Meghan Was "Insulted" After Queen Offered Her a Black Royal Assistant, New Book Says
Royal Expert Omid Scobie writes in Endgame that the actor turned down the gesture.
As Meghan Markle transitioned into being a member of the British royal family, her grandmother-in-law reportedly made an offer that was received as an insult by the former actor. Royal expert Omid Scobie claims in his new book, Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival, that Queen Elizabeth II offered Markle the services of her Black equerry, Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah, to make her more comfortable in her new role. The author says that the gesture instead had the opposite effect.
"When Palace aides told reporters, including myself, they 'bent over backwards' to make Meghan feel comfortable at Buckingham Palace, this included a follow-up suggestion that perhaps the Queen's Ghanaian-born household cavalry officer Lieutenant Colonel Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah should be the one to help Meghan," Scobie writes (via The Sun). "Though a charming and intelligent man, it stood out like a sore thumb to Meghan and her friends." The Sun also reported that Scobie indicates that Markle was insulted.
Twumasi-Ankrah became the first Black man to be appointed an equerry of the queen in 2017. Before this, he was the first Black man to be part of the Household Cavalry—bodyguards to the monarch. According to NBC News, "An equerry is an officer of the royal household who would typically assist a member of the royal family."
Per Page Six, Scobie writes that the suggestion that Twumasi-Ankrah assist Markle was likely due to the "lack of Black or other non-white staff" in "relevant senior roles." The writer reports that a friend told Markle, "I doubt Kate [Middleton] was offered an equerry [for guidance]."
Markle had previously been offered the assistance of Lady Susan Hussey, but turned down the suggestion. According to the Daily Mail, in the book The Palace Papers, author Tina Brown wrote, "The glaring but unspoken problem was that none of these experienced Palace hands were women of color. As for the lady-in-waiting the Queen had offered for support, what on earth did the 80-year-old Lady Susan Hussey have of use for a 38-year-old biracial American actress trying to navigate the treacherous Palace system?'"
Hussey ended up resigning from her position in the royal household in 2022 after she asked racist questions to Ngozi Fulani, the Black founder of a charity, during an event. The palace described the comments as "unacceptable and deeply regrettable," as reported by the BBC.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward told The Sun, "If Scobie's account is correct, she was offered Lady Susan Hussey and turned her down. Then she was offered the Ghanaian-born equerry to the Queen. I don't know who she thought should be helping her but presumably not an equerry or a lady-in-waiting."
The news of the palace attempting to appoint Twumasi-Ankrah to work with Markle comes amid another claim involving the Duchess of Sussex's race in Scobie's book. In a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle and Prince Harry said that members of the royal family asked what the skin color of their children would be, given that Harry is white and Markle is half white and half Black. Scobie said that he knew which two individuals made this comment but that he wouldn't reveal their identities.
However, a Dutch version of the book was reportedly printed that named King Charles III and Middleton as the royals in question. Scobie initially denied ever writing a draft that included their names but later wrote in an op-ed for iNews that an "early and uncleared" version of the manuscript was sent to the Dutch publisher without his knowledge.
As reported by the BBC, publisher Xander Uitgevers responded to the op-ed, "Omid Scobie's explanation in his column in iNews about the Dutch editorial process of the Dutch edition of Endgame is factually incorrect and we do not recognize ourselves in his representation of the events."
For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.