Buckingham Palace’s staff is 8.5% ethnic minority, Clarence House is only 8%

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There are tons of stories around Buckingham Palace and Clarence House releasing some selective and “curated” numbers around the Sovereign Grant, royal expenditures and royal staff. One of the biggest headlines? BP and CH have released information about their in-house diversity. As in, the ethnic and racial makeup of their staff. They are not breaking down which percentage of staff is Black, or of South Asian descent or what have you. All people of color are lumped together in these palace releases. BP and CH also refuse to reveal the staffing positions these people of color hold. You can bet it’s not in any public-facing or executive staffing position.

Buckingham Palace, which has come under fire from Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan for the way it deals with race, has not done enough to increase diversity among staff, a senior royal source has said. In its annual report on the Sovereign Grant, which details the queen’s taxpayer-funded spending, the palace said on Wednesday that only 8.5% of its staff were from ethnic minorities, the first time it has given such a breakdown.

“We recognise we are not where we would like to be,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Her Majesty and members of the royal family have promoted and embrace the diversity of our nation and that of the Commonwealth, and we therefore recognise that our own workforce needs to reflect the communities that we serve. We haven’t made the progress that we would like, and we can do better.”

The palace says it aims to have 10% of staff from ethnic minorities by the end of 2022.

Michael Stevens, the queen’s treasurer, told reporters at a briefing on the grant that the review was still in progress. He also revealed that the queen’s finances 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.

However, the drop was offset by savings, and by 2.4 million pounds from Harry and Meghan to cover the renovation of their British home, Frogmore Cottage, which 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.

[From Reuters]

8.5% of BP’s staff is ethnic minority, which is pretty shocking when you consider how racially diverse the UK is right now. And again, we don’t know which positions are filled by people of color, although Robert Lacey pointed out that Buckingham Palace’s office staffers are almost entirely white dudes.

Clarence House also released their numbers for the racial makeup of their staff. Only 8% of Prince Charles’ staff is ethnic minority, and Charles’ spokesperson said: “It isn’t good enough and we are determined to do better.” Meanwhile, Kensington Palace declined to release their numbers on diversity. My guess would be because KP is all-white and they know that those white peeps were acting like unhinged racists to Meghan the whole time.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.

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73 Responses to “Buckingham Palace’s staff is 8.5% ethnic minority, Clarence House is only 8%”

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  1. Connie says:

    I bet that 8 & 8.5% includes Meghan, Archie and Lili

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      The 8.5% is worrying for a firm paid for by the public but more importantly, I want to know how many are senior members of staff and if the ‘ethnics’ are paid the same as their white colleagues. But I suppose since most will be in domestic service, they might not be able to draw those comparisons. What a sham of an institution.

      • Eni says:

        Hum, here in the UK, we need to put our “ethnicity” in lots of forms, including work related docs.
        Ethnicity can be the “color” but also the country of origin, as per the gov website:
        In England and Wales, there are 18 ethnic groups recommended for use by the government when asking for someone’s ethnicity. These are grouped into 5 ethnic groups, each with an ‘Any other’ option where people can write in their ethnicity using their own words. These groups were used in the 2011 Census of England and Wales.

        The recommended ethnic groups are:

        White :
        English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British
        Irish
        Gypsy or Irish Traveller
        Any other White background

        Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups:
        White and Black Caribbean
        White and Black African
        White and Asian
        Any other Mixed or Multiple ethnic background

        Asian or Asian British :
        Indian
        Pakistani
        Bangladeshi
        Chinese
        Any other Asian background

        Black, African, Caribbean or Black British :
        African
        Caribbean
        Any other Black, African or Caribbean background

        Other ethnic group:
        Arab

        Any other ethnic group

        So, I’m white and French. They could put me in the ‘ethnic minority’ bucket if they wanted to, because of the 2 possible legal meanings. In other words, the figure reported might not even include only POC.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        good Lord, they still use “gypsy” instead of Roma?

