Buckingham Palace has come under fire from the grandson of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan for the way it deals with race and it has not done enough to increase the diversity among staff according to a senior royal source.
In its annual report on the Sovereign Grant, which details the taxpayer-funded spending of the queen, the palace has said on Wednesday that only 8.5% of its staff are from ethnic minorities and it is the first time it has given such a breakdown.
While speaking on the condition of anonymity, the royal source has said that they recognize that they are not there where they liked to be.
The source also added that her majesty and the members of the royal family have promoted and embraced the diversity of our nation and that of the Commonwealth and therefore they recognize that their workforce needs to reflect the communities that we serve. They have not made any progress as they liked it to be and there is always room for betterment.
The palace has said that it aims to have 10% of staff from ethnic minorities by the end of 2022. In an explosive US interview in March with Oprah Winfrey, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan accused an unnamed member of the royal family of a racist comment.
William, the elder brother of Harry has publicly denied that the family is racist but the queen has said that it is a concerning issue and it has to be addressed.
The palace also said that it would also review staff allegations of bullying by Meghan in the run-up to the interview and she also said that she is saddened by the attack on her character.
The queen’s treasurer, Michael Stevens has told reporters at a briefing on the grant that the review was still in progress.
He has also revealed that the finances of the queen had taken a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The core grant of 51.5 million pounds ($72 million) is boosted by additional income, mainly from tickets to visit royal palaces. But this extra revenue fell by 53%, to 9.4 million pounds because of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the drop was offset by savings and by 2.4 million pounds from Meghan and Harry to cover the renovation of their British home, Frogmore Cottage, that had been paid for by the Sovereign Grant before they gave up their royal duties to move to the United States and to meet rental costs.
Steven also said that the payment covers all their current obligations.
The pandemic has given a chance to the royals to speed up the 10-year overhaul of Buckingham Palace, which is currently on schedule and within its budget of 369 million pounds.
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