Royal Family considering hiring diversity chief at Buckingham Palace: source

As it battles accusations of racism deep in its ranks, the Royal Family is considering appointing a diversity chief, according to a royal source.

“We are listening and learning, to get this right,” confirmed the unnamed source to ABC News. “Diversity is an issue which has been taken very seriously across the Royal Households.

“We have the policies, the procedures and the programs in place, but we haven’t seen the progress we would like in terms of representation, and more needs to be done. We can always improve.

“Lots of measures are being considered. Certainly the idea of someone to spearhead this work and look at diversity/inclusion across the three households is something that has to be considered.”

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After Oprah Winfrey‘s explosive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle earlier this month, the Royal Family has been under scrutiny for what many people see as an archaic and outdated structure.

The couple spoke about their struggles with the “constant barrage” of “toxic” British media, the racism that Markle faced and the lack of support they received from the Royal Family. Markle also accused the Royal Family of refusing to provide mental help when she had suicidal thoughts, and alleged that someone in the family raised questions about her then-unborn child’s skin colour.

Harry later told Winfrey that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were not part of those conversations about skin colour.

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The royals said they were “saddened” by the couple’s allegations and found the claims about racism “concerning,” but also hinted at a difference in “recollection.”

“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” they said in the statement, which was issued on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. “While some recollection may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”

Last week, Prince William told reporters that the royals were “very much not a racist family.”

Ipsos conducted a poll about the monarchy exclusively for Global News, which showed that a majority of Canadians believe Markle was treated unfairly by the Royal Family because of her race, and a greater majority would prefer it if the monarchy had no formal role in Canada going forward.

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Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians agreed that the Royal Family treated Markle unfairly because of her race, according to the poll. Women and people between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to agree, but a majority of respondents supported the notion across every demographic. Black respondents were most likely to support the notion at 98 per cent.

Eight in 10 people said that Harry and Markle made the right decision to leave the Royal Family last year, according to the poll.

Ipsos also saw an uptick in support for ending the Royal Family’s formal role in Canada, continuing a trend of rising support for that notion since 2016.

Two in three Canadians, or 66 per cent of respondents, said the Queen and the royals should not have any formal role in Canadian society, as they are “simply celebrities and nothing more.” That’s up two per cent over last year and six per cent since 2016, Ipsos says.

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Roughly six in 10 people said the relationship between Canada and the monarchy should end when the Queen dies, although only about half of Canadians (53 per cent) supported the idea of a referendum on the monarchy, according to the poll. Nearly eight in 10 Canadians felt the Queen has done a good job in her role.

— With files from Global News’ Josh K. Elliott

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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