        glad to see they use Asian instead of Oriental – back in the late 90s-early aughts I had quite the conversation at work (after the Astra-Zeneca merger) when I realized Zeneca was still using the term Oriental in the demographic section of Case Report Forms/clinical trial databases

      • Lucy says:

        @Eni that is very interesting, I wouldn’t have assumed any of that. I am Loling at the idea of the palace hiring someone with a Traveller background. It would be very interesting to see the educational background of the senior staff. I’m guessing they all went to the same three schools.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Eni, well that explains why they’re not giving us any break downs as to jobs or break downs as to ethnicity. I hope they get push back to supply this information. What they’ve given is meaningless. Nice try, palace. Now, do better.

      • Kristen says:

        pottymouth pup: They aren’t using Roma because they’re referring to an Irish ethnic group, and not Romani.

    • swirlmamad says:

      Apparently the only 2 black people were Meghan and the black equerry who was supposed to be her mentor, so I’d be interested to see the rest of the breakdown.

      • MA says:

        I can’t get over how insulting and out of touch they are. Imagine in a real life example like if a black VP of engineering joined a new company and HR rolled out an accountant who is the only other black employee to assist them.

    • Christine says:

      Yup, I had the exact same thought.

  2. Oh_Hey says:

    I hope these numbers get released in Meghan’s post bullying investigation receipt drop next year.

    You know she knows the real numbers and you just know having to deal with hateful saltines that hates serving a black princess is part of how they bullied her not the other way around.

  3. LaraW” says:

    Wow. Goal of 10%. By the end of 2022. Really putting in a lot of effort there.

    Also, there’s two ways of increasing percentage. The first is to hire more people. The second is to fire more people, while keeping the number of POC constant. With the Charles regency and slimming down the monarchy, I am going with the latter.

    • Mac says:

      A diverse and inclusive workplace is about a lot more than how many people of color you can count. The BRF continues to be so tone deaf and clueless.

      • LaraW” says:

        Now now, Mac, one cannot be “woke” when one is in the employ of the RF. Tis an honor simply to walk the same hallowed grounds as those anointed by god to guide the empire to greatness. We all have our roles to play, large or small, and there can be nothing more
        prestigious than upholding the long and storied lineage of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

      • Christine says:

        Agreed. The fact that this version of current events has emerged, even though Harry and Meghan, and their traitorous souls have been out of the UK for well over a year, makes this a level of absurd I don’t even understand.

        /sarcasm

        Obviously, Harry and Meghan have nothing to do with this count, who in the royal family thought putting out THESE numbers, publicly, was going to advance their cause? We already know they are terrible. They seem to think that announcing how terrible they are, and asking for more time to make sure they count every single drop of any color of blood that is not blue, even though it is clearly a number under 50, is going to make the public sympathetic????

        I am so confused.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Well, the diversity czar will account for the 1.5%. Enough diversity to last for a whole generation till Geirge becomes King.

      • Jais says:

        I think I read that they are not actually going to hire a diversity csar. Not sure if that’s true or what’s happening with that but I’m guessing they think they can solve their diversity issues in their own way; kind of how mike tindall will fight racism in his own way.

      • Beach Dreams says:

        Yeah, turns out they lied about hiring a diversity czar. Makes you wonder about those crisis managers…although I think we got actual names regarding them.

      • Shannon says:

        NO, DIVERSITY CZAR? You’re kidding. How did this happen? The “CZAR” was going to fix it.

        You know, acknowledging a problem is the first step, but acknowledging also means you have to accept there is a problem. You can’t claim you’re “very much not a racist family” if you need a Diversity Czar. LOL….that’s why these people are clowns. They couldn’t find their arseholes if someone sat them on the shitter.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        Well, probably for the best there’ll be no diversity Czar. You know how this family handles Czars.

