Less than 10% of Buckingham Palace staff is from ethnic minorities

In the first of such breakdowns, Buckingham Palace says less than 10% of staff were from ethnic minorities.

The latest annual report on the Sovereign Grants—breakdown of the Queen’s expenditure, funded by the taxpayer—released on Wednesday, shows that only 8.5% of staff in the royal household come from ethnic minority groups.

This is the first time the report touched on the subject of staff diversity in the palace.

No place to hide

A source from the royal household is quoted by Reuters to have said they could have done better to improve staff diversity.

We recognise we are not where we would like to be. Her Majesty and members of the royal family have promoted and embrace the diversity of our nation and that of the Commonwealth, and we therefore recognise that our own workforce needs to reflect the communities that we serve. We haven't made the progress that we would like, and we can do better.

The source added that the decision to publish the statistics, which now includes diversity, was to ensure that they can and should be held accountable if no progress is made to effect necessary changes.

One of the key points about the publishing of our statistics, which is actually on a voluntary basis, is that there’s no place to hide.We fully expect you to come back and hold us accountable for the progress that we made. And if we don’t make the progress, we’ll have to explain why.

The Royal Family and race issues

This is coming at a time when the royal family is dealing with allegations of poor handling of racial issues.

These claims are championed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who, in an explosive tell-it-all interview with Oprah, accused some members of the monarchy of racism targeted at the Duchess, Meghan Markle—the first biracial member of the family.

Early this month, it emerged that until the late 1960s, coloured immigrants and foreigners were not allowed to serve in clerical positions in the royal household although they were ‘permitted’ to work as domestic servants.

Prior to the Oprah interview, the Queen’s household amended its Diversity strategy to emphasise the importance of inclusion.

The 2011 census data shows that at least 13% of the UK population is from a minority ethnic background.

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