“Royal book translators had early version which named names”

Copies of the book on sale in England. Photo: Neil Hall EPA

Dutch publishing house Xander Uitgevers received two versions of a controversial new book about the British royal family – which led to the unedited version being translated, The Times reported on Monday.

The paper says a source said a definitive version of Endgame had been sent to the Netherlands. However, it says, the United Talent Agency also sent a concept version which names king Charles and the “princess of Wales” as the two who commented on the possible colour of the skin of prince Harry and Megan’s first child. 

The Times concludes that the translator was given the earlier version of the text, rather than the approved final version, which led to the names being included in the final edition. Scobie has said he had never mentioned either person by name.

Two translators worked on the Dutch version of the book. ‘As a translator, I translate what is in front of me,’ one of the two, Saskia Peeters, told the Daily Mail. ‘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.’

Xander Uitgevers, which has simply said that “an error occurred” has refused to comment on the Times report. However, the Dutch society of authors, the Auteursbond, has called on the publishing house to come clean and explain what went wrong.

A new, adapted Dutch language version of the book will hit the bookstores later this week. 

The royal family race row has rumbled on for nearly three years. It dates back to March 2021 when Meghan said during an interview with Oprah Winfrey that one member of the royal family commented on the child’s skin colour before he was born, but has never said who that was.

Jeroen Snel, royalty correspondent for tv gossip show RTL Boulevard, said on Monday that there are other minor differences between the two texts. For example, the English text says it was “upsetting” for Harry not to be allowed to fly with his brother to Balmoral in Scotland to say goodbye to queen Elizabeth before she died.

The Dutch text, however, says the decision was “heartless” that he was unable to say goodbye to his grandmother, Snel said.

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