    • Myra says:

      It’s so insulting. Before they spout off that they are very much not a racist family, maybe they should revisit their hiring policies and practices. Perhaps Meghan would have been more welcomed had the palace been more inclusive in the first place.

    • Harper says:

      KP got rid of Jason Knauf so that will help the 2022 numbers.

    • Demi says:

      Who wants to work with them that’s the question they don’t abide by the anti-discrimination laws they have their own bogus process so that they can’t be held accountable in court.

      • Christine says:

        This is THE question, that I, as not a Briton, am the most curious about. Who are these kids who line up for these jobs??!?

        It’s obviously not anyone who knows what it is to work as an employee (my God, my Christmases working at Target in my 20s are emblazoned on my soul, for all eternity) for an employer who cares about having competent employees.

    • Christina says:

      Ok, but the UK population is 87% white. In light of this they should probably aim for 13% but it’s not that far off? Depending on how large the staff is of course. How many people do they employ?

      • PunkPrincessPhD says:

        Bearing in mind the 87% figure is from the 2011 census and so 10 years out of date.

      • Sid says:

        The population of London, where KP, BP, and Clarence House are all located, is something like 40% ethnic minority.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        I’m seeing 2018 numbers that suggest about 80.5% white.

        EDIT: Ah, sorry, 80.5% is White British, 86% is just Whites. But again, 2011 census, so 10 years out of date.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Right. How magnanimous of them to reach for another 1.5/2.0 percent increase. KP declines to comment…until the 23andme results come back.

  4. Noki says:

    If there was ever a time for the Commonwealth of Nations to sever ties with the Monarch it is now. I know its not any easy transition but come on.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      I suppose for the commonwealth it’s like being with a bank that takes your money but is crap to you. Sheer inertia makes you stay.

      • Shirleygail says:

        @ER The bank I’m with is changing the rules of my business credit card. In fact, they are deleting the Visa Business Line of Credit card completely. So the new program is…more cost. I’m a small business w/1 part-time employee. I earned $38,000 (Cdn) last year yet they want to charge me the same as a company with 500 employees cause they’re a “small business” too. I paid dearly for a bunch of cheques for the business account and I’m DAMNED if I’ll waste them…but the SECOND I’m on the last book, I’m going to move to a credit union. I am so deeply angered by my bank for increasing fees when I’m struggling to keep the business going. So for me, not inertia now (but it was for a solid 2 years past, we don’t write a lot of cheques, dammit).. and the fact that I’d have to change about 20 direct deposit set-ups) so yep, inertia, so very true. I initially thought not, but realize the accuracy of your statement now. Frustrating.

  5. Merricat says:

    Lol, KP, home to the very much not racist, is thoroughly white. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

  6. Kristen says:

    Who is surprised at this? These people are part of an archaic institution and they still live in literal castles.

  7. rawiya says:

    “It isn’t good enough and we are determined to do better.” I can’t see it getting any better because any non-white person with common sense would see/read/hear what they’re doing to the non-white members of the FAMILY and run.

    If they treat family members like crap, how are they treating staff?

  8. Becks1 says:

    OK I just did a quick google* search and it says that the UK is 87% white (just the UK, not taking into account the commonwealth.) Now assuming this is close to accurate (I don’t know if it is) then we should expect to see at least 13% minorities working in the palaces to properly reflect the country. so 8% is really low. And we dont know what kinds of positions they had – my guess is they are in a lot of service positions or very low level staffers, if they had a black person working in a senior capacity you KNOW they would have told us that, same way they brought out the queen’s equerry.

    And yeah KP’s numbers are way lower than BP and CH because if they were even close they would have told us.

    *I feel like I should confess to you all that my work computer has bing as the default search engine so whenever I say I am googling something I am lying. I am “bing-ing” it but that sounds stupid.

    • LaraW” says:

      I completely support binging! Google can go f-ck itself.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      I was about to post something similar @Becks1. About 13% of UK are from ethnic minorities, although that’s overall and the percentage in big cities like London is MUCH higher (more like 44%, according to my quick Google!). So yes – pretty crap.

