- Written by Sean Coughlan
- Royal correspondent
So how come the Dutch version of the book contains lines that don’t appear in the original English version?
Not just any random lines – but a very damaging signal linking a member of the royal family to a racial feud that has been going on for years.
It was presented as a mistake, and extremely embarrassing, and the book was hastily pulled from the shelves. But how could this happen?
The Dutch language edition, Eindstrijd, contains a very clear reference to a senior member of the royal family, and there have been claims of another, more obscure reference to a second name.
“An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being corrected,” the publisher’s managing director, Anke Röhlen, said on Tuesday evening.
As a result, Xander Uitgevers’ publisher “temporarily pulled the book”, with its release day thrown into disarray.
It will now be re-released on Friday in a “corrected” version.
Although the translation process was initially blamed, a comparison between the English and Dutch texts does not indicate that it was a matter of mixing up some phrases or vocabulary.
The line identifying the member of the royal family is not in the English text, so it has not been mistranslated. It appears to have been added.
An updated message from the publisher now talks about an “error,” without mentioning the translations, if that has any significance.
The next idea might be that this was part of an earlier draft or edit taken from other language versions, but accidentally not updated in the Dutch version.
But the author, Omid Scobie, speaking to Dutch television on Tuesday, explained that any version he produced did not mention names at all. This would rule out that this is a draft or leftover from some previous edit that has not been removed.
“There was no version of my production that contained names,” the author told RTL Boulevard.
He said, “The book is available in a number of languages, and unfortunately I cannot speak Dutch, so I have not seen the copy myself, so if there are any errors in the translation, I am sure that the publisher has controlled them.” Mr. Scooby.
In the pre-publicity phase, he made a specific point by saying that for legal reasons, he would not identify the names involved in the racial controversy that emerged in Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Prince Harry and Meghan themselves have never named the person or people who allegedly asked questions about their unborn child’s skin color.
As Meghan herself noted about the potential consequences of revealing the name: “I think it would be very damaging to them.”
After it was first revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, it sparked a royal racial row, and questions about the identity of those involved have become a lingering cloud.
This latest book claims that there are two people involved in asking these questions rather than one person.
Aside from an update on Wednesday to announce a new release date, the publisher has yet to determine what went wrong – but that won’t stop those trying to figure out what happened.
Could it be some kind of hack or scam version posted? Was it a sales ploy? prank? Was stray text put up as a joke and then not removed? Or does someone change the text after completing the proofreading?
What is surprising is that any other news in the book has been closely followed, including excerpts in the American press and in interviews.
So it may seem strange to bury the biggest bombshell in the middle of the book, without any subsequent explanation for this revelation, and without any kind of shedding light on this claim.
After this short line that reveals the name, the Dutch text returns to the same English text, whereas you might expect it to point back or expand on such a big reveal, which would be the biggest moment in the book.
If the publisher decided to make such a big decision to reveal this information, it would be their biggest selling point as well as their biggest risk.
Either way, if it was intentionally revealed, it’s hard to see why it would be hidden as a single line, in the middle of text, rather than exploited in every way to boost sales.
Buckingham Palace has not commented on what appeared in the Dutch edition of Endgame, in a book that was already aimed at senior members of the royal family.
The English language publisher, HarperCollins, also did not respond.
In the wake of Oprah’s interview, with its venomous questions about racism and the royal family, the late Queen’s response included: “Memories may vary.”
In this latest Dutch crime, it seems the translations may differ as well.
“Wannabe web expert. Twitter fanatic. Writer. Passionate coffee enthusiast. Freelance reader.”