Meghan Markle's Friend Omid Scobie Lets Out His Feelings About Prince Andrew

Disgraced royal Prince Andrew has been officially stripped of his titles and military patronages due to the ongoing sexual abuse case lodged against him by Virginia Giuffre, who was also one of Jeffrey Epstein's victims. Per Cosmopolitan, Queen Elizabeth herself gave the go-ahead for the move (she was also the one who broke the news personally to her son). Giuffre accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her when she was 17, after the teenager was trafficked by Epstein and his second-in-command, Ghislaine Maxwell. A statement from Buckingham Palace confirmed, via Twitter, "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."

Harper's Bazaar notes this means Andrew's roles and titles will now be redistributed among various senior members of the royal family, including Princes William and Charles. Aside from being left to defend himself in court, and footing the considerable legal bills accordingly, Andrew is also banned from using the title of "His Royal Highness" in any official capacities going forward. According to an insider, the decision to strip him of his titles was "widely discussed" among the family, and there's no chance they'll ever be reinstated either, regardless of what happens with the lawsuit. Most recently, the federal judge trying the case rejected a plea from Andrew's legal team to throw it out on a technicality, per CNN.

Adding insult to injury, a confidante of Meghan Markle is now taking aim at Andrew in the press.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Omid Scobie unfavorably compared the treatment of Prince Harry and Prince Andrew

Omid Scobie, the Harper's Bazaar royal editor and personal friend of Meghan Markle, criticized what he termed the "ring of protection" surrounding Prince Andrew, decrying it in an editorial for iNews as "confusing." Per the Daily Mail, Scobie, who co-wrote biography "Finding Freedom" alongside fellow royal expert Carolyn Durand, claimed the "threat to Brand Windsor and the family business" was what finally forced The Firm to strip Prince Andrew of his titles. Comparing the controversial issue to Megxit, Scobie also argued there wasn't a comparable swell of support in the palace for Prince Harry, who "simply wanted to remove his family from an unhealthy environment" and was "publicly dragged over the coals and stripped of his every achievement and royal privilege before setting one foot out of the country."

Likewise, nothing was done about Andrew for more than two years after his infamous BBC interview aired. As far as Markle's confidante is concerned, the public is rightfully confused by how this has played out, since Harry, comparatively speaking, did nothing wrong while Andrew stands accused of some extremely nefarious behavior. Scobie argued, "The royal establishment has long spoken of its need to reflect modern day ethics. But when the selfish behavior of a pompous prince is quietly protected in a way that Harry wasn't, simply because Andrew doesn't challenge the system, it is clear that this is an institution whose moral compass is in desperate need of repair."

Omid Scobie typically keeps his royal stories positive

Omid Scobie has gone to bat for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle many times over, with Tatler noting, in a profile of the royal correspondent, that he was one of just three reporters invited to Markle's final royal engagement before the couple absconded to the States. According to Scobie, the duchess, whom he calls "Meg" just as her "close friends and husband" do, shared a "big farewell hug" with him. She even reportedly admitted, "It didn't have to be this way" during their emotional embrace.

On why Markle trusts him to be party to such intense private moments, Scobie reasoned it's because his work, covering the royals for the likes of Us Weekly and Harper's Bazaar, speaks "for itself." He noted, "I was always careful what I reported." The co-author of "Finding Freedom" prefers to cover more positive aspects of royal life, given his coverage is aimed predominantly at American audiences. And, although his book with Carolyn Durand wasn't well received critically, it was a major commercial success.

In fact, "Finding Freedom" went straight to No. 1 on the Sunday Times book charts, selling 31,000 copies in its first five days of publication alone. On its popularity, Scobie opined, "The support comes from the usual group — the Sussexes have a very big following and they're keen to see a book that perhaps humanizes Meghan in a way we haven't seen before." Naturally, he was the man for the job.

Meghan and Harry haven't always agreed with his approach

Although Omid Scobie considers himself a confidante of Prince Harry and, especially, Meghan Markle, the beloved couple hasn't always sided with him. According to Express, during an appearance on British talk show "This Morning," the royal author discussed the controversial epilogue to "Finding Freedom" and, in the process, confirmed there were certain things included therein that the Sussexes probably wouldn't be too happy with. 

Scobie shared that his methods, in researching the tell-all tome, involved chatting to senior aides and palace staff, as well as building a relationship with Meghan and Harry themselves. He revealed, "The idea for this book really came around when we started to see that a lot of the papers were creating this caricature of Harry and Meghan that I wasn't seeing in front of me." Scobie saw it as an "opportunity to tell the other side of the story." However, the journalist clarified that he's not a "mouthpiece" for the couple, particularly considering the book is "unauthorized" so the Sussexes didn't really get a say in what was written about them. 

In fact, "There are certain things in the book that do challenge some of the decisions they've made that maybe the couple won't agree with." Thankfully, Scobie reckons Meghan and Harry don't waste their time reading negative stuff about themselves, so likely won't ever see most of it (though Meghan's high-profile court case against the Mail on Sunday did bring it to the fore).