The Queen “easily” supports Black Lives Matter, a royal aide has said.
In an interview with Channel 4, Sir Ken Olisa – the first black Lord-Lieutenant for London – said he had discussed the “hot topic” of racism with members of the royal family since the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
He added that the family cares “passionately” about removing racial “barriers” in the UK.
The comments come after the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle accused the royal family of racism in their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.
Sir Ken said: “I have discussed with the royal household this whole issue of race particularly in the last 12 months since the George Floyd incident.
“It’s a hot conversation topic. The question is what more can we do to bind society to remove these barriers.
“They [the royals] care passionately about making this one nation bound by the same values.”
Asked if the palace support BLM, Sir Ken said: “The answer is easily yes.”
In the interview with Oprah last year, Meghan said an unnamed royal – not the Queen or late Duke of Edinburgh – raised concerns with Harry about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be.
The couple also suggested racism could be a factor behind the decision to deny Archie, the first mixed-race great-grandchild of the Queen, security protection or the title of prince.
The Queen later issued a statement saying that the issues raised would be dealt with privately as a family, but that “some recollections may vary”, while the Duke of Cambridge defended the monarchy, saying “we’re very much not a racist family” soon after the interview aired.
‘Must do more’
Buckingham Palace has also admitted it “must do more” and is “not where it would like to be” in terms of diversity, after publishing figures that revealed its proportion of ethnic minority employees stands at just 8.5 per cent, with a target of 10 per cent for 2022.
The Queen’s household also brought in a change to its Diversity Strategy in early 2020 – which pre-dates the Oprah interview – to one that actively emphasises the importance of inclusion.
During the programme called Black To Front which aired on Friday evening and was produced by an all-black presenting and reporting team, Sir Ken also said the Queen had sought his advice after the Grenfell fire on whether to visit the site of the tragedy.
He said he advised the palace to go, but added: “I remember thinking as it all happened, it was quite scary, we didn’t know whether she would be booed or have things thrown at her etc and when she got out of the car all these people applauded.”