September 19, 2021

At Buckingham Palace, minorities confined to subordinate positions until the end of the 1960s

The facts took place, at least, until the end of the 1960s. Buckingham Palace refused to employ them in office or high office. “Immigrants of color or foreigners” and obtained exemptions from the laws against discrimination, reveals Thursday, June 3 the British daily The Guardian.

The newspaper was investigating the use of the royal consent procedure – whereby the British monarch must give the green light to any law affecting his prerogatives or interests before it is debated by MPs – when it found out that Buckingham Palace had negotiated clauses exempting the queen and her house from the law passed in 1968 against discrimination.

In a memo from the National Archives, an Interior Ministry official recounts how one of the Queen’s top advisers, Lord Tryon, told her that the palace did not employ people from ethnic minorities in government positions. office.

Lord Tryon had said the palace would give its consent to the racial discrimination bill if it were granted exemptions similar to that of the diplomatic corps, which could reject an application if the person had resided in the UK for less. five years.

Still exempt from the law against discrimination

Hire “People of color in ordinary domestic positions” was on the other hand authorized, specifies the note. Even today, the Queen and her household are officially exempt from this anti-discrimination law.

But they comply “In principle and in fact”, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Thursday. “This is reflected in diversity, inclusion and dignity” practices of the royal family, he assured. And to add:

“Statements based on a second-hand account of conversations from over fifty years ago should not be used to draw conclusions about how things are going today. “

The revelations come just months after Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, and his Métis wife, Meghan Markle, accused the royal family of racism, in a shocking interview on American television.

Asked by star Oprah Winfrey, the “Sussexes” reported that an unnamed member of the royal family was concerned about the skin color their son, Archie, would have before his birth. His brother, Prince William, called one day to be king, then defended the institution, arguing that the royal family “Was not at all a racist family”.

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The World with AFP