Accusations have come out the Queen of England's courtiers banned "coloured immigrants or foreigners" from serving in the royal household until the late 1960s.
According to documents obtained by The Guardian, a clause remains in place to this day that exempts Buckingham Palace from laws that prevent race and sex discrimination.
The documents were obtained via an investigation into the royal family's use of an arcane parliamentary procedure, known as "Queen's consent," to influence the content of British laws secretly.
In 1968, the Queen's chief financial manager informed civil servants, "it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners" to clerical positions. However, they could work as domestic servants. At the time, James Callaghan, the then home secretary, wanted to expand the United Kingdom's discrimination laws to prevent discrimination in hiring practices and housing.
In February of 1968, TG Weiler, a Home Office civil servant, discussed with Lord Tyron, who was responsible for managing the Queen's finances and courtiers, a bill that could bring court proceedings against individuals or companies that maintained racist practices.
Weiler wrote that Tyron would comply with the proposed law, but only if Buckingham Palace could enjoy similar exemptions as those provided to the diplomatic service, which could reject job applicants who had not been a U.K. resident for more than five years.
Weiler wrote that Tyron had considered staff in Buckingham Palace to fall into three categories: "(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."
Weiler continued, "they were particularly concerned that if the proposed legislation applied to the Queen's household it would for the first time make it legally possible to criticise the household. Many people do so already, but this has to be accepted and is on a different footing from a statutory provision."
By March, Buckingham Palace was pleased with the proposed law as one Home Office official noted, it is "agreed that the way was now open for the secretary of state to seek the Queen's consent to place her interest at the disposal of parliament for the purpose of the bill."
Because of the exemption, any complaint from the Queen's staff would go to the home secretary rather than the courts.
In 1991, a royal researcher, Philip Hall, published his book "Royal Fortune: Tax, Money and the Monarchy," where he cites a source close to the Queen saying there were no non-whites courtiers in the palace's senior ranks.
Recently a spokesperson for the palace stated: "The royal household and the sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practice. This is reflected in the diversity, inclusion, and dignity at work policies, procedures and practices within the royal household."
"Any complaints that might be raised under the act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint."
The spokesperson did not comment if the Monarch was subject to this law.
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