Scobie: The Duchess of Sussex isn’t a friend & I didn’t interview her for ‘Endgame’

Omid Scobie gave an excellent interview to the Sunday Times this weekend, just ahead of the publication of Endgame on Tuesday. Scobie is absolutely trying to clarify some of the poorly-translated book excerpts which came from Paris Match, but he’s not on his back heel. Everything in Endgame is said with his whole chest, and as he writes in Endgame, he knows he’s burning a lot of bridges and he’s fine with that. It needed to be done. This Times piece is an interview, but it also summarizes some of the selected highlights from Endgame. Having read an embargoed copy of Endgame, I find it fascinating to watch which sections have been cherrypicked as super-controversial, meanwhile Scobie wrote about even bigger controversies which have (thus far) been ignored. You can read an archived copy of this Times piece here. Some highlights:

Did Meghan contribute to his book at all? “No, and I’m not her friend,” he says firmly. “I didn’t interview her for this book.” Nevertheless his perceived connection to Meghan has brought him racist abuse, social media pile-ons and death threats. “I’m very aware that I’m quite disliked in Britain. The way anything about me is said is as if I’m just the absolute worst person. I have mutual friends with [Meghan], and that definitely helps with getting information and breaking details,” he says, but, no, he’s not on the Sussex payroll. No, he’s not sleeping on the sofa at their mansion in Montecito.

The Sussexes are “in a good place”. “We have to remember that this is a couple that — this is just my own opinion — seem to have bonded over their shared traumas, experiences and battles that they’ve faced together against others. That kind of bond is much tougher to break than anything else.”

William’s machinations: William is a “hot-headed” company man who is “increasingly comfortable with the Palace’s dirty tricks and the courtiers who dream them up”. Scobie claims it is William who, through his loyal aides and press relationships, has painted his younger brother as mentally fragile. “The side of it that a lot of people don’t know, or within our industry have known but chosen not to report, is just how involved William has been in many of the things that have gone out about his own brother,” Scobie claims.

Kate is infantilized: Kate is portrayed as a woman terrified to do anything more than grinning photo ops. She reportedly had to be gently coaxed into appearing on Blue Peter in 2019. “In the coverage of Kate we infantilise her massively so the bar is always lower. The small achievements that we’ve seen from the Princess of Wales wouldn’t perhaps be noticed if it was from another member of the royal family, but with Kate it’s like ‘wow!’” Part of the Waleses’ strategy now, Scobie says, is to take Harry and Meghan on at their own game and focus on winning over the US. More trips, more press.

Crisis moment for the Windsors: “We are at this pivotal moment in time where the future of the royal family as we know it is in a crisis. That crisis being a lack of interest from young people, an apathy, a growing republican movement, questions over whether the family still uphold the morals and values of the crown that the Queen did such a great job of. But when you look at the cast of characters … it has been questionable.”

Royal jingoism: “To stay relevant, the system, in an almost Trumpian twist, leans on patriotism — even jingoism — to shore up its purpose,” he writes. It’s punchy stuff. “Rather than ever facing or confronting challenges of modern times, whether that is diversity or other social issues, the institution of the monarchy regularly turns away from that, and relies on support for things of the past as opposed to widening the following of the royal family,” he says.

William & Charles are out of sync, he says. “It would have been nice to see them come together on certain projects perhaps in the early years, to put on that united front, but they’re all working in silos.”

QEII’s people didn’t think Charles had what it takes: Before Queen Elizabeth II died, palace aides reportedly suggested that Charles didn’t have, in Scobie’s words, “the moxie or the vision for the family’s next chapter”.

Meghan’s next steps: One source in the book says she is working on “something more accessible … something rooted in her love of details, curating, hosting, life’s simple pleasures, and family”. A friend of Meghan’s told Scobie that the former actress is “busy working on creating something safe and timeless”. “I still don’t quite understand what that business project will be because, as I spoke to people while writing the book, it changed about five times. So we’ll see,” Scobie says. Her priority is apparently “business and philanthropy”, but since Netflix added Suits to its catalogue, the show that launched Meghan’s career has been a hit all over again. Scobie imagines there could be a cameo role for her in the coming spin-off, if she’d ever bite.

Whether Harry is sleeping in Montecito hotels: “I know a lot of people that know them, that are in their world, or their space, and I’ve just never come across anything of the sort,” he says, pointing out that the couple have a “massive guesthouse” at their disposal. “If you wanted to spend a night away, you don’t have to go as far as some janky hotel in Montecito town centre.” Harry’s British posho social circle back in Britain shrank when Meghan appeared and, Scobie says, “it only continues to get smaller as some of those friends, who were also friends with Prince William, have picked their sides”. He reportedly has a small group of pals in America. “The narrative that this is some friendless loser that now … is all alone and only has his wife to boss him around — it’s make-believe cartoon at this point.”

Could William be our final king? “It would take a lot to dismantle the British royal family. But could William be the last king as we know it? Absolutely.” He believes that the Windsors reduced to tourist attraction is a genuine danger, but that such a fate can be avoided if they kick into gear. “The book isn’t hammering the final nail in the coffin. It’s just a reality check.”

[From The Times]

Yeah, my takeaway from the book wasn’t that the monarchy will be done and dusted in the next decade, but that the left-behind Windsors can’t manage their way out of a paper bag, and they’re too busy tripping over their d-cks to notice that their relevancy, popularity and national/global standing diminishes with each year. There won’t be one atomic bomb which ends the British monarchy, it will be death by a thousand paper cuts. The “infantilized Kate” thing is correct, but I actually do think Scobie pulled his punches a little about Kate. He called her lazy, childish and hypocritical, for sure. But she’s a lot worse than that.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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