‘Must Do More’: British Royals Reveal Staff Diversity Data
Britain’s royal family for the first time revealed how much ethnic minority staff it employs on Thursday, and admitted it has not made sufficient progress on diversity.
The revelation comes three months after explosive claims of racism against the monarchy from Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince Harry and his mixed-race wife Meghan.
The couple, who stepped down from frontline royal duties in March last year, claimed an unnamed senior royal asked what colour skin their son, Archie, would have.
The palace disputed the claim, saying “recollections may vary”, while Harry’s elder brother, Prince William, insisted: “We are very much not a racist family.”
Just 8.5 percent of royal employees are from ethnic minorities compared with about 13 percent of the overall UK population, according to the last published census in 2011.
The royal statistic, the source of much speculation — had previously only been kept internally.
A Buckingham Palace source told Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency that publishing the figures left the monarchy with “no place to hide” and would improve accountability. A target of 10 percent has been set for 2022.
We are not where we would like to be. It is not that we have not been progressing diversity and inclusion initiatives, it is that the results have not been what we would like,” the source said. We recognise we must do more. One of the key points about publishing statistics is that there’s no place to hide.
The royal household reformed its diversity strategy in early 2020 to promote the importance of inclusion.
The Guardian newspaper earlier this month reported that the royal household negotiated exemptions from 1970s-era laws against racial and gender discrimination to bar “coloured immigrants or foreigners” and only consider them for subaltern roles.
Buckingham Palace has denied the claims and says it complies with modern equality legislation.
Queen Elizabeth II heads the multi-racial Commonwealth, an association of 54 countries with historical ties to Britain predominantly forged through imperialism.