As if the firestorm of controversy caused by Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in March didn’t cast enough shade on England’s royal family, now comes news that Buckingham Palace may have a long history of discriminating against people of color for both employment and promotions.
Maria Puente of USA Today has reported that Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family are currently facing allegations of decades-long discrimination against people of color — and there appears to be documentation to back those claims up.
According to Puente, “The Guardian, Britain’s left-leaning newspaper and a leader in the longstanding movement to get rid of the monarchy, published a report declaring that Queen Elizabeth II’s top courtiers banned ‘colored immigrants or foreigners’ from serving in clerical roles in the royal household until at least the late 1960s, according to documents the paper discovered in the United Kingdom’s National Archives.”
Furthermore, Puente also noted that the vast majority of advisory positions for the monarchy were filled by “white, upper-class or aristocratic males, many of whom were Oxbridge grads and/or served in high-ranking positions in the military.”
And if their racist hiring practices weren’t bad enough on their own, David Pegg and Rob Evans of The Guardian also reported that in the 1970s, advisors to the Queen worked with government officials to “exempt” the royal household from laws prohibiting discriminatory hiring practices — laws that are still in effect to this day.
While aides to the royal family initially declined to comment on the matter, they later issued a statement to E! News saying, “claims based on a ‘second-hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago’ might not be relevant to contemporary operations.”
The royal family later doubled down on the issue with another statement saying, “The Royal Household and the Sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practice. This is reflected in the diversity, inclusion and dignity-at-work policies, procedures and practices within the Royal Household. Any complaints that might be raised under the Act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint.”
Still, following Harry and Meghan’s interview that shed light on their own encounters with racism within Buckingham Palace, discrimination and even rampant fear from some family members that their son might have “dark skin,” it’s clear this issue won’t be leaving British headlines anytime soon.