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Research: Coloured immigrants and foreigners banned from serving in Buckingham palace

According to a newly discovered document, coloured immigrants or foreigners had been banned by the Queen’s courtiers from serving clerical roles in the royal household (Buckingham Palace) until at least the late 1960’s. This backs up the argument that the British royal family is racist.

The documents found out how the Buckingham Palace negotiated controversial clauses (that are still present today) that exempt the Queen and her household from laws that prevent race and sex discrimination.

The Guardian came about the documents at the National Archive as apart of an ongoing investigation into the Royal family’s use of an arcane parliamentary procedure which is known as Queen’s consent.

This power is used to influence content of British laws.

The documents revealed how in 1968 the Queen’s financial manager had informed civil servants that “it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners” to clerical roles in the royal household, although they were permitted to work as domestic servants.

The end of the practice still remains unknown as Buckingham palace refused to answer questions about the ban and when it was revoked. Records showed people from ethnic minority background being employed in the 1990s and that before that decade, it did not keep records on the racial background of employees.

Other laws created to form exceptions from the law

In the 1960’s government minsters sought to introduce laws that would make it illegal to refuse to employ an individual on the ground of race or ethnicity.

The Queen has remained personally exempted from those equality laws for more than four decades. The exemption has made it impossible for women or people from ethnic minorities working for her household to complain to the courts if they believe they have been discriminated against, reported The Guardian.

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In a statement, Buckingham Palace did not dispute that the Queen had been exempted from the laws. They defended the claim by adding that it had a separate process for hearing complaints related to discrimination but the palace did not respond when asked what this process consists of.

The exemption from the law was brought into force in the 1970s, when politicians implemented a series of racial and sexual equality laws to eradicate discrimination.

The Queen’s consent procedure was used to secretly influence the formation of the draft race relations legislation.

James Callaghan, in 1968 who was then the home scrtaty, and civil servants at the Home Office are assumed to have left the Queen out of the decision making to do with the race relations bill until her advisers were satisfied it could not be enforced against her in the courts.

Callaghan had wanted to expand the UK’s racial discrimination laws, which only prohibited discrimination in public places, so that they also prevented racism in employment or services such as housing.

Buckingham palace also had the right to reject job applicants who had not been residents in the UK or less than five years.

Staff in the royal palace had to fall in these three types of roles:

  • (a) senior posts, which were not filled by advertising or by any overt system of appointment and which would presumably be accepted as outside the scope of the bill;
  • (b) clerical and other office posts, to which it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners; and
  • (c) ordinary domestic posts for which coloured applicants were freely considered, but which would in any event be covered by the proposed general exemption for domestic employment.

The exemption was extended to the present day when in 2010 the Equality Act replaced the 1976 Race Relations Act, the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act and the 1970 Equal Pay Act. For many years,critics have regularly pointed out that the royal household employed few black, Asian or minority-ethnic people.

Source: The Guardian