      • Green Desert says:

        Yes @Lady Baden-Baden, good to point out the racial/ethnic makeup of London. @Becks1 is right in that it should be at least 13%, but I think it should be higher given the city’s numbers.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      No worries! “Google” is like “kleenex” or other things where one brands name morphs into the generic name for something, no matter which “brand” it actually is.

      And KP probably has one POC on staff, working in the mailroom.

    • windyriver says:

      Note too that equerry is no longer there as of November 2020 when his term expired. It was noted at the time of his appointment in 2017 that he was the first black person in that role. His replacement is noted as being the first Royal Marine commando in the equerry position, so presumably he isn’t a POC, or that would have been mentioned.

  9. sunny says:

    What a big old mess! It is always troubling when they lump POC together as one category. I am giving full side-eye to the aggregation of this data really they are avoiding breaking down the data in a more detailed way because they know how bad it will look when compared to the general UK population.

    The amount of racism and microaggressions Meg was probably subjected to is bad. As a black woman who has moved in white spaces and has had some power, people generally don’t respond well when black women have any sort of power especially when they want to use it. KP’s avoidance of releasing its numbers is truly troubling and definitely has huge implications for the “Meghan is a bully” claims.

    Keep setting that bar low British royals!

  10. S808 says:

    Surprised it’s 8% tbh and I’m sure none of them have leadership roles.

  11. Catherine says:

    The UK as as a while is approx. 15% BAME but London where BP/CH/KP are located is approx. 40% BAME. That difference has to be reflective of a deliberate choice. Those discriminatory hiring practices they claimed were 50 years ago and had no bearing on today clearly are still in place.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Exactly. Was just thinking this as well.

      “at the 2011 Census, the most ethnically diverse region in England and Wales was London, where 40.2% of residents identified with either the Asian, Black, Mixed or Other ethnic group”

      London is remarkably diverse but…

  12. EnormousCoat says:

    Hello people we oppressed and harmed through colonialism. To make it right, we would like to ensure that 10% of you can work for us, making us look more diverse and inclusive (mind you, we are here through Divine Right so we take no responsibility for any of the atrocities committed by this institution). The hours are long and the pay is shit, but you will play a vital role in helping us trash the Duchess of Sussex.
    I’m so sick of these people. Andrew will be rolling out an internship program next. Utterly disgusting.

  13. equality says:

    I’d like to see a breakdown of the positions held and a breakdown on numbers of females in top positions also.

  14. girl_ninja says:

    Did they add the Diversity Tzar to the percentage? I just assumed the Diversity Tzar would be a black person, Asian or… Oh there is no Diversity Tzar yet, my bad.

  15. rainbowkitty says:

    Higher than I expected, TBH. But they’re “very much not a racist family.”

  16. ABritGuest says:

    Interesting (and unacceptable) that publicly funded KP refused to release its numbers. And as posters said above breakdown in POC, salaries & positions needed as doubt there’s many POC in senior positions. So could be their ethnic staff ban except in domestic positions is still in effect in practice. Also the firm could end their exemption to the Equality Act if they are serious . apparently the diversity chief recruitment isn’t happening- guess that was PR after Oprah

    • Lemons says:

      I just don’t understand how they can just decline! LOL What a joke. They might as well say the only Black person they had was Meghan and she’s mixed…soooo…

    • Nic919 says:

      I agree. KP gets money from the taxpayers and as such should be required to disclose those numbers like any other government supported entity.

      But seeing as KP housed a painting of young black boy holding a horse that had to have the name tags concealed because it was offensive and they only realized that when the Obamas were coming to visit, I am not surprised that this is an all white environment.

  17. FirenzeIshia says:

    London is 40% ethnic minorities and U.K. is 16%. Terrible numbers and I bet virtually none are clerical staff 👀

  18. Sofia says:

    I bet you a lot of those 8% are domestic or low level staffers. I doubt any of them hold senior or even office positions. And interesting that KP refuses to even release their numbers. Something to hide perhaps?

