Buckingham Palace Reportedly Banned Ethnic Minorities From Office Roles, Unearthed Documents Claim

Jun. 3 2021, Published 5:38 a.m. ET

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Buckingham Palace has responded to reports of prejudiced hiring practices.

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"The Royal Household and the Sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practise. This is reflected in the diversity, inclusion and dignity at work policies, procedures and practises 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," a statement from the Palace read.

This comes after The Guardian reported that there was a ban to prevent minorities from working in royal households, which seemed to continue into the 1960s, according to unearthed documents.

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buckingham palace banned minorities office roles
Source: MEGA
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The documents reportedly revealed how Queen Elizabeth II's chief financial manager informed servants that "it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint [sic] colored immigrants or foreigners" when it came to clerical roles in the royal household, but minorities could work as domestic servants in 1968.

According to the outlet, it is not clear when the practice ended and Buckingham Palace did not answer questions about when it was revoked, but records showed that people from ethnic minority backgrounds were employed in the 1990s — before that, they did not keep such records.

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The Queen had also been exempt from workplace equality for more than four decades, The Guardian reported.

According to the outlet, the exemptions made it impossible for women or those from ethnic minorities to complain to courts if they believed they were discriminated against. The palace said there is a "separate process for hearing complaints related to discrimination" but did not provide more detail.

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The Guardian also made note of the Queen's consent which is a parliamentary mechanism where the Queen grants parliament permission to debate laws that affect her and her private interests that she has reportedly used, while Buckingham Palace said it was only a formality.

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According to the documents, the procedure had been used to influence the draft of race relations legislation, The Guardian reported.

Earlier this year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed their departure from royal life with Oprah Winfrey, where they alleged that there were "conversations" about the color of their son Archie's skin before he was born.

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"In those months, when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we had in tandem the conversation of he won’t be given security, he won’t be given a title," Markle said.

Following the interview, Prince William told the press that the royals are "very much not a racist family."

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"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. "The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."

According to the Daily Mail, the Queen was reportedly seeking to appoint a "diversity tsar" to oversee increased diversity efforts in the royal household after the interview.

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