Buckingham Palace took issue in a report that claimed the royal household prohibits the hiring of "coloured immigrants or foreigners" for office roles but they are permitted to work as domestic servants.

On Tuesday, The Guardian shared pages of newly-discovered documents from the government's National Archives that revealed the palace's exemptions from laws that prevent sex and race discrimination. The papers showed how the royal family's parliamentary procedure, known as Queen's consent, has great influence over British laws.

One of the findings revealed that the Queen's courtiers banned foreigners of colour from working in the office until late in the 1960s. In February 1968, Home Office civil servant TG Weiler summarised a report from Lord Tyron, the queen's financial manager at the time, on how the royal household employed its staff.

Lord Tyron had categorised the staff into three roles. Senior posts, clerical and other office posts, "to which it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners," and lastly, ordinary domestic posts which "coloured applicants were freely considered."

The documents further showed that the Queen's consent passed legislation against racial discrimination in the workplace on the grounds that her household is exempted. This means that complaints coming from staff in the royal household were directed to the home secretary rather than the courts.

Fast forward to 2021 and the queen's household is still exempted from the legislation. Employees still cannot sue for alleged discrimination in the workplace.

In response to the report, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the claims were "based on a second-hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago." They "should not be used to draw or infer conclusions about modern-day events or operations. The principles of Crown Application and Crown Consent are long-established and widely known."

"The royal household and the sovereign comply with the provisions of the Equality Act, in principle and in practice. This is reflected in the diversity, inclusion, and dignity at work policies, procedures, and practices within the royal household. Any complaints that might be raised under the act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint," the palace said in a statement shared by E!

The report comes after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle raised issues on racism in Buckingham Palace in March. A family member had allegedly questioned their son Archie's colour prior to his birth. Likewise, a recent finding claimed that the duchess' great-great-great-grandmother worked as a cook for Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry talked about racism in the palace in their Oprah interview in March 2021. Photo: POOL / John Stillwell