Alexander Larman

The knives are out for Prince William and Kate

(Photo: Getty)

Omid Scobie’s Endgame is now available from a bookshop near you, and no doubt republicans and admirers of Harry and Meghan alike will be flocking to buy it on the day of release, gleeful to soak up the revelations about the Royal Family. For the rest of us, the appeal is less clear. The book’s tawdry and scandalous provocations have been extensively trailed in the press over the past few days and, as I wrote yesterday, its most attention-grabbing suggestions are hardly newsworthy or particularly surprising, which means that, like Spare, this book is likely to meet with vast initial sales and will then dwindle into obscurity before very long.

Were the Prince and Princess of Wales so minded, there is probably enough in Endgame for them to sue Scobie for libel

One area, however, that is relatively new is its full-frontal attack on the Prince of Wales and, to a slightly lesser extent, his wife. Prince William emerges spectacularly badly in Endgame, with Scobie suggesting that he is trapped in ‘an increasing struggle’ for power with his father, who the Prince views as yesterday’s man.

One of Scobie’s suspiciously useful sources is quoted as saying, ‘William [doesn’t] think his father is competent enough, quite frankly. Though they share passions and interests, their style of leadership is completely different.’

Just as it was rumoured that the King spent decades waiting for his mother to relinquish the throne, so the same is now being said of his son. Another courtier is said to remark, ‘William, or his staff, I should say, will always be quick to play up his efforts. There is an almost frenzied push for William to be seen as ready for the throne, despite an entire generation coming beforehand.’

Certainly, there is some truth in the tension between the idealised media presentation of the Prince and Princess as the perfect family unit – smiling, dutiful, unthreatening – and some of the characteristics of William that are coming into public view.

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