Meghan Markle and Prince Harry cheerleader Omid Scobie age and royal row

The name on most royal watchers' lips at present is Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's biographer Omid Scobie.

He's the author of controversial new book ENDGAME, following 2020's biography of the Sussexes Finding Freedom. And he has had something of a meteoric career rise over the last seven years.

But how did Omid go from being another tabloid hack to finding his way into the inner circle of the Duchess he affectionately calls 'Megs' – as favoured journalist and 'cheerleader-in-chief' – chosen to attend her intimate final engagement as a working royal back in 2020?

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Omid grew up in Oxford and is the eldest of two brothers. His Scottish father, Bill, runs a marketing agency. His Persian mother, Maryam, works in child welfare.

He studied at prestigious fee-paying Magdalen College School, whose alumni includes Skyfall director Sam Mendes, before crossing over to state sixth form Cherwell School and then studying journalism at the London College of Communication. Despite his youthful looks, Omid has been working in the media industry for more than two decades, starting off his successful career upon leaving college at 21, as a celebrity junior reporter for Heat magazine.

The royal writer's stint at the tabloid celebrity magazine was the start of fulfilling a teenage dream of becoming a journalist but it wasn't always a happy time for him. During those 11 months at the mag he wrote about another woman – pre-Meghan – getting a rough ride from the British tabloids, Jodie Marsh, and would hit the nightclubs with the then glamour model.

Jodie – once described as "human Viagra" by a lover and famously traded vicious insults with her rival, Katie Price, then known as Jordan – may have been the first celebrity Omid cultivated; and while he accompanied her to nightclubs, she was happy to grace the front cover of Heat.

Despite having a "blast" interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, it was not a happy work environment for the then young journalist. He "quickly grew to hate it", describing it as a "toxic workplace".

He made a series of damming allegations on X claiming his former boss called him a "P****" as a "joke" and made "racist slurs" against other TV celebrities June Sarpong and Alison Hammond. He wrote: "…not one person there, including the publisher's HR department, gave a damn. 'That's just [their] humour,' I was told by one superior at the time." He added: "Despite people's intentions, I'm not ashamed of that job."

The lights of Hollywood were soon calling and Omid joined entertainment magazine US Weekly as European bureau chief where he developed his interest in the royals. "The royals in the US are big business. And US Weekly being the second most read weekly in the US was appealing to [the royals], too," he told society magazine, Tatler, in 2021 revealing how he was rejected when he joined the royal press pack.

He added: "The first words I remember hearing were that this guy was going to come and write puff pieces and he doesn’t know what he’s doing." But Omid soon proved them wrong – he stayed at US Weekly for a decade before coming the royal editor-at-large at Harpar's Bazaar and a royal contributor at ABC News and regularly appears on Good Morning America.

How old is Omid Scobie?

Omid is now 42 years old, but he was caught out in a white lie in an interview with The Times Magazine in 2020 when he said he was 33, six years younger than his actual age

He recently told The Times: "That was unfortunate and naive of me. You live and learn."

Omid began reporting on the royals on 2011 and admitted before then he had "no personal interest in the royals at all whatsoever". Five years later, Meghan's relationship with Harry hit the headlines and he found himself being drawn towards their story.

"I was going to work my damn hardest to make sure I was close to every single person in their lives, and become someone that, at the very least, people at the palace feel they can come to when they need to correct a story," he told The Times. In March 2020 he wrote a first-hand account of the day Meghan finally flew out of England following her last solo appearance as a working Royal.

He told readers of Harper’s Bazaar that he gave her a "goodbye hug" at Buckingham Palace. He later added that "tears that the Duchess had been bravely holding back" were "free to flow".

In the same article, he described shadowing the Sussexes’ work, "getting to know the couple better through their humanitarian endeavours, engagements and overseas visits". He wrote: "Their high-energy work ethic and passion for social justice attracted a new, more diverse demographic of royal watcher. As a young(ish), biracial royal correspondent, the change was exciting. And as their popularity grew around the world, so did a new golden era for the House of Windsor."

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