The Queen Will Hire a Diversity Expert Following the Sussexes' Claims of Institutional Racism, Source Says

The Queen is reportedly hiring a diversity expert to work with royal staff after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's allegations of racism.

  • In the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which the couple discussed their experiences with racism in the royal family, the Queen is taking action.
  • According to a report from the Mail on Sunday, the Queen is hiring a diversity expert (the position is referred to as "diversity tsar" in the report), to oversee a diversity program for royal staff. 
  • Aides at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace will reportedly participate in "listen and learn" exercises and work with "a range of businesses and individuals about how the Monarchy can improve representation."

The Queen (opens in new tab) is taking Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent claims (opens in new tab) about institutional racism in the Palace seriously.

According the Mail on Sunday (opens in new tab), the Queen is preparing to hire a diversity expert—who the Mail report refers to as a "diversity tsar"—to oversee a new drive for inclusivity among Palace staff. The drive is gong to encompass all of the main royal households, including the Queen and Prince Philip's staff at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's staff at Clarence House, and Prince William and Kate Middleton's (opens in new tab) team at Kensington Palace.

Under the new program, the Mail on Sunday reports, royal aides will be required to participate in "listen and learn" exercises and work with "a range of businesses and individuals about how the Monarchy can improve representation."

"This is an issue which has been taken very seriously across the Households," a palace source told the publication. "We have the policies, procedures and programs in place but we haven’t seen the progress we would like and accept more needs to be done. We can always improve. We are not afraid to look at new ways of approaching it. The work to do this has been under way for some time now and comes with the full support of the family."

The new plan comes in the wake of Harry and Meghan's explosive tell-all interview (opens in new tab) with Oprah Winfrey, in which the couple opened up about issues of institutional racism in the royal family, as well as more direct incidents of racism, including one particularly disturbing anecdote about an unnamed member of the royal family starting a conversation about how dark the couple's first child's skin would be.

When Meghan relayed the story (opens in new tab) about the incident, which she heard about from Harry and was not present for, to Oprah during the sit-down, the long time host and interviewer pressed her about the subtext of the conversation. "Because they were concerned that if he were too brown, that that would be a problem? Are you saying that?" Oprah asked.

"I wasn't able to follow up with why, but if that's the assumption you're making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one," Meghan replied.

After the Oprah special aired, the Queen released a brief statement (opens in new tab) addressing the claims the Sussexes made in the interview.

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," the statement read. "The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."

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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.