’t mention anything else, but if more people were leaving or switching jobs a crucial bit of information might have easily been overlooked. So I think Omid did at one point include the names and somehow Xander made a huge mistake.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        ML, Omid has said in an interview that nothing he submitted included the names. He’s been clear that it’s a matter of show and tell. He could tell but he nothing to show (evidence), and he didn’t believe you need the names to have the discussion.

        Something is really, really wrong. I think the publisher is in trouble.

    • Jay says:

      As to why Murdoch media would be on this story when it involves a publishing house they own? Well, content is content, of course!

      It may also be throwing some red meat as a bit of a distraction. The UK papers seem to be going all in on Meghan “leaking” accusations against Saint Catherine, but failing to dwell on the actual racist things that were said. Maybe Kate has (had?) the best approval ratings to be able to survive racism accusations, or maybe the family is just willing to throw a married-in to the wolves.

      But notice how we’re not hearing as much in those publications about William and his rage, the KP- organized disaster tours, or the deals he made with the media. Online media is different, but the Windsors still seem to rely on traditional media to shape the public perception.

  8. Niki says:

    I think it makes perfect sense. The names were included in an earlier version, then lawyers read it and told the publisher/Scobie/his agency it would be a libel nightmare. And the part with names gets removed. This is actually very common.

    • ML says:

      Niki, I agree.

    • Julie says:

      How do you explain that only the Dutch version is with the names. The fact that there are intermediaries raise questions. Also, I believe that if Scobie had send a copy with the names, it would be out and confirmed by the editor. What it out is accusation from the tabloids.

    • The Old Chick says:

      He said he never included the names because he knew he couldn’t. The whole point of this is to discredit scobie and take the story off the royals. They want the heat on him, H and M. It’s working. Scobie wrote about all of them.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        The Old Chick, it’s working right up until Omid tells what the Publisher’s investigation discovers. He told James O’Brien that he would tell him what that investigation discovered.

        Omit has shown complete confidence that the investigation would show what happened.

  9. Becks1 says:

    It does sound like he’s being set up, but this whole thing is strange. I believe he never included the names on any draft submitted bc why would he? He knew that was never making it past legal.

    And let’s say he did include the name in the very first draft (before legal said no way) – that was the draft sent to the Dutch publishing house? A draft that wasn’t even vetted by legal but somehow the only thing that stayed in it were the names?? If it truly was an unapproved version (legally), then I would expect more tea in that version.

    This whole thing is just strange.

    • Sunday says:

      Oh that’s a great point, that IF The Names were included in that earlier manuscript then surely that wouldn’t be the only difference between the manuscripts, the sole story deemed unfit by legal? IMO that’s even more of a smoking gun for a setup – it wasn’t that maybe The Names would leak or maybe some other story about Sophie being carded at the gates of BP would, it’s this precise story leaked in this way with these names (and amplified by PM so the tabloids are sure to catch on). Not to mention how “lucky” it was that this small, noncrucial market was the one with the error as opposed to say, the Spanish language version.

    • ML says:

      Becks1, I found out that Xander Uitgevers was acquired by WPG at the turn of the year. In May/ June, the founder of Xander left. Potentially (it’s not in the regular news, and I’m not paying for trade publications) other people left/ switched positions and I can imagine (if true) that this could be a reason a few, small very important changes didn’t make it into the final book. I do still believe that Omid wrote those names originally and that Xander made a huge error.

      • Becks1 says:

        That still doesn’t make sense though. A change in leadership wouldn’t explain why the Dutch translators were working off a version that was so early that the names were still included, but not such an early draft that everything else stayed the same.

        I believe the names had to be in the draft the Dutch translators were using – you aren’t mistranslating “Princess of Wales” if the draft said “another person.” But unless the names were pulled from all versions at the last minute (which I doubt), then it doesn’t make sense that the names were included in the version to be translated but everything else was up to date.

        I know I love a good conspiracy theory, even though usually the simplest answer is the correct answer – here, the simplest answer is that Omid included the names and that version with the names was the final version until a last minute change was made to pull the names and the Dutch publishing house just didn’t get the memo about it.

        But I feel like if that WAS the answer then its pretty simple to just say that. There doesn’t need to be an internal investigation, Omid doesnt need to insist he never wrote the names, the agency doesnt need to be thrown under the bus, etc. Just say that there were some last minute changes and there was a communication breakdown with the publishing house.

