Harry and Meghan biographer apologises for blunder over Queen's coffin

‘Slip of the tongue’: Journalist who wrote Harry and Meghan’s biography admits error after telling American news channel that the Queen’s coffin would be making its journey ‘by royal train’ from Scotland ‘over to the UK’

  • Omid Scobie, who is close to Harry and Meghan, made the faux pas on US TV
  • The journalist said the Queen’s coffin would travel from Scotland ‘to the UK’
  • He later apologised for the comment and described it as a ‘slip of the tongue’  
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

The journalist who wrote Harry and Meghan’s biography has apologised after telling a US news channel that the Queen’s coffin would travel from Scotland ‘over to the UK’. 

Omid Scobie, who is known to be close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has apologised after mistakenly appearing to suggest that Scotland is not part of the UK.

He also said the Queen would be taken to London on ‘one of the royal trains’, despite there only being one royal train and the fact Her Majesty will be transported by plane.

The 41-year-old later said on Twitter that his remarks were a ‘slip of the tongue’ and had been made ‘in the chaos of breaking news’ as news of the Queen’s death became public knowledge. 

He made the comments on ABC News on Thursday, September 8, where he was describing to viewers what would happen to the Queen’s body after her death at Balmoral Castle.

The royal expert said Her Majesty ‘will end up laying at rest at the smallest palace in Edinburgh before it [the coffin] makes its journey on one of the royal trains over to the UK’.

Omid Scobie was on ABC News when he said the Queen’s coffin would be moved from Scotland ‘over to the UK’

This was incorrect as the Queen’s body will actually be flown to London on a military aircraft from Edinburgh Airport to RAF Northolt outside London tomorrow.

However, it was his apparent ‘slip of the tongue’ which suggested Scotland was no longer part of the UK for which he apologised.

Writing on Twitter, Scobie said: ‘Turns out in the chaos of breaking news on September 8 I accidentally said ‘Scotland to UK’ instead of ‘Scotland to England’ when discussing travel elements of Operation Unicorn. Slip of the tongue and happy to own it’ 

Scobie later apologised for the remark on Twitter, claiming it had been a ‘slip of the tongue’

Scobie has been a firm cheerleader for Harry and Meghan over recent years, having co-authored the couple’s biography, Finding Freedom, in 2020. 

He is the royal editor of U.S. website Harper’s Bazaar and has become one of the closest journalists to the couple since their move to America.

The Queen’s body is currently at rest at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, where thousands of members of the public have been lining up for hours to pay their respects.

Earlier today King Charles and his siblings stood in a vigil beside her coffin, which is set to be transported to London on Tuesday.

After a short procession, King Charles III, Anne, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward each stood on one of the four corners of the oak coffin with their heads bowed in a ceremony known as the Vigil of the Princes.

King Charles III, Anne, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward each stood on one of the four corners of the coffin in a ceremony known as the Vigil of the Princes

The Queen’s children stood vigil over her coffin at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh this evening. Pictured is King Charles (centre front), Princess Anne (left), Prince Andrew (centre back) and Prince Edward (right)

The Duke of York kept his eyes closed for a period of time during the 10-minute vigil, while the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex had their eyes fixed towards the floor. The King – his eyes moistening – kept his hands joined and also looked towards the floor as members of the public filed past.

The King and his family stood alongside four suited members of the Royal Company of Archers, who were standing guard dressed in long-feathered hats and armed with arrows and quivers.

Members of the public – who have been filing past the coffin in their thousands throughout the afternoon – were briefly held back to allow the royals to take their place. 

However, they continued to file past once the vigil began, offering them an extraordinary perspective on the historic moment.

On Wednesday Her Majesty’s coffin will be placed on display at Westminster Hall, with officials expecting tens of thousands of people to visit as they mourn the monarch. 

On Monday, September 19, her funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, with heads of state from around the world and family members invited to pay their respects to the Queen.

After this service she will be taken to Windsor, where she will be laid to rest at a committal ceremony in St George’s Chapel.

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