Royal Family to boost training for Palace staff after racism row

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The Royal Family has been engulfed in two consecutive racism incidents in the last two months, raising questions about the Firm’s commitment to tackling such issues. In early December, a Buckingham Palace reception was overtaken by a racism row which could scarcely have come at a worse time. Shortly after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made allegations of racism in the Royal Household, Lady Susan Hussey repeatedly asked a black union boss whether she was “really” from Britain. According to a royal correspondent, the Royal Household plans to respond to the issues with additional training about diversity and inclusion to the Palace staff.

Daily Express Royal Correspondent Richard Palmer told Royal Round-Up: “They said as part of the resolution of that particular dispute between the two women [charity boss Ngozi Fulani and Lady Susan Hussey], they are going to see what lessons they can take and learn from the organisation that she represents.

“And they’re going to enhance training given to all staff about diversity and inclusion issues. 

“They were already promising to do some this, and they have clearly taken on board some of the criticism. 

“For example, in the last couple of years, they have been setting themselves targets to increae the proportion of people who work for the royal household who are from an ethnic minority background.”

“But there will obviously always be people who say they haven’t done enough.

“There was talk of them employing what was called a diversity and inclusion tsar, but I don’t think that role has ever been filled in the royal household.

“The King, even before the change of reign, has made it clear that the Commonwealth summit in Rwanda and a bit before that, that he felt that the UK should be doing more to learn about some of our history about the legacy of colonialism and the slave trade in particular. 

“He compared the slave trade to the Holocaust in the sense that he said we learn about the Holocaust but we don’t learn to the same extent about the slave trade.”

While the Royal Family has apologised for the incident, suspicion of racism is still lingering on royals following a wave of criticism.

The royal row started with Prince Harry and Meghan’s claims that racism within the Institution was one of the reason they left the Royal Family. In the latest trailer of their Netflix docu-series, the Duchess’s lawer claim Buckingham Palace conducted “a real kind of war against Meghan”.  

Jenny Afia said she had “seen evidence that there was negative briefing against Harry and Meghan by the Palace to suit other people’s agendas”. The series later claimed the Palace would plant stories to bruise Meghan’s reputation to protect other members of the Royal Household.

Before the series hit Netflix, Meghan claimed a member of the Royal Family had raised concern about Archie’s skin whien she was pregnant. The Duchess of Sussex accused the royal family of fostering an atmosphere of racial hostility so intense that she came close to suicide while pregnant with her first child.

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“It was all happening just because I was breathing,” Meghan said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, breaking down in tears at one point and prompting Ms Winfrey to do the same.

“I just didn’t want to be alive any more. That was a clear, real, frightening and constant thought.”

Accusations of racism resurfaced in early December when Lady Susan Hussey, who is godmother to Prince William, was accused of making racist remarks to black charity boss. Ngozi Fulani, founder and chief executive of Britain’s leading domestic abuse charity for women of African and Caribbean heritage, Sistah Spice, described the “traumatic” encounter in which Lady Susan persistently asked her what part of Africa she came from.

The late Queen’s lady-in-waiting resigned and apologised for “unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments” made to Ngozi Fulani, whom she later met to make amends. 

Now, Prince Harry and Meghan reportedly want their own apology from the Royal Family, sources told the Sunday Times. One told the paper: “Nothing like that was ever done when Harry and Meghan raised various concerns — no meeting, formal apology or taking responsibility or accountability. That is hard to swallow — 100 per cent yes they’d like to have a meeting.”

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