        This whole thing is just so weird.

        but also, at the same time, I dont really care what happened and neither does the British press. The names are officially out there and you can’t unring that bell.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Becks1, the only thing we know is what Omid said: He didn’t submit anything with the names in it.

        What we’ve been told by the bm when the letter was leaked in April is that there were only two people named. Source: bm

        I think there were lots of people (not just the royal family) who were expressing these concerns–does anyone really think that any discussions about not giving the Sussex children the HRH Prince/ss titles didn’t include staff? I don’t. I think the brf and bm are controlling the narrative and choosing who to pin this on.

        That P!ss Morgan is the one who outed the names is very suspicious. It wouldn’t have gone far if not for him. There’s something very wrong about this entire thing.

        Omid has never confirmed the two names. He’s simply said that the names were known across Fleet Street. That’s not confirmation.

  10. Sunday says:

    100% this is a setup, they want Omid to become the Sussex’s Martin Bashir so that it’s easier for them to rewrite or dismiss everything he ever reported, just like they tried to use Bashir’s shady means of securing the interview to (try and) erase everything Diana said.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Harry and Meghan have nothing to do this, so the comparison with Bashir doesn’t work.

      • Sunday says:

        When has H & M not having anything to do with this stopped the British media from making it all about them? This entire media circus is about them. The only sections of Endgame the British press has mentioned are about them.

        The British media have been actively linking Omid to the Sussexes for years whenever he’s commented on or written literally anything, saying he’s their bestie, their unofficial spokesperson, etc. That Tory MP written about today is blatantly saying he doesn’t believe that Scobie got this info without the Sussexes involvement, and he’s not the only one. The goal here, just like with Bashir, is to use the excuse of the WHO is telling the story to ignore the WHAT of what was actually said. By dismissing Omid as a Sussex mouthpiece with an agenda, they’re hoping to wave all this away as just extended grievance on the part of the Sussexes spun by their favorite lackie, Omid.

  11. Em says:

    Can we remember that the head of UTA called Meghan “talentless” because she refused to sign with them? This was 100% done on purpose by the talent Agency

  12. Flowerlake says:

    And this is why I didn’t like it being called a ‘Dutch mistranslation’.

    The poor translators got blamed while it was very likely something else had happened.

    There are too many reasons why a mistranslation on this level doesn’t make a lot of sense, particularly between these two closely-related languages.

    • ML says:

      Yeah, this pisses me off. Xander NEVER blamed this on a mistranslation, they only said there was a legal issue and all the copies needed to be retrieved and destroyed. The mistranslation crap is from the English speaking media. I am an American, but I live in the NLs, and it’s infuriating because there’s been a lot of blame pointed at the Dutch translators. Also, the Dutch have been saying that there was an earlier version sent to be translated (which is what normally happens), and the English media suggested that the Dutch were adding names or changing the manuscript themselves.

      • Flowerlake says:

        Agreed. I remember you from comments under earlier articles on this blog.

        I wrote here at length to explain how weird it would be to make a mistake like this, particularly when it comes to English-Dutch translation as the languages are closely related.

        Thank you for sticking up for the Dutch translators 🙂

        The average Dutch person is not nearly as invested in BRF related drama as British newspapers are or us on this blog. I wouldn’t have known 98% of what I know about it if I hadn’t been reading Celebitchy.

        Most Dutch people likely know Harry (or a British prince if they’re vague on the names) left with his wife and maybe that there is some bad blood, but it doesn’t go much further than that for most, particularly if they don’t read gossip. Most people in the Netherlands are also not aware how crazy obsessed the British media are with this topic.
        It might appear on celebrity news items sometimes, but there are no actual newspapers or serious news media constantly writing about whatever it is William might think, or speculating for months on end on whether or not Harry will attend the coronation.

        I think interest in the BRF peaked here when Diana was still alive and just after she passed.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Flowerlake, I actually hope that there is recourse for the translators. What’s happened to them is horrible.

        Frankly, I think the interest in the BRF peaked here (US) when Diana was still alive and afterward. I don’t think a lot of people were paying much attention until Meghan married Prince Harry.

