Perpetuate or perpetrate


In the interview that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have given to Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess implied that Buckingham Palace (not mentioning individual names) had been “perpetuating falsehoods about us”.

When I heard the clip for the first time, I was puzzled: did she mean that there were falsehoods circulating, and that the Palace was disseminating them further, or did she mean to say that the Palace was perpetrating the falsehoods, i.e. initiating them?

This is a frequent source of confusion, and this morning (Saturday 6 March 2021), Nick Robinson, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, actually said that the Duchess had accused the Palace of perpetrating falsehoods.

I wonder if a view of the complete interview will clarify the Duchess’ meaning.

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