Christmas has arrived at Windsor Castle where the Royal family have unveiled lavish decorations.
The Berkshire royal residence has been transformed with 20ft Christmas tree in St George’s hall, festive garlands and twinkling lights.
This year also marks the 675th anniversary of the Order of the Garter on top of the Christmas tree.
And the celebratory atmosphere can also be felt in the Waterloo Chamber, where a huge dining table is decorated with statement pieces, including trays of golden pears and fruits.
However, it will tough for the family to start getting into the Christmas spirit amid an ongoing race row following the release of Omid Scobie’s book Endgame this week.
Christmas has come early at Windsor Castle this year as the royal family have shared pictures of the lavish decorations
The Berkshire royal residence has been transformed with 20ft Christmas tree, festive garlands and twinkling lights
The author doubled down to defend his work on UK TV today and refused to take the blame for the racism scandal over the naming of two royals in the Dutch translation, declaring: ‘I never submitted a book that had those names in it’.
The Sussexes’ favoured royal reporter has squarely blamed the publisher in the Netherlands – and denied it was part of a money-spinning ‘stunt’ to shift more copies globally.
In an interview with ITV’s This Morning, which started with a denial he is ‘Meghan’s mouthpiece’, Omid offered no mea culpa or apology for the error and when asked if he was upset he said: ‘I am obviously frustrated. I wouldn’t say I am upset about it’.
And the celebratory atmosphere can also be felt in the Waterloo Chamber, where a huge dining table is decorated with statement pieces, including trays of golden pears and fruits
The huge festive fir, adorned with red and golden baubles and tinsel, stands tall and proud in St. George’s Hall
This year also marks the 675th anniversary of the Order of the Garter on top of the Christmas tree
Mr Scobie also offered no explanation as to how the version of Endgame being pulped in the Netherlands ended up pointing the finger at two members of the Royal Family now accused of asking about the colour of Archie’s skin before he was born.
Asked if the Dutch farrago was a ‘stunt to sell books’ in the face of poor reviews, he said: ‘I wish it was the case’ and that ‘an investigation is underway’.
‘I had never submitted a book that had their names in it, so I can only talk about my version’, he said. ‘I wrote and edited the English version of the book with one publisher. That then gets licensed to other publishers. I can’t speak Italian, German, French, Dutch or any of the other languages that it’s come out in’.
Mr Scobie’s appearance on the This Morning sofa with Craig Doyle and Alison Hammond began with an immediate denial that he is ‘Meghan’s mouthpiece’, ‘her cheerleader’ or just ‘some mouthy fan’. He claimed he had been treated ‘unfairly’ and these pro-Sussex monikers are all part of ‘a character assassination’.
Ornate candle stands are also situated next to the china and glassware, and a small Christmas tree also graces the centre
A huge, ornate, Christmas tree towers over St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle today as the festive spirit kicks in
Pictured: Royal Collection Trust staff adding the finishing touches to a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle
In order to hammer home his point he said: ‘I have very little interest in what they [the Sussexes] are doing in California. Harry and Meghan are irrelevant to the future of the Royal Family’.
But he admitted he had been ‘sympathetic’, claiming he had witnessed unfair treatment of the Duchess of Sussex when she was a working royal ‘so I did go on television and talk about the racism she faced’.
Denying that he was ‘Meghan’s mouthpiece’, he said: ‘I’m not their friend. I have never sat down privately with Meghan for an interview, exchanged information with Meghan. I am not in their private world’.
He also said that he and Endgame had been unfairly criticised. He said: ‘I knew this book would be controversial, whether it’s about race or the Palace’s relationship with the press. I never expected it to be presented fairly.’ He said: ‘There have been unfair attacks on me’.
He said that he believed that he has been victimised because he was saying ‘loudly from the start’ that Meghan suffered racism. He added that because he is mixed race he has a different perspective on the racism she had – but insisted that he not just some ‘mouthy fan’.
Mr Scobie was asked how the names had appeared in the Dutch version now pulled from the shelves. Piers Morgan said them on live TV last night.
He said: ‘It’s still being investigated now. I wrote and edited the English version of the book with one publisher. That then gets licensed to other publishers. I obviously can’t speak Italian, German, French, Dutch or any of the other languages that come out.
The family’s festive celebrations are likely to have been marred by a race row following the release of Omid Scobie’s book Endgame this week
The author doubled down to defend his work on UK TV today and refused to take the blame for the racism scandal over the naming of two royals in the Dutch translation, declaring: ‘I never submitted a book that had those names in it’
‘I’m as frustrated as anyone else. I make it very clear in this book that I in every way possible want to adhere to the laws surrounding this subject. It’s why I’ve been very careful in how it’s described in the book and it’s why I’ve never spoken about it beyond what I’ve said in the public domain before.
‘The reality is though is that this is information that is not privy just to me. Journalists across Fleet Street have known those names for a long time. We’ve all followed a certain code of conduct when it comes to talking about it. It’s frustrating that now what’s going on in the Netherlands with the book that was obviously immediately rescinded and is now being reprinted has happened, and I’m glad to hear so. But for me I can only talk about the English version of the book that I wrote and produced.’
Scobie told ITV’s This Morning that coverage of Meghan Markle was often ‘steeped in xenophobia, misogyny and prejudice’.
He said: ‘I do think when Meghan was a working member of the royal family she was massively mispresented in a lot of the coverage. A lot of it was steeped in xenophobia, misogyny and prejudice, and I’ve always said that very loudly from the start.
‘It’s the thing that has made me a target for many people in terms of someone who is just seen as like some mouthy fan of her rather than perhaps OK, I’m a mixed race member of the press pack and I’ve got something different to say about it.’
Omid said he had never used the ‘racist’ word in relation to the comments over Archie’s skin colour, adding that it was described as ‘unconscious bias’.