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Guardian: Buckingham Palace Had Prejudiced Hiring Practices 'Til the Late '60s, Documents Reveal

Laura Beatham
Jun 03, 2021
05:50 A.M.
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In an in-depth look into Buckingham Palace's history, the Guardian revealed that the Palace had prejudiced hiring practices until the late 60s. 


The Guardian published an in-depth article about Buckingham Palace and its history with race and sex discrimination laws through uncovered documents about the Palace's hiring processes. 

The newly discovered documents revealed that the Palace and the Queen banned non-white people from office positions until the late 60s. The documents are expected to reignite debates about race and the British Royal family. 

Queen Elizabeth II opens the National Theatre on the South Bank in 1979 in London, England. | Photo: Getty Images


According to the documents, the Queen's financial manager, Lord Tryon, discussed the hiring practices of the palace with a Home Office civil servant named TG Weiler, who then wrote up the document.

In the document, Weiler summarized the discussion and listed the three types of roles Tryon considered the Palace's staff to fall in. Firstly, senior posts, which were not filled by advertising or a system of appointment. The second role was:

"(b) clerical and other office posts, to which it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners."


The last role was described as ordinary household staff. According to Weiler, Tryon stated that the role allowed for the appointment and freely considered non-white immigrants. 

The documents also highlight that Buckingham Palace negotiated controversial clauses that exempted the Queen and her household from preventing sex and race discrimination. The clauses are still in place today. 

Some members of the British Royal family have been criticized for racist comments in the past.


In the 1960s, the UK government created laws that would make it illegal for employers not to hire someone based on their race and ethnicity. However, the Queen was exempted from these laws.

The UK government encouraged those who were discriminated against for their race and gender to seek retribution in the courts. However, the Queen's exemption made it impossible for the Palace household staff to take their discrimination issues to court. 


Buckingham Palace said that it had its own process to deal with complaints of discrimination. However, Weiler wrote that the Palace was concerned that the new laws would make it legally possible for the Palace to be criticized. 

Although these documents were written many decades ago, some members of the British Royal family have been criticized for racist comments in the past. The most recent being from Meghan Markle's revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey this year. 


Prince Harry and Markle explained to the host that a certain royal family member had expressed concerns about Archie's skin color ahead of his birth in May 2019. However, both declined to say who it was.

Princess Michael of Kent is known to say questionable and racist things. Once the wife of the Queen's first cousin told Black Americans to go back to the colonies while in New York, and she wore a Moor brooch when Markle attend a Christmas celebration at the Palace before she wed Prince Harry.