  13. Harper says:

    Looks like Murdoch has asked UTA to take the fall. This story is again, stupidly unclear. Omid’s agent did not send the manuscript with the names. It was the agency that sent it. But not the agent. And not Scobie. Just someone called The Agency. No named sources, just a source. This is good. Nice and obtuse. Blast it to the public. Investigation over.

    I’m now convinced Murdoch is helping taint Kate’s image so Willy’s divorce story is completely different than his father’s. The cost of pulping a few thousand books in the smallest market is his gift to the future king. The future Queen of the Commonwealth is painted as a racist, and Willy has to do what’s best for the crown by letting her step down. Scobie’s big release is pranked at the same time. Win/win.

  14. Brassy Rebel says:

    Why would Scobie publish through Harper Collins? He knows their Murdoch connections. Lots of more reputable, trustworthy publishers. I’d be kicking myself if I were him. Otoh, he’s making lots of money with all the free publicity. 🤔

    • Lucy says:

      There’s not actually that many other publishers. It’s no longer the big 5, it’s more like 2-3. There’s lots of imprints and houses, but they’re owned by the larger corporations.

    • windyriver says:

      Take a quick look on Wikipedia at all the other mergers and acquisitions listed for HC, even in just the last 10-12 years. As @Lucy notes above, options have become increasingly limited.

    • bisynaptic says:

      Agreed. There aren’t many other publishers, but there are SOME. Greater than zero.

  15. GDubslady says:

    Salty Island journalists and tv presenters keep missing the point Scobie makes in Endgame. This is a monarchy which refuses to adopt to modern codes of conduct. They continue to engage in racist behaviors. Just recently during the tour of Kenya, local journalists complained that they were degraded within their own country during Charles and Camilla’s tour. No one within the Firm seems to care about the optics they create when they set up segregated spaces and disparate treatment of people of color. Scobie brings this up repeatedly but the palace and their cheerleaders want to make this all about Meghan. This isn’t just a Meghan issue.

  16. ML says:

    “Xander initially said the names were revealed in a “translation” mix-up but later said that an “error” led to the printing.”

    It was the English language press, not Xander, who said that there was a translation problem. When Xander got in touch with Rick Evers, they never called it a translation error!
    The English language press has been going after Omid Scobie and it has been insinuating that the Dutch translators were stupid and unprofessional.

    This clears up a bit for me. First off, that the foreign publishers get earlier drafts to work with—this is normal so that the foreign translation and English versions come out at the same time. The Times just verified that this happened. The Dutch have been saying that this was the case. Unlike the BM.

    I still believe that Omid included the names in an earlier draft and he’s used careful language to get around that due to legal repercussions. Unfortunately, I feel like he was willing to throw innocent people under the bus to avoid saying he wrote those names. It makes no sense to me that anyone could send out a different version of Endgame than OS’s. I think Xander made a *big mistake* and didn’t update the draft.

    Sometime around the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023, Xander Uitgevers was acquired by WPG (a bigger publisher). The founder of Xander, Sander Knol, left Xander in May/ June of 2023 and Anke Roelen took over. The trade websites are paywalled, so I only have access to this information via regular news, but I can imagine that the changes might have been chaotic. I would not be surprised if the original person who was responsible for contacting HarperCollins left and that might (I don’t know) to the changes in the final version not being included.

    • Lurker25 says:

      I’m sorry, this is nonsense. You may be right about the Dutch publisher being bought by another company, but translators do not work on early drafts. Where/how do you get that “this is normal”?
      Books don’t get released to the public hot off the printer. They are warehoused until the on sale date. The on sale date can be months (sometimes many many many many months) after the final edited manuscript is complete.

      • ML says:

        Several people in the Auteursbond (authors’ association) have said this here, Lurker25. Apparently when the Dutch version is supposed to come out around the same time as the original language version, the translators are often given a “head start.” Otherwise, if the Dutch version comes out afterwards, they work with the finished version… Since so many people here in the publishing industry have said this, I’m assuming that they know what they’re talking about.

        I remember you as having worked in publishing, Lurker25, so I know that you definitely know what you’re talking about. I don’t know if you have dealt with international publishers, but I remember that you described IBN numbers (including fake ones) and how American/ B&N books were warehoused.

      • Lurker25 says:

        Hi @ML I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be harsh. And I could have been clearer in my response:

        There’s a lot of confusion in this discussions about how publishing works, especially as it’s wrapped up in a speculation about how this “mistake” happened.

