Queen Elizabeth II Hit by New Palace Racism Scandal 3 Months After Meghan Markle Interview

Queen Elizabeth II faces new allegations of historic racism at the palace just months after Meghan Markle's bombshell allegations in connection with her baby's skin color.

Documents unearthed by The Guardian appear to suggest Buckingham Palace had a policy of not employing "coloured immigrants or foreigners" to clerical roles in the royal household until at least the late 1960s.

Buckingham Palace appeared to have a different policy for servants as the document notes the existence of "ordinary domestic posts for which coloured applicants were freely considered." The documents also show that the Queen and her household have benefitted from exemptions from sex and race discrimination laws.

The incendiary claims were recorded by a civil servant in 1968 following a meeting with Elizabeth's chief financial manager, the keeper of the privy purse.

And they follow allegations by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in March that an unnamed royal expressed concern their unborn baby's skin might be too dark.

Queen Elizabeth II on Commonwealth Day
Queen Elizabeth II signs her annual Commonwealth Day Message in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, to mark Commonwealth Day. This undated photo was released on March 7, 2021, the same day Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Oprah Winfrey interview containing racism allegations was broadcast. Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The family member was never named but the couple apparently told Oprah Winfrey off camera it was neither the queen nor Prince Philip.

The Guardian unearthed declassified government documents held at Britain's National Archives, at Kew, in West London, which show how the palace came to be made exempt from legislation securing equal rights in the workplace.

Home Office civil servant, TG Weiler, wrote a memo in February 1968 summarizing a meeting he had with Lord Tryon, the keeper of the privy purse.

Quoted in The Guardian, he described how Tryon had identified three categories of jobs at the palace.

Weiler said these included: "(a) Senior posts, which were not filled by advertising or by any overt system of appointment and which would presumably be accepted as outside the scope of the bill; (b) clerical and other office posts, to which it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners; and (c) ordinary domestic posts for which coloured applicants were freely considered, but which would in any event be covered by the proposed general exemption for domestic employment."

He added: "They were particularly concerned that if the proposed legislation applied to the Queen's household it would for the first time make it legally possible to criticise the household.

"Many people do so already, but this has to be accepted and is on a different footing from a statutory provision."

The race relations bill was brought in by then Labour Home Secretary and future Prime Minister James Callaghan.

The Guardian has suggested the negotiations to make the palace exempt were linked to the need under British law to seek "Queen's consent" for new legislation.

The arcane provision is supposed to be a procedural formality but a Guardian investigation has, over the past months, attempted to demonstrate it provides the royals an opportunity to lobby government before legislation has been publicly announced.

The newspaper quoted a civil servant who, after the palace's exemption had been worked into the draft legislation, wrote that royal staff "agreed that the way was now open for the secretary of state to seek the Queen's consent to place her interest at the disposal of parliament for the purpose of the bill."

The exemption ensured that formal complaints about racism against palace employees would go to the home secretary rather than the courts, potentially keeping them out of the public domain, The Guardian reported.

The exemption applied to the 1976 Race Relations Act, the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act and the 1970 Equal Pay Act and survives to this day as these were replaced by the Equality Act of 2010, according to the newspaper.

From a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told Newsweek via email: "Claims based on a second hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago 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 practise.

"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."

Meghan had told Oprah in March: "In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we have in tandem, the conversation of 'He won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title,' and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."

The queen is head of state not only in Britain but in 16 countries around the world, including 12 in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

Update 6/02/21, 11:30 a.m. ET: The article has been updated with comments from Buckingham Palace.