Buckingham Palace admits it 'must do more' to improve staff diversity

24 June 2021, 11:01

Buckingham published its figures for the last year.
Buckingham published its figures for the last year. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Buckingham Palace has admitted it "must do more" to improve diversity among staff, saying it is "not where it would like to be".

Ethnic minorities only account for 8.5 per cent of employees, figures show, with the royal household aiming to reach 10 per cent by 2022.

The palace released its levels of ethnic minority staff for the first time. It comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused the royal family of racism in interview with Oprah Winfrey last year.

Around 13 per cent of the UK population are from a minority ethnic background, according to the latest 2011 Census data.

A senior palace source said: "We are not where we would like to be despite our efforts."

"It is not that we have not been progressing diversity and inclusion initiatives during this period, it is that simply the results have not been what we would like.

"We have continuous engagement with external advisers, organisations that are at the grassroots level who sit on our steering committee, people who are able to give us a different voice, a different perspective.

"And we recognise that we must do more.

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"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 Queen's household brought in a change to its Diversity Strategy in early 2020, actively emphasising the importance of inclusion.

That said, Meghan and Harry accused the royal family of racism in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, also claiming the family cut them off financially.

However, released accounts for the financial year showed that Prince Charles was still funding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in summer 2020.