With Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan recently sharing their own experiences with racism in the royal family, the world’s eyes are still fixed on Buckingham Palace. And while there are still many unanswered questions over the claims, royal sources tell BAZAAR.com that the institution of the monarchy is planning to appoint a diversity chief.
Though a Buckingham Palace source explains that internal talks about creating the position began before the Sussexes sat down with Oprah Winfrey for their tell-all, it is the first time that the royal establishment has come close to admitting to a much-needed focus on understanding the importance of diversity and ensuring that the inner-workings of The Firm are representative of modern-day society.
“This is an issue which has been taken very seriously across the royal households,” says the source, referring to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and Clarence House. “We have the policies, the 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. Therefore, we are not afraid to look at new ways of approaching it. The work to do this has been underway for some time now and comes with the full support of the family.”
A report in Britain’s Mail on Sunday suggested that the queen will be hiring a “diversity tsar,” however the senior palace aide tells BAZAAR that plans are still preliminary. “It is something that has to be considered, but it is too early for any firm plans to be announced,” the aide explains. “We are listening and learning to get this right.”
Over the months ahead, royal family members will no doubt be seen putting focus on representation in their own public endeavours, and sources say that the palace itself will also seek out independent views to help “assess and improve” the institution’s approach to the matter. “We take a broad view on diversity,” says the source. “This includes LGBTQI+ and disability representation.”
Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opened up to Winfrey about family conversations with Harry ahead of their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth, airing concerns over “how dark” his skin might be. Their son is the first American-British biracial royal born in the United Kingdom and the first mixed-race child born into the royal family.
“That was right at the beginning … ‘What will the kids look like?’” Harry told Winfrey in the March 7 CBS special. He added, “There were some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard.”
Two days after the interview aired, Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the queen, explaining that the family was “saddened” to hear about the challenges the couple faced. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,“ the statement read. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
There is no word on whether members of the family themselves will receive any awareness training.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.