        The bottom line is simply that none of know.

        It’s possible that the translator received a version that was not the final version. Unlikely, but if everyone was trying to rush… Still unlikely, and several heads would roll but ok let’s go with it.

        But the chances of a Dutch translator receiving the manuscript version that existed BEFORE the American/UK punisher’s legal departments vetted it? Not a chance.

        IF those names were ever included and legal flagged that for removal, any further revisions would have proceeded without the names. The manuscript would not have left the hands of a very tiny number of people until the legal changes were made.

  17. Amy Bee says:

    Why would a talent agency be submitting the draft to foreign publishers and rather than HarperCollins? This makes absolutely no sense. Is the NewsCorp trying to absolve its publishing house from wrongdoing?

    • Elizabeth says:

      If Scobie kept the foreign rights then UTA would be sending out the draft to foreign publishers. Harper Collins would only be sending out the book to foreign publishers if they own the foreign rights.

    • Lurker25 says:

      @Amy Bee

      UTA absolutely retained all subsidiary rights. Which means rights to everything that isn’t the printed English version sold in US and UK. It’s common practice.

  18. tamsin says:

    Why is the Dutch translation the only one with the name issue? Why did they get a different version from all the other translators? The story keeps getting more and more convoluted, so that it is hard to make sense of it, and very tempting to think that it’s sabotage or conspiracy.

    • MipMip says:

      It really makes you wonder. The NL are very close to the UK. Physically and economically. People know people. This doesn’t scream mistake accident to me.

  19. Harper Collins Author says:

    I can offer my experience working with HC editors on my nonfiction manuscript. Every version was thoroughly differentiated and sent as a separate word doc (with tracked changes) throughout the editorial process, and the instructions on how to make edits (as the author) was a 2-page document. The amount of care and attention to detail that my manuscript received from editors, legal, etc. was intense and impressive. I can’t imagine it how much extra scrutiny Omid’s work was subjected to and suspect there is an airtight digital trail to show if/when names were included.

    • Teagirl says:

      Thank you HCA, I was just about to make a post about the same thing. I’m not involved with publishing but I have worked with large documents being edited by multiple people and yes, the products used do have comprehensive comments/changes tracking. I’ve also witnessed problems when people have not had a naming convention for the document and so not knowing which was the most up-to-date copy, with people then updating an older copy and causing absolute chaos. It’s imperative to have a naming convention that everybody has to use.

      I’ve seen things added and things deleted and have been able to track exactly who did what when through the product’s tracking capabilities.

  20. Her Again says:

    They’re all just mad because Scobie’s books sell way, way, way, waaaay more than their dull, sycophantic, repetitive tripe.

  21. Scar❤️ says:

    One never knows where Royalist are placed. I believe, Charles and/or his staff leaked the letter. And just like Meghan’s letter to her father was sat on by UK media for six months before the letter was used after Meghan’s friends spoke up for her in the People interview. Charles’ leaked letter was saved for an opportune situation. They found it in the writing and release of Omid’s book. English is a universal language (colonialism). And US and UK and sometimes even European medias are incentuous. Which means at one of those points someone who got the names of these two Royals, which were commonly known by the UK press, and changed Omid’s ENGLISH manuscript (since Omid doesn’t read, speak, or write Dutch) so that that poor Dutch translator would be blamed AND Omid AND the Sussex’.

    Considering the dirty tricks the UK MEDIA IS known for this is no reach.

  22. Her Again says:

    I’m sure this has been difficult for Scobie, but I at least feel confident that he’ll always have a job. Whatever the establishment thinks of him, his books SELL

  23. Scar❤️ says:

    Kaiser, I stated this was a setup up front.

  24. Laura says:

    Honestly, it’s splitting hairs. At the end of the day, 2 senior royals were ‘worried’ about a child potential skin colour, it’s down right racist.

    The lack of denials from the Palace and instead this ‘H&M must clear this up’ line tells you all you need to know.

  25. Lurker25 says:

    Ok. Hope this helps clarify bc there is so much guessing happening here right now:

    I worked in book publishing. Specifically at publishing house that rhymes with charter muggins. I also worked for a literary agency.

    The author hands a initial proposal to his agent (who works at an agency, in this case UTA). The agent shops out around, might have an auction. I’m this case there was no need to drum up interest bc Harper Collins already published Finding Freedom. They definitely kept the option for his next book – which means they would publish Endgame. The same editor at HC would definitely be working on his next book as well.

