PropertyBuckingham Palace refused to hire “immigrants of color or foreigners” to managerial or senior positions until the late 1960s. The royal family obtained exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for this purpose. The British newspaper The Guardian revealed that Thursday.
The newspaper is currently investigating the use of a secret parliamentary procedure known as the “Queen’s Consent”. This action means that the British monarch must give the go-ahead for legislation affecting his privileges or interests before MPs can discuss it. Additionally, The Guardian discovered that Buckingham Palace had negotiated clauses exempting the Queen and her family from the 1968 Anti-Discrimination Act.
In a note from the National Archives, a Home Office official recounts how one of the Queen’s top advisers, Lord Tryon, told him that the palace did not employ ethnic minorities in management positions.
Lord Tryon said the palace would approve the RDA if it included similar exceptions for the diplomatic corps, which can reject a candidate if a person has lived in the UK for less than five years. The memo said that the employment of “people of color for ordinary household chores” was permitted. Until today, the Queen and her family have been officially exempted from the Anti-Discrimination Act.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said on Thursday, however, that they adhere “in principle and in practice” to the law. He stressed that “this is reflected in the diversity, inclusiveness and dignity” of the practices of the royal family. “Claims based on an indirect record of conversations from more than 50 years ago should not be used to draw conclusions about how to handle matters today,” he added.
Is Harry right?
The revelations come just months after Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, and his wife, Meghan Markle, who is of mixed descent, accused the royal family of racism in a shocking interview on US television. In that interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Sussex family revealed that an undisclosed member of the royal family had expressed concern about the skin color of their son Archie before he was born. Harry’s brother, Prince William, who will one day become king, defended the establishment by saying the royal family was “not a racist family at all”.
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