Inside Buckingham Palace's Potential New Role of a Diversity Czar

Royal expert Katie Nicholl tells ET that the Palace has been considering hiring someone for the position for a while.

Buckingham Palace may be considering hiring a "diversity czar," but royal expert Katie Nicholl says it's not a result of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's recent bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey

"I think, of course, a lot of people will see this story and think that this is a reactive move; that this is the Palace wanting to take a positive [step] against these claims of racism within the institution," she tells ET. "But it has been pointed out to me that this search for a diversity czar, or a chief of diversity, at the palace, this is something they've been looking at for some time." 

During their sit-down with Oprah, both Harry and Meghan discussed the issue of race, and claimed that the skin color of their first child, son Archie, was called into question by an unnamed senior member of the royal family prior to his birth. 

Meghan alleged that there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born," adding that it would be "damaging" to reveal who had voiced those concerns. 

Following the couple's explosive interview, the Palace released an official statement, saying, "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."

According to Nicholl, the possible new role of a diversity czar "will be someone possibly leading a team, maybe several members of staff, but essentially the diversity chief will be somebody who oversees the workforce at the palace and make sure that it is a modern and a progressive workforce that incorporates people with disabilities, people of color, ethnic minorities." 

"My palace sources have said that while this is a role that they were looking for before the Oprah interview, they have listened to what Meghan and Harry have said, they have listened to the allegations of institutionalized racism. They are taking some of this on board," Nicholl adds. "But I think at the Palace, there is a realization that more could be done to make it a more diverse workplace. So there is great significance with them finding a chief of staff who's going to look over specifically diversity at the palace." 

As for the Palace's reported "listen and learn approach," Nicholl says it's a sign they're "not brushing this under the carpet." 

"The fact is, what Harry and Meghan have said has resonated. Whether or not the Palace agreed with everything they said, we know the recollections may vary, but I think that that message that Meghan clearly did not feel that this is an institution that supported her is something that they are listening and learning from," she shares. "I think the feeling is that perhaps there have been some mistakes that have been made and certainly as the Palace is concerned, that they learn from those mistakes and move on from them."

Hear more in the video below. 


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