Buckingham Palace is responding to claims that heads of staff previously exercised prejudiced hiring practices.
According to a new report published by The Guardian, Buckingham Palace allegedly banned ethnic minorities and foreigners from holding certain positions within Queen Elizabeth II’s royal household until at least the 1960s. The outlet also reported that even today, the queen’s household remains exempt from U.K. laws that prevent race and sex discrimination. Based on unearthed documents obtained by The Guardian, Buckingham Palace reportedly negotiated with government officials to ensure royal documentation included specific clauses that would exempt the palace from such legislation and prevent employees from being able to sue over discrimination.
“Claims based on a secondhand account of conversations from over 50 years ago should not be used to draw or infer conclusions about modern-day events or operations,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson tells BAZAAR.com. “The principles of Crown Application and Crown Consent are long established and widely known.”
The palace’s statement also says that they are expected to comply with the U.K.’s Equality Act. “The Royal Household and the Sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practice,” the statement continues. “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.”
The Guardian‘s report comes after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan detailed their experiences with racism and the institution of the palace during a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March.
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