Buckingham Palace did not issue a direct statement about the Black Lives Matter movement when it gained massive momentum following the death of George Floyd last year, but a top royal representative has said that Queen Elizabeth II herself was in full support for it during a discussion in the household.
Sir Ken Olisa, the first black Lord-Lieutenant for London, said that he had discussed the topic of racism with the royal household following Floyd's death in Minnesota in May last year. Recalling the conversation to Channel 4, he 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," he added.
Asked if the palace supports the Black Lives Matter movement, Sir Ken insisted, "The answer is easily yes."
Sir Ken's statement comes months after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle accused the palace of racism and alleged that their son Archie was denied a Prince title due to his mixed-race heritage. The couple also claimed that an unnamed senior royal, except Queen Elizabeth II and the late Prince Philip, had raised concerns about how dark Archie's skin colour might be when Meghan was pregnant.
The palace had said in its official statement on behalf of the Queen that "some recollections may vary," while Prince William had directly refuted the allegations saying "we're very much not a racist family."
Sir Ken has extensively defended the palace's stand on racism in Channel 4's upcoming 24-hour long programme "Black to Front," which is produced by an all-black presenting and reporting team.
In the programme that will be broadcast on Friday, September 10, Sir Ken recalled the time when the Queen had asked his advice on whether to visit the site of the Grenfell fire tragedy. On June 14, 2017, a fire had broken out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, West London, killing 72 people. Though he suggested the monarch go ahead with the visit, he and the palace were concerned about the reception she might receive.
"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," he recalled.