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Palace yet to reach its 10% diversity target among staff

Buckingham Palace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Buckingham Palace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Buckingham Palace has yet to hit its diversity target, with its proportion of ethnic minority staff standing at just 9.6%.

The figure last year was 8.5%, with the Royal Household having set a goal of 10% for 2022.

A senior royal source said the Queen and the Windsors had embraced the diversity of the nation, and the bid to improve diversity within the Palace workforce was coming from across the royal family.

Platinum Jubilee
The royal family during the Platinum Jubilee (Aaron Chown/PA)

But the source said a “listening exercise” carried out with Palace employees to examine their experiences has shown that “in building a more inclusive culture, that we should more clearly recognise the strength of our communities, very much in the differences that we all bring”.

The percentage of ethnic minority staff was published for the first time last year in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s accusations of racism against the royal family in their Oprah Winfrey interview.

Buckingham Palace – at 9.6% – is behind Clarence House which has 10.6% of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds, while Kensington Palace is leading the way with 13.6%.

A senior royal source said of the Buckingham Palace figures: “We’ve still got a little way to go… but we have achieved a 9.6.

“We recognise we’re not where we want.”

The source said the 10% target was set for the end of 2022.

They added: “Her Majesty and the royal family have promoted and embraced the diversity of our nation and that of the Commonwealth.

“We recognise that our workforce needs to reflect the communities that we serve so that leadership is not just coming from the Lord Chamberlain’s Committee, but it’s coming from across the royal family as well.”

Platinum Jubilee
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused an unnamed royal of racism during their interview with Oprah Winfrey (Dan Kitwood/PA)

The “listening exercise” was carried out with Palace staff to understand their views on the “Household’s culture and ways of working”, the 2021-22 Sovereign Grant report showed.

The initiative took place with the support of a specialist Inclusion and Diversity consultancy, and the feedback and focus groups were used to develop a new Inclusion and Diversity strategy.

The household has also created a new Inclusion and Diversity working group.

The Duke of Cambridge stressed the importance of diversity at the unveiling of the national Windrush monument last week.

Windrush Day
The Duke of Cambridge speaking at the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument (John Sibley/PA)

He acknowledged the contribution of the Windrush generation, and spoke of the racism and discrimination black men and women are still facing in modern day Britain.

William said: “Diversity is what makes us strong, and it is what reflects the modern, outward-looking values that are so important to our country.”

Meghan, the first mixed race person to marry a senior royal for centuries, said an unnamed royal – not the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh – raised concerns with Harry about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

The Queen issued a statement saying that the issues raised would be dealt with privately as a family, but that “some recollections may vary”.

In the UK, around 13% of the UK population is from a minority ethnic background, according to the 2011 Census data.