  19. Genevieve says:

    When they say “staff,” are they lumping all jobs together? Like, cleaning, gardening, maintenance, clerical, advisory? And if so, what’s the breakdown of the white collar jobs?

  20. Amy Bee says:

    The Royal Household staff should reflect the population and they’ve failed to do that. Also there should have been a breakdown of what roles ethnic minorities hold at the palace. But I’m guessing most ethnic minorities work in the domestic division as it was dictated decades ago. As someone said on twitter 40 percent of London are ethnic minorities, 8 percent at BP is a choice. I’m also not surprised that KP refused to give figures because there are no ethnic minorities working there and you can understand why Meghan had a such difficult time when she was there.

  21. Lizzie says:

    I would like to know the % of POC and women in executive positions. I think it is zero for both, prove me wrong rf.

    • You says:

      Might not even be 8% POC anyway, ethnic minorities covers any white that isn’t British (white Irish, and Poles, to name a few, have faced and are still facing major discrimination so it makes sense here)

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        White Irish from Northern Ireland would fall under the White British category in the ethnicity breakdown the UK government used for the most recent census, so while they are likely still being discriminated against at the Palaces they wouldn’t be included in the ‘minorities’ count. White people from the Republic of Ireland or white from anywhere else in Europe MIGHT be in the ‘minorities’ count.

        These people can never just state things clearly, can they.

  22. mariahlee says:

    After’s Meghan’s awful experience as a literal royal, I wouldn’t wish employment at the palaces on any POC.

  23. Hazel says:

    These would probably the cleaners, cooks, drivers, etc basically the low-paying jobs.

  24. Over it says:

    So no people of color at Kp then. All right so one more strike to Kevin And Karen kkk about who asked about Archie skin color.

  25. Cessily says:

    The failure of Kensington Palace to report there % speaks loudly…🗣🗣🗣

  26. Sunday says:

    I agree with everyone saying that the percentage is low, but I *also* want to know the specific number of employees these percentages represent. Like, if there are 20 employees then 8% is basically 2 people. If there are 100 employees, that’s only 8. To me the actual numbers always hit home more than a relative percentage.

    They’re really saying “our maids aren’t white” and wonder why Meghan was treated appallingly.

    • Paisley25 says:

      Clarence House has about 111 staff. About 556 full time staff are paid from the Sovereign Grant.

  27. Rise_Above says:

    Unhinged racists. I’m going to start using that term. It’s descriptive and accurate!

  28. Shannon says:

    A lot of the ppl who work for the palace directly and indirectly are included in this figure. I would bet a month’s salary that most of this 8.5% is security and control for the palaces perimeters. They aren’t in the office with the BRF. They are waving to them as the pass by in their vehicles and guarding the gates.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      Don’t forget kitchen staff, and the cleaning staff. Gardeners. Whoever cleans the cigarette smoke off of the paintings and priceless vases.

      Well, okay, the art guys are very likely white Brits working a dream job, but the rest still stand.

  29. Courtney B says:

    Ethnic minorities make up 14% of the UK. At 8%, CH is barely over half that. And even aiming for 10% still puts you pretty significantly below matching the population ratio.

  30. Christine says:

    “Michael Stevens, the queen’s treasurer, told reporters at a briefing on the grant that the review was still in progress.”

    I find it deeply satisfying when the royal family shows their collective a$$es, and this is the PERFECT example.

    I mean….I’m an accountant, so I suppose I have a bit of a leg up on some people, in the math department, but I feel certain that even Charlotte and Louis could use their fingers and toes to count brown and black people, and it would only take 30 minutes. I exempted George, because it’s clear that the royal family is devoted to making sure the heir doesn’t have to answer for anything, even being able to count to 10 as a little kid is probably off limits.