Royal correspondent and author Omid Scobie’s bombshell book Endgame has proven to be a setback rather than a boost for “pal” Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry, according to a commentator.
Royal editor Rebecca English believes Endgame, Mr Scobie’s latest royal book, dug up issues and scandals from months and years ago that the House of Windsor as a whole, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, would have preferred to remain far from the spotlight.
By including in Endgame new takes and sources about previously overshadowed issues, Mr Scobie brought back the public’s attention to the Sussexes and allowed for new discussions to flourish.
Appearing on the Mail+’s programme Palace Confidential, Ms English said: “It’s raised uncomfortable situations that the family were really hopeful of trying to bury, and I include Harry and Meghan in that.
“I remember after the whole furore around Spare, and before that the Netflix documentary and all of the interviews, one member of their team briefing very grandly that this was the end of their ‘look-back projects’. Part of me thought, who gives you the right to say this is our programme of look-back projects?
“But that’s what they said, we are entering this new era, and now we are focusing on our future, our own self-generated stuff rather than stuff about the Royal Family.
“And they haven’t done any Royal Family-related project, so I get the impression they were really hoping to start to move forward, slightly naively I think.”
As noted by Ms English, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex focused several of their first projects as non-working members of the Firm on their relationship with the Royal Family and the problems that arose during their years as the Firm’s senior members.
Meghan and Harry discussed their past woes in high-profile interviews, a six-part documentary they produced exclusively for Netflix and the Duke’s bombshell biography.
At the end of the Harry & Meghan hit Netflix programme, the Duke himself said he and Meghan were now looking at the future.
Ms English added: “Then obviously the Scobie book blew that all up and brought back a lot of what we have been discussing about the beginning of the year. So the trouble is, I think, that it has laid this uncomfortable situation again out for public scrutiny.”
Mr Scobie is often referred to as the Sussexes’ biographer because of his first royal book co-authored with Carolyn Durand, Finding Freedom, which was an unauthorised but sympathetic biography of the pair.
His second book Endgame also brought back up the “issue of trust” concerning who served as a source, Ms English continued. Referring to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, she added: “It does put them in a very difficult situation.”
Meghan and Prince Harry, who have said not to have collaborated with Mr Scobie on Endgame, appear to be ending 2023 on a low after the US entertainment bible Hollywood Reporter included the pair in its list of Hollywood’s “biggest losers”.
Moreover, Jeetendr Sehdev, a Forbes magazine contributor, claimed Meghan and Harry have been unable to turn the hype and media coverage they generate into buyers for their project.
He added: “I believe this serves as a compelling case study for Harvard Business School on the ultimate in brand buzz failure.”
But the Sussex camp has stressed in recent weeks there are many opportunities and projects on the horizon. Meghan herself said in November she and her husband had “so many exciting things on the slate”.