Royal sources say Buckingham Palace may appoint a diversity chief in the coming weeks to champion its inclusion efforts.
The news comes weeks after Montecito residents Prince Harry and Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey that someone in the royal family questioned how dark their unborn son’s skin color would be. After the interview aired, Prince Harry and Meghan clarified that it was not Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Phillip who posed the question.
The explosive allegation sent shockwaves around the world and even prompted responses from members of the royal family. Prince William, Harry’s brother, told the British press that the royals are “very much not a racist family.”
Now sources close to the royals say the palace could name an official to spearhead its diversity efforts in the weeks to come.
“Diversity is an issue which has been taken very seriously across the royal households,” the royal source said Sunday. “We have the policies, the procedures and the programs in place, but we haven’t seen the progress we would like in terms of representation. More needs to be done; we can always improve.”
Currently royal officials are considering appointing someone to take charge of the palace’s diversity and inclusion work, but it is “too early for any firm plans to be announced,” the source said.
Dr. Alister Chapman, a British history professor at Westmont College, told the News-Press that the royal family’s review of the accusations and its desire to take them seriously is a “very good idea.”
While he did not feel “well qualified” to offer insight about Meghan’s specific allegation of racism, Dr. Chapman said the monarchy has a history of being “ahead of other sectors of British society” when it comes to embracing diversity.
“The royal family has certainly been a champion of multiculturalism within Britain,” the Montecito college professor said. “If you look back at the 20th century when you have growing numbers of Hindus and Sikhs from West India moving to Great Britain, the monarchy would have definitely been an advocate for multiculturalism.”
Dr. Chapman added that he does not see the royal family as a “highly racist institution” because of the work members have done to address both cultural and religious diversity over the years.
During the CBS interview in Montecito with Ms. Winfrey, Meghan and Harry discussed the media attacks targeted at the duchess when she first married into the British monarchy. Many of these attacks from the British press and tabloids were racially charged, the couple said.
Ultimately, the constant media coverage and underlying racism were major factors in the couple’s decision to exit their royal duties, Prince Harry said during the interview. Both Harry and Meghan officially forfeited their royal titles in February.