    Agents retain subsidiary rights – foreign transitions, movies, audiobooks, plays, anthologies. Sometimes some rights are negotiated and included in the publishers contract – for example if the publisher has a strong audiobook division or if the agency was a small one with clout. UTA would absolutely retain all subsidiary rights.

    Next step – UTA sells the subsidiary foreign rights to individual markets. No the early drafts do not get sent! Knowing advance amount and more importantly, how many copies in the initial domestic print run is the vote of confidence that foreign markets need to know they can piggy back on marketing. Translators do not work on an early draft and somehow miss a final version! You wouldn’t do that with anything, nevermind something this embargoed and guarded.

    Speaking of guarded – HC and UTA absolutely 100% have tech teams that are search through every outgoing email from every computer on every account of every staff member, contractor, janitor to find out if who sent what were. They had this ability over a decade ago. I had a colleague who was pinged as a leaker.

    Also, y’all seem to think a manuscript goes to everyone at the publisher or agency. They do not. These are very closely guarded, password protected, secure filescwith digital trackers. Printers register what was printed and when so even hard copies are traceable.

    This “mistake” should not have happened. There are a hundred guard rails. Someone was most definitely out to create trouble. It would not be scobie or his agent or his editor… It frankly anyone at HC or UTA. They would know how easily it would trace back to them.

    Also, HC won’t just give other Murdoch entities access to anything just bc they are under the same umbrella entity. Individual jobs, reputations, careers are on the line. No one in publishing would self-immolate their standing in the publishing world by doing something like this.

    Everything above, I know as fact.

    My GUESS? One of the UK tabloids fished for a typesetter (book is typeset before going to printer. This is done in-house at big publishers but smaller independent ones, like say in a small country that does smaller print runs, hire outside contractors) who was willing to take a nice payment for inserting two names.

    It’s less likely to be done at the printer bc
    A) files get locked
    B) any changes will affect the layout finalized by the typesetter
    C) Test copies are sent from the printer the typesetter and publisher for a look over and final approval before the full print run is printed.

    Either the Dutch publisher waved off getting a test (galley) copy, didn’t check it thoroughly, or was idiotically complicit.

    In any case, the current internal investigation isn’t the usual BS we’re used to hearing from tabloids about themselves or the RF. We might not hear about bc they’ll keep it secret, but heads will roll.

    • Becks1 says:

      Thank you @Lurker25! that is all very interesting and helpful.

      so you think a UK tabloid (or maybe someone like Piers Morgan?) paid off a smaller company to insert those names? But would that have happened after the translation? The translator has said the names were there when she got her copy to translate. But it seems that would be very easy to track if so.

    • Ace says:

      Thanks for all the details about how it all works, Lurker25.

      The only thing that I see an issue with is that it wasn’t just inserting two names in a sentence. While when it comes to Charles it wouldn’t have been that hard to just add his name, in the section that Kate is named there are sentences very different to the ones in the English version. Whatever change that was made included at the very least completely reworking a paragraph or maybe more, but I’ve only seen that part of the page.

      • Lurker25 says:

        Hi @becks1 and @ace, you both raise valid points! I honestly can’t answer how it was done conclusively since I’m only sure about how it *wasn’t* done.

        I don’t think this was a mistake. The tabloids use money, sometimes hard-to-refuse money, to get what they want. We know this.

        So I do think it’s likely that they fished for a way to put the names out there and continue the “royal racists” story. It was probably driving them nuts to have the names (“everyone knew” is what we now hear) but not be able to use them, so to get the names out and pin it on Scobie? Two-fer!

        Becks1, you’re right that the translator’s words mean it can’t be the typesetter. The translators are usually trusted figures, integrity counts as much as translation skills, especially for books like this. The typesetter would normally be the weakest link, but in this case I simply don’t know. I do think that the tabloids are behind it.

        My two cents: whichever tabloids first broke the “Dutch translation names the racists” is behind it. And the person who got this “scoop” isn’t too many degrees removed from the center of it all.

        There are a lot of sweating minions and very angry execs at HC and UTA right now. And the Dutch publisher is on the shit list fielding calls from ALL the agents who sold it subsidiary rights. It will be black listed from big books, at least for a while. A lot reputations are on the line and getting damaged for this breach.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Lurker25 so it seems clear from what you’re saying here that there is almost no chance this was a mistake, that the names were left in from a previous draft, that the Dutch translators were working off an earlier version that included the names, etc. It sounds like it had to have been deliberate at some point in the process.

      • Harper says:

        @Lurker thanks for the really informative detailing of the process. My question is about the Harper Collins editor and his/her relationship with the literary agent/agency that sells the rights. It doesn’t make sense that Harper Collins editorial and legal would scrupulously password protect the secured and embargoed manuscript files with digital trackers, keep a very tight loop of editor, proofreader, legal and Scobie but then also give the literary agent access to this loop so she can send early versions out to whomever needs to get going on their foreign translation, final version discrepancies be damned, thus invalidating the meticulous copy editing and legal review because someone in Dutchland was in a hurry! It does not make sense.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Harper, go up and reread the posts. Someone has already said that earlier version would NOT have been given to the translators. I think the person who said that is an author.

        They will have to come out and state what happened, because of the damage to Omid’s reputation. If the don’t do that on their own hook, Omid should sue to make them do so.

        I think the bm is behind this. Otherwise, I can’t see P!ss Morgan doing what he did.

    • windyriver says:

      Wow. Still some big questions, but thanks so much for all the in depth background details.

    • Chantal1 says:

      @Lurker25 Thank you for this brief and informative intro into the world of publishing. I learn so much from the vast and impressive knowledge of my sister/fellow Celebitches!

      I agree with those who have said this is definitely a setup. I mean, this is a RF and a tabloid industry with PhDs in scapegoating.

      • Jais says:

        Feel the same @chantal1, that we are always getting interesting insights from all the commenters. Thanks @lurker25 for this take. It’s intriguing and doesn’t feel like an accident and I think you’re right about the tabloids who broke the story so quickly. It was bc they conveniently knew where to look.

      • Christine says:

        Adding to the thanks, Lurker, this has been illuminating!

    • Lurker25 says:

      So sorry for all the typos! There are too many to even list and fix 🙃.

      • Lurker25 says:

        @becks1, yes.

        It’s possible that Omid’s initial draft had names that were flagged by harper Collins legal and immediately revised. Did Omid say he never submitted a draft with names or that the final version he signed off on had no names? I don’t remember. In any case – that initial draft would have been so closely guarded!

        Besides, it was UTAs responsibility to manage sub rights. At most literary agencies, the author’s direct agent (and his/her assistants) handle sales to foreign markets. UTA started as a Hollywood agency for actors, directors, screenwriters, etc., It much much later opened a book division to facilitate the book-to-movie pipeline. I don’t know if UTA kept the classic literary agent working model or if they created a subsidiary rights division to handle all foreign market sales for all books. But again, that division wouldn’t get a manuscript that had not been cleared by Harper Collins legal. Hell, UTA’s own legal (most lit agents don’t have in house counsel but UTA does) may have stepped in if other UTA clients could be adversely affected by anything in the book.

        Sorry I’m talking aloud in circles trying to ferret out any spots for an oopsie. Overworked and super stressed assistants are the norm, but an “explosive” manuscript like this wouldn’t get to assistants until after legal vetted it. The Dutch publisher would only receive the vetted (no names) version.

        So if the translator got a version that had names… I would take a closer look at that publisher’s staff and connections to UK tabloids.

    • LynnInTX says:

      The details of the intricacies of publishing dovetails pretty closely with my guess of how it all happened. There is a connection between PMorgan or DWooten (less likely, a CH courtier) and someone at the Dutch publishing company. Whoever had access between the final copy being sent and handed to the translators needs to be looked at very closely for connections between those two rota members and/or any courtier members of Clarence House. That is, if anyone in the UK *truly* wants to get to the bottom of it, instead of just blowing smoke up the BRF’s a*ses. There is a digital trail there somewhere.

      I believe Omid when he says that he never put any names in. Why would he when he knew there was no way it would make the final draft. That’s just more work to deal with later to edit it all out and rewrite it coherently.

    • ML says:

      Lurker25, I hadn’t seen this comment when I responded above. Thanks for the inside baseball here…I know Rick Evers (the Dutch royalty expert) broke this on Twitter first, but I forgot which British tabloid ran with it first. The DF?

      You’re correct about the negative impact on the Dutch publisher—that has been sort of in the news. It’s horrible because publishing companies have decreased, less people are buying books, this is a really competitive business and they’ve been wearing this. I honestly don’t think the Dutch publisher nor translators had an active role due to that.

    • ArtFossil says:

      Thank you @Lurker25 for your knowledge and insight!

    • Nuks says:

      Thank you, lurker! It’s great to get your expertise.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Thank you @Lurker25. Excellent information. If you don’t mind, a few questions. It came up with SPARE and the weird ass translations/misinterpreted translations. My understanding, could be wrong, that the publisher, in this case, HarpersCollins could have contracted the foreign rights. Unless, we know how that contract worked..I learned a long time ago that what might seem to be paranoid(conspiracy) might just be a complicated mistruth. I’m probably saying this badly, but we don’t know who owns the foreign rights,, it’s not an automatic. HC could absolutely own those rights.

      • Lurker25 says:

        Hi @Agreatreckoning,

        May I ask where/what leads you to believe that HC “could absolutely own foreign rights”?

        Because if it did, HarperCollins would prioritize its own Dutch imprintsl as the publisher, not Xander.

        And if the Dutch imprint declined to publish, as it could have, then translation rights for Dutch translation would be handled by Marianne Schonbach literary agency – the HC representative for all Dutch translation inquiries.

        In this case, it’s known fact that UTA sent the manuscript to the Dutch publisher. The news today verifies this.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Thank you for replying. I thought I included a link.


        “These books come to foreign rights agents from the rights holder, or the publisher or person who holds translation rights for the book. Depending on the initial contract signed between the author and his or her domestic publisher, the rights holder may be the author, the author’s agent or the author’s domestic publisher.

        Foreign rights agents generally receive books for representation in one of two ways. Authors who have retained translation rights for their books may submit their book to a foreign rights agent or publishers may commission a foreign rights agent to represent the publisher’s catalog, or collection of titles.”.

        Reading through it again, I see where I misinterpreted the passage. Thank you for your explanation.

    • Andrea featherston says:

      But the translator said the names were there. So I do not think they were added. Someone from UTA did this. Jeremy Zimmer has ties with Piers Morgan. Rick Evers blocked me on Twitter as soon as I mentioned any connection with Dan Wootton and UTA.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Andrea featherston, I just read below that Murdoch is represented by UTA and that Zimmer, Morgan and Wooton knew the names.

  26. Mary Pester says:

    It’s quite easy to understand. Legal would never have allowed it to pass with the names included. They would never leave themselves open to VERY costly legal action. It’s all down to dirty tricks to try and discredit the book and Harry and Megan, and is easily summed up in two words. Mucky Murdoch

  27. L4Frimaire says:

    I gotta say, this is such a major screw up by the publisher that completely caused things to go off the rails. I listened to this passage on the audiobook and I didn’t like how Scobie framed it for a few reason and was annoyed about it. It put too much emphasis on the sensationalism, didn’t stress it was a response to a letter Charles sent first and didn’t really talk about Meghan sending the legal letters, the living in the present statement and the apology by Valentine Low. Instead he focused on there being 2 names and the contents of the letter. I thought it was badly framed and an own goal. I absolutely resent how this has fallen back on the Sussexes again and it’s back to the post Oprah churn of 2021 again with more racist attacks on Meghan.

    • sparrow says:

      I find what I’ve read of his writing really poor, and feel sorry that a better writer didn’t think or want to cover this subject with more rigour and less cloying language. Putting that to one side! I feel, like you, that Omid seems to have gone sensationalist rather than methodical at this point. A dissection of the correspondence would have been good and less open to accusations. And, yes, it’s flung the whole thing back onto Meghan and Harry.

      • L4Frimaire says:

        I listened to the entire book and there were some stellar chapters, especially on criticizing Charles, the coutiers and the utter corruption of Williams communications team and how deeply he is directly involved in the leaks and smears. I hated the initial excerpts in People because it framed the book as H&M vs. the Firm and it’s really not about that at all. This section of that letter should have been written differently and came across as insider bragging. He knows what these people are like and cant leave room for ambiguity. I don’t think the Sussexes have anything to do with his book in any way apart from the comms team giving him statements in a working capacity. He’s done some really good interviews on this book do hope the important information in it gets properly discussed. Despite my annoyance about this leaked letter mess, I think
        The book is absolutely worth reading.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        L4Frimaire, I think because of copywrite laws he really couldn’t say much about the letters and that could be why it isn’t as strong. I haven’t started reading my copy, yet, but I’ll be reading this part closely.

  28. Jensa says:

    I’m doubtful that this is a Murdoch set-up of Scobie, not least because I don’t think they’d do this at the expense of leaking the names of the royals. UNLESS they have a bee in their bonnet about Charles / Kate, which I actually wouldn’t rule out (they wouldn’t be the only ones who are less loyal to the royals since the Queen died – plus I seem to recall that Murdoch himself said something about how things would change when the Queen died).
    In practical terms, I think it’s more likely to be a fault at the Dutch publisher end. That they omitted to send the latest (correct) draft to the translator – or forgot to check that the translator had the right version. That could simply be a cock-up by a member of staff or their admin systems.
    I also personally doubt the Royals will do anything about this. I don’t think they’d risk going to court, knowing what else might come out. But for the moment, this is a handy distraction because it allows them to act all outraged while ignoring the multiple other issues raised in the book.

    • Andrea says:

      Murdoch is represented by UTA Jeremy Zimmer, Piers Morgan and Dan Wootton knew who the royal racists were. They are all connected. I’m just trying to fit Rick Evers in.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Jensa, go above and read all of the posts by Lurker25. You’ll see it doesn’t work that way.

  29. Diamond Rottweiler says:

    One of the first phrases I taught my son when he was a child was, “Follow the money.” It applies to pretty much every situation, and I feel comfortable believing it applies here. Who truly benefits from the “mistake”? How this translation even made it past last round of copy edits stinks to high heaven. Not like the translator wrote the names, then hit send on the file directly to the printer.

    • VilleRose says:

      Right on! Who benefits from this mistake? The tabloids because they get more clicks. And I guess Rupert Murdoch? Which tabloid was the first to break the story? Who was the reporter? Follow their paper trail and we have our answer. Someone above suggested whoever the leak was was someone close to the reporter who broke the story first.

  30. sparrow says:

    I think a fair few of us speculated this on the first post, that at some point the parties had indeed been written in; I hope the translators now feel vindicated and are left alone to regroup. It’s been interesting to read on here from posters who work in translation and publishing. I know this sounds silly, but thank you! I love this site for professional input.

  31. ArtFossil says:

    This is a good opportunity to urge everyone to read the book!

    Scobie weaves together a dense fabric of the actions and inactions of the royal family over the last twelve years, exploring intertwined themes of the monarchy’s inability to respond to a changing world while being shored up and protected by its control of a sycophantic press.

    Historical details provide essential context and create a richly textured narrative, underscoring the monarchy’s failures. This tapestry is enlivened by the golden threads of Scobie’s sharp and incisive commentary. Scobie’s Audible narration is clear and calm, so that his snark is all the more delicious for being understated.

    Endgame is a wonderful book—timely and provocative and raising essential questions about the monarchy’s future.

  32. Truthiness says:

    In the big picture, we’ve allowed the discussions to be attacking Scobie over this “mistake” and the proper ownership of the mistake instead of rebutting the Royal family’s racism. I know the causality here is crucial for Scobie and deserving of all the discussion here but the RF not denying the myriad examples of racist talk/actions is the elephant in the room for me. Stop shooting the messenger, whoever he/she may be.

  33. The Old Chick says:

    There’s a lot of shoot the messenger going on. Yesterday several people were insistent, in multiple posts, that scobie was lying – and not just new handles. So now so called friendlies are piling on. Scobie lying makes zero sense. But now the whole narrative has shifted from what’s in the book to the author /sussexes which is what the Rf want. And poor fragile white Kate for bonus points. I absolutely believe it was a set up for this reason.

  34. May says:

    I don’t mean to threadjack here but I will be curious to see how things turn out at tomorrow’s annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. Usually, this is an opportunity for Kate both to wear a tiara and to be photographed with non-white foreign and Commonwealth dignitaries. I’m curious to see if the revelation of Kate as an alleged racist Royal makes a difference as to whether foreign dignitaries will be so chuffed to be photographed with Kate or whether she even shows. Charles, as King, will probably get a pass in the diplomatic